A Coaching Power Tool created by Vicki Biscay
(Executive Stress Coach, UNITED STATES)
If you doubt you can accomplish something, then you can’t accomplish it. You have to have confidence in your ability, and then be tough enough to follow through.
Confidence is not always easily won or maintained in the face of doubt. Pushing past doubt and succeeding in spite of it, brings the sense of triumph! This incredible feeling builds confidence and reinforces the combination of courage and action. With every act of courage we take, we build faith that we can do it again and again regardless of the level of doubt we hold.
What is Confidence?
Confidence is freedom from doubt; the belief in ourselves and our abilities. Confidence makes us unstoppable, holding the deep-seated beliefs that we can and will learn from adversity, recover from failure, and stay the course until we win. It drowns out naysayers and elevates supporters and we hear it, inside, as the voice that tells us, “yes, you can!”
What is Doubt?
Doubt shows up as uncertainty and an inability to believe we are good enough or capable enough. It may come from those who don’t believe in us—perhaps doubting our sanity! However, more often than not, it is our own defeatist voice that says, “you can’t, you won’t, you should [but won’t], you’re a fraud [and will be exposed as one]…” Doubt is the devil-dog nipping at our heels wherever we go. We are fearful that the dog will incapacitate us. Sometimes it does.
Our doubts are traitors
And make us lose the good we oft might win
By fearing to attempt
William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure
Confidence or Doubt?
Confidence does not mean that doubt does not exist; it means that we can cultivate confidence to be the stronger of the two. We do not live our lives as being confident or self-doubting – we live our lives as both. The art and science, then, is in learning how to choose one over the other.
To grow, we must challenge the boundaries set by our doubts. Crossing the border of doubt into the territory of confidence requires us first to recognize that we are caught in a trap then, second, to find courage.
Visualizing what we want gives strength to our steps. When doubts are small then a small vision may be adequate but when we feel overpowered by doubt then the vision must be large and powerful. If we are swimming in doubt, seeing (visualizing) land ahead renews our energy and gives direction. It is the picture of our goal, or future, that serves as our life raft across the sea of doubt. Creating and fiercely holding this picture cements our intention to land safely.
Action Creates Confidence
I’ve always wanted to skydive.
Why didn’t you?
I don’t know. I guess I was too afraid.
Action means preparing – mentally, physically, spiritually, or all of these. Then it means getting oriented to skydiving, getting in the plane, making the final commitment and taking the leap! Without the moment of decision and the willingness to jump, we are left on the ground wishing we had gone. Each time we watch the plane go up and come down without us, we get more fearful and finally say, “I’ve always wanted to skydive.”
Let’s say we get on the plane and make the skydive. We are exhilarated and, whether we skydive again or not, we feel empowered to do nearly anything! Taking action creates energy and builds confidence. Once you’ve jumped and found it survivable then you can do it again and again. Doubt creates fear but fear can be overcome by courage and action.