Building confidence hasn’t occurred like I expected. I thought getting good at skills or tasks was the only way to build confidence. Getting better at stuff partially builds confidence but mostly becoming more comfortable making errors, not being perfect and enjoying my experiences exactly as they come has given me the biggest boost.
Back when I was training Jen towards the Olympics, it wasn’t that I thought I was already an Olympic caliber coach. I wasn’t even a National caliber coach. I believed through the process of preparing and training her, I would be one by the time the Olympics arrived. It’s important to believe but it’s more important to have a game plan that is flexible. I started my game plan off of the facts I knew. 1. I am an avid student of boxing 2. I’m driven to be my best and push myself. 3. I am willing to be uncomfortable 4. I love learning 5. Jen has very good boxing skills 6. She trusts my work 7. She busts her butt to get better every day
Because of all of the above, I believed in my ability to be an elite coach and I believed in Jens ability to be an elite boxer at the Olympic level. Still, belief doesn’t result in confidence. Nor does hard work alone. Confidence comes from doubt, questioning, insecurity and the ability to continue learning. It comes from knowing the most unlikable and ineffective parts of yourself. Confidence comes because you know where the bottom is and have lived there enough to know you can choose to walk out with renewed spirit.
I think some of the hardest but most valuable times are when I am coaching in the presence of others I feel are more knowledgeable and experienced. When I’m in the presence of those older than me. I have come to really like being in this place because I know if I listen to all my insecurities and doubts I will hear what skills I really need to improve or gain. I know that I will gain confidence from developing a plan to get these skills and even more when I achieve them.
It is easy to tell when someone is insecure but doesn’t know it because they create a tension that shows up in their body language and words. I’ve been this person a lot in my life.
Often times folks think I’m supremely confident, which in a way I am. I am confident in feeling my shortcomings and insecurities. This ability to feel and not fix relaxes me and keeps me present and learning. This ability is a skill no different than developing a jab and I like practicing. Give it a shot, embrace where you feel you lack, you will be pleasantly surprised how your outlook changes and even more pleased with the results!