My older sister was a great swimmer from a very young age. I was petrified of going so deep that my toes could not touch. Doom and destruction awaited those who would risk putting their heads under. That’s why, when my sister would go for a swim, I would walk around the perimeter of the pool and yell out, “You’re gonna drown! You’re gonna drown!”
Of course, she didn’t.
And, of course I eventually learned how to swim – and lived to tell the tale, clearly.
I became what you might even call a “confident” swimmer. Let’s be real, though, my path to proficiency wasn’t sudden. I didn’t just jump in the deep end. Ohhhhh no. I took lessons. I waded in from the steps. I handstepped my way along the inside of the pool, hanging on for dear life the whole way around.
The day came when it was my turn to jump into the deep end and swim to the side.
Terrified, I reasoned with my 4 year-old self: “I will not get my certificate if I do not jump. I have to jump. I cannot leave until I do.” And as much as I disliked the idea of leaping into the unknown, I liked the idea of repeating lessons with my swim instructor even less (she was kinda mean). So I counted to three and…
And no one was more surprised than I when, after I got to the side of the pool, I told the instructor I wanted to go AGAIN! What changed? What made the difference in my desire to jump in deep?
I had rediscovered my confidence.
It’s the same for us as we move through our careers, isn’t it? We don’t always feel confident. Sometimes we have to make decisions even when we are uncertain about the outcomes. We probably even have been “in the pool” when people around us are convinced we’re going to fail. Maybe we fight that battle internally.
Magic begins to happen for us, though, when we connect with our confidence and use it to leap out. When we step forward, speak out, make a decision, or try something new not completely sure how it will turn out, we demonstrate the confidence that sits inside (sometimes deeeep inside) of us.
This month we will be talking about confidence and how it can show up for you in different circumstances. I don’t care how much confidence you think you have or don’t have, you can always have more. And when you have the right amount of confidence, you can let go of the side and swim deep.
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Tara Lynn is a leadership development speaker, Fascinate Certified Advisor, coach, and writer. She brings polished, insightful strategies to companies and individuals, helping them clarify their unique value and rise to higher standards of success. The practical tips and tools she shares get her clients from point A to point C while solving for the mysterious point B.