You might notice in other articles that I talk a lot about how I conduct experiments that require me to do hard things because it increases my confidence and courage. I was talking to a friend recently who told me she tended to turn the other way if something seemed hard because she felt it was a sign she wasn’t supposed to do it. This mindset has been a source of confusion for me for years so let’s unpack that in this post.
I’m not sure when the book “The Secret” came out but I recall it being on the tips of everyone’s tongues during the financial crisis of 2008-2010. It’s also a movie you can watch for free on Amazon Prime. Everyone was “manifesting” anything good in their life. Any bad things that happened were inadvertently manifested as well. I personally think that while some of the concepts were absolutely on point, it was presented in a way that led people to believe that all they had to do was think about something hard enough and it would show up the next day via FedEx.
On the heels of manifesting by thinking was the “trust your gut” movement and the “if it seems hard, maybe that’s a sign it wasn’t meant for you.” That resulted in an entire population of people who now believe if something is hard, turn and run in the other direction.
I don’t know, if life on earth is a learning experience, don’t you think maybe we need to learn how to overcome obstacles as much as we need to learn how to trust our intuition?
Do you really believe Oprah Winfrey, Sara Blakely, Michael Jordan, Dwayne Johnson, Michael Phelps, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, or any other successful person in the world got there without working hard and overcoming some serious obstacles along the way? If they turned and ran in the opposite direction every time something was hard or uncomfortable, there wouldn’t be a Microsoft, Spanx, or Amazon.
But did they listen to their intuition when making professional or personal decisions? Absolutely!
There is a difference between trusting your gut regarding choices and running away from hard work or things outside your comfort zone. When you can discern that difference, you will be well on your way to achievement.
Most of my life has been about overcoming obstacles. And with each obstacle I overcome, I gain confidence and courage. Not only was I not born with it, but I also had to work on it every single day. When I left my corporate job a few years ago, it didn’t take long for me to lose my confidence muscles. They became “flabby” from lack of use. As each month passed and I spent more time home alone (Pandemic), I became more timid, reserved, and honestly a little afraid to be in public. It was weird because that isn’t who I’ve been for the past 30 years. That’s when I realized that courage and confidence are really a skill we develop by exercising them. And we develop that skill by doing things that are uncomfortable (see article: Getting Comfortable Being Uncomfortable)
Uncomfortableness doesn’t have to equal pain. It might be as simple as jogging instead of walking. Or driving in snow when I haven’t in 5 years. Or car camping with my dog. Doing those little things gives me the confidence and courage to install my own irrigation system. And once I can do that, I figure I can build other things. Before I know it, I’m shooting videos without makeup on (hey, at 57 this is a big deal).
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic. And if you like it, please let me know and share it with a friend!
And here’s just one example of me doing hard things to exercise my confidence and courage muscles – writing a blog and sharing it with the world.