Updated: Jun 8
I recently completed a poll in my Facebook group about the biggest challenge people are facing right now and the result was confidence. I invited members to comment on how and where their confidence was being impacted in order to put together a range of resources to support them around this topic.
If you are not already a member of my group, click here to join today. I set up the group in March 2020 to create a safe haven to provide coaching support and guidance to veterinary professionals through the whirlwind of uncertainty that was about to unfold. I’d love to see you there!
Confidence comes from a Latin word ‘fidere’ which means “to trust”. Having confidence therefore is having trust in yourself. It is having trust in your personal judgement, your abilities and your power.
I’d like to take this a step further and say that confidence is also about trusting life.
When we think of life as something that happens TO us instead of FOR us, it’s easy to feel out of control and question our ability to face what shows up.
Having trust in yourself AND trust in life is a powerful combination. It means that whatever happens, whatever shows up, you have absolute faith in your own strength and resources to move beyond it, as well as faith that life is bringing you an opportunity for growth in exactly the way that is right for you, in order for you to evolve in exactly the way you’re meant to.
Just take a moment to let that land…
This is a game-changer!
If you believe that every challenge has its purpose and is a gift given to you to prompt profound growth in all the right places, then it becomes much easier to relax into day to day life and considerably reduces anxious thoughts and feelings about what’s coming next.
It means you can breathe! So many of us are living our lives holding our breath, not daring to move and staying small, all because we feel something ominous is waiting around the corner for us that’s going to shake our foundations that we work so hard to protect.
This powerful reframe of challenges having a purpose for you stimulates a different thought pattern in response to a challenge, which in turn leads to you responding with different actions and behaviours, which ultimately produces a different outcome!
Let’s apply this to your life… let’s say you’ve handled a case at work or performed a surgery that for whatever reason has gone wrong. The actual reason it has gone wrong doesn’t matter. It might have been your fault; it might have been someone else’s fault or nobody’s fault. The point is, if you have faith that life has presented this challenge to you as a way of helping you grow, and you choose to believe there is meaning and purpose for you and everyone involved, then you can learn from it and move beyond it much more easily than you might have done before.
It doesn’t mean you bypass the feelings or emotions that come up. You still honour the feelings by sitting with them, processing them, letting the move through you – but once the energy of those emotions has dissipated somewhat, you can then move into a mindset of curiosity and ask questions such as:
“How has this happened FOR me?” "Where could this be taking me?” “What am I being asked to notice here?” “What is useful about this experience?”
For what reason would life want to knock your confidence?
· To create an internal earthquake and wobble your foundations to shift or change something that is important for your continued growth, but that you wouldn’t have changed voluntarily.
· To peel away the layers of something that needs to be healed within you.
· To show you something you just didn’t see before.
· To challenge your limiting beliefs.
· To move you down a different path, that you wouldn’t have considered before.
The exact purpose of the confidence-knocking challenges that show up in your life is uniquely individual to you, and sometimes you may not fully understand the purpose or meaning until later in life. Sometimes you may never gain that certainty at all! In the meantime, YOU get to choose NOW what meaning you attach to life events and circumstances; a meaning that empowers you and inspires you to move forward.
Life is going to continue to show up in the many wonderful ways that it does, and what we’re talking about here today is just one way you can choose to look at confidence and empower yourself by exploring a deeper meaning.
I invite you to consider events in your life that have knocked you, that have shaken you, that you thought you could never come back from. Whether that’s one event, a series of events, a general uncomfortable theme that runs through your life. Ask yourself, why is it there? What does it mean for me? How is this happening for me?
Choosing the meaning, changing your perspective, empowering yourself and trusting yourself and trusting life – this is one way you can build your confidence.
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