Actions and feelings

Often we hesiste to take action because we’re waiting on a feeling.

For example, you hesitate to lead, speak up or contribute because you’re waiting on confidence.

And so, you wait and put things off hoping that in time the confidence will come. But the confidence may never come. You don’t become more confident by holding back and shying away, it’s something that comes with practice.

So, instead of waiting on a feeling to take action, take action first and allow the feeling to follow.

Start showing up

It’s important to show up for the things that you care about and for the things that matter. It doesn’t need to be for praise and attention, simply do it for yourself.

This can be applied to so many things. Maybe you’re passionate about the environment, you might even have lots of good ideas or thoughts worth sharing. However, you don’t share about it online, you don’t volunteer and you don’t talk to your friends about it.

I think all the reasons to not show up stem from fear. Fear of not being good enough, fear of being judged even a fear of being seen.

It’s okay to feel all those those things but don’t let that stop you from showing up for the things that you care about.

How to get better at receiving feedback?

Getting feedback can be terrifying.

Even if you have confidence in what you do the last thing you want is for someone else to come along and tell you that actually what you’re doing isn’t as good as you think it is.

I think feedback is difficult to take in because we act as if it’s personal.

And if you’ve done something creative like a poem or a painting in some ways it is personal. But it’s also subjective so if someone thinks your painting could be improved by having a richer colour palette, doesnt mean someone else won’t love it just the way it is.

But the other kind of thing we get feedback on is the stuff that’s more rigid and regulated like what you might do at work. If you’re a construction worker, there isn’t really much room for perception. The feedback you would get isn’t personal, it’s a more a case of this is is how it’s done and here’s where you need to improve in order to do it the way it needs to done.

And of course there may be things that lie somewhere in between.

But either way the main thing to remember about feedback (when it’s from the right people) is that it’ll benefit you in the long run. And if you keep that in mind instead of focusing on the fact that there are people who don’t like what you create or that you didn’t do something perfectly, receiving feedback might get a little bit easier.

Start valuing your voice

The way that you show up in the world is likely to be imapcted by your confidence and self esteem.

Perhaps you play small and avoid doing things that will draw any attention even though you have ideas and opinions to share.

But the reason you don’t share your ideas is because you don’t value your voice and you don’t believe that anyone else will either. You tell yourself speaking up is for other people.

It’s for people that are better than you. They’re better because they’re older, more experienced, more confident, have higher qualifications, are better dressed and have nicer hair. Sometimes our reasoning makes sense and other times we make excuses.

And so next time you want to say or do something, go ahead even if it feels a little uncomfortable. You don’t need to be ‘better’ than everyone else, you don’t need to be older or more experienced either. All you have to do is say something.

Tackling the issue

If you know what the issue is, do something about it.

You might be nervous or feel like you don’t have the confidence but the issue will only persist if you don’t take action.

And don’t be half-hearted, tackle it with full gusto.

Have the conversations that need to be had and do the things that need to be done.

And most importantly, trust that you are capable.

Making things happen

It’s easy to make excuses for why things didn’t work out.

But often the reason is simply because you didn’t believe it was possible.

When you have self belief you approach life differently.

You walk with your head held high, you don’t second guess yourself and your actions flow.

When you don’t have self belief, you struggle to make decisions with certainty, your confidence is low and and you’re less likely to think the life you want can become a reality.

And so when it comes to making things happen self belief is essential.

Waiting for a cue

Sometimes when there’s something you want to say the easiest way to bring it up is to wait for a ‘cue’.

My dictionary defines a cue as ‘An action or event that is a signal for somebody to do something’.

In this case the thing to do is bring up a topic that is difficult to speak about or difficult to for people to listen.

However, the problem with waiting for a cue is that sometimes other people will not consider your approach genuine. But furthermore, it stirs up the question of why you’re unable to bring the topic up on your own.

Why do you have to wait for a cue?

Perhaps because you’re not ready to admit how much the topic matters or maybe you just don’t dont have the confidence yet.

It might not be easy the first time but get used to talking about what matters, you don’t need to wait for a cue.

Overcoming a lack of confidence

So often we rely on being confident before we do something without knowing how we’ll get there or how it will feel.

But when it comes to overcoming a lack of confidence, it only takes a willingness to be outside of your comfort zone long enough to get more comfortable.

One day you’ll have the confidence to do whatever it is without the nerves. Then, maybe after a few months you’ll find yourself volunteering to do the thing that once scared you.

With unlimited confidence…

That was the prompt in a self-help book I read around 6 or 7 years ago.

It was followed by questions like:

  • How would you behave?
  • How would your relationships change?
  • What would it allow you to do?

I think it’s a helpful set of words to get you thinking about how you might be limiting yourself.

As human beings we often fall into thinking that we have to wait until we’re confident to live our lives the way we want. But actually it’s the other way round.

You have to start living your life first and then the confidence will follow.

The outsiders mentality

People that think they’re outsiders act like outsiders.

The idea of being an outsider is often a self-fulfilling prophecy, something that is brought into existence rather than being totally true in the first place.

When the thought comes into your mind, as soon as you hold onto it and allow it to become a part of how you identify yourself you’ll subconsciously work to make it true.

Being an outsider is associated with being fringe, being different but sometimes even unique or original.

It can have both positive and negative connotations.

As soon as you start to think you’re different and ‘not like them’. You’ll start to separate yourself, exclude yourself even. Often that is what makes a person become an outsider.

The reality is, groups of people come together that are very different all the time.