“Rule 1: The actions of confidence come first; the feelings of confidence come later.” - Russ Harris
How can you ever really know you are able of achieving something until the moment that you achieve it? You can’t. You cannot know in certainty. You can believe it, learn about it, acquire the knowledge that will provide you with an educated guess. Nothing is permanent until it is.
Avoiding things that make us uncomfortable is a natural. It keeps us safe. This safety mechanism has evolved into the current human psyche whereby we want to fully understand a concept before we act on it. Take our education system… we’re not assessed on our processing of a problem, we’re assessed after the processing is done and we fully understand a concept and provide a result. The aim is to get to the result, not to stay in the space of processing and contemplating. That would be uncomfortable. How do you measure and compare that?
How does this relate to confidence? It is the same ideal of wanting to know we can accomplish something before we try it. “Believe you can and you will.” We want to feel confident that we can perform to perfection and achieve that result we want before we even get to the start line. We should see that perfection isn’t necessarily important, rather the courage and confidence to give it a go is what counts. This obviously has it’s downfalls in different ways (an important topic to explore another day). So when we don’t have that belief or confidence to achieve our default is the fear of failure. No middle ground of processing or contemplating or sitting with unknown. Either have the confidence to perform or fear failure.
This opens another can of worms. What are we missing out on when we sit in fear or failure? Many great scientists have made life changing discoveries (X-rays, pacemakers, anesthesia, penicilin) due to failing what they had set out to create. Instead they created something that changed the life of humans in a different way. What if we only explored if we knew the process and outcome it would achieve?
What are you missing out on because you fear failure? Enjoyment of an activity you already do? Not signing up for a sporting race? Or going travelling solo? This completely depends on what you value in your life as to what you will be missing out on.
What if you are able to perform the actions of confidence first and experience the feelings of confidence later? What if it takes our mind a while to catch-up to what our bodies are capable of? Our brain creates new pathways with every new action. This is what prevents us from making the same mistakes, like burning our hand on something hot. It has created an understanding AFTER the action.
From this blog you can contemplate what you are missing out on by not allowing your brain to go there and sit with the process, or you sit with fact that you don’t need to understand or believe something before you do it. At the very least, acknowledge when your mind is controlling your actions and ask yourself if that is something your mind can even conceive before it’s happened.