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Having Confidence and Courage is not the Key to Success

When you think about living your dream life, do you hesitate because you don’t have enough confidence to get started? You hear that it takes courage to change and you may believe that you aren’t up for the task. Creating what you want outside of your comfort zone takes a bit of mental effort, but what sustains you along the way is not courage but commitment.

You may want to hold off until you can build yourself up a bit more and feel like you are ready to take on the challenge. If you keep waiting, you will never be ready.

When you look at other successful people, you make assumptions as to how smart, brave or confident they are. You don’t see what happens inside that person’s mind or the challenges they must have faced before they “made it.” You assume they have some big secret, special skill, don’t fear failure or know so much more than you just because they have the outer result you don’t have.

People often ask me for my secret to success and I simply reply, “I never gave up.” I was committed to make it happen. My commitment did not automatically come with courage or even confidence. The truth is, I felt so weak and insecure when I first started my business as a single entrepreneur. I had those thoughts of being the fraud, not qualified and questioned every day if I had enough courage to keep going to make this self-employed adventure work.

There were many, many days I wanted to quit and crawl back to hide in a predictable corporate cubicle and a steady paycheck. I was single, doing it all on my own and feeling lonely and afraid.

What made me stay committed when the odds were against me? What was it that kept me going?

My mind wasn’t very supportive and I had to force myself to act even when the voice got so loud I could barely notice anything else. My family and friends thought I was crazy. The men I dated weren’t entrepreneurial, so they didn’t understand why I was putting myself through this. It really defies logic why I kept going, but I persisted.

I believed in a vision for myself that didn’t come from a confident ego, but a deeper place within me. I just had knowing that I had to keep going. There was like a current underneath me carrying me toward what I wanted and gave me a little light anytime it felt too dark and I wanted to turn around. I loved the work I did with people and I was committed to doing it no matter what. My dream was bigger than just me.

Some people may think it is brave to go out on your own. I didn’t feel very brave at all. I was scared every step of the way. When I had my first client I was scared, when I put my website up I was scared, when I met the love of my life, Rob, I was scared. I wasn’t strong and courageous, I was totally freaking out. My calm persona fooled everyone while my moments alone were filled with a mixture of excitement and panic.

I had a ritual every morning, I read this prosperity prayer. One line that always got me emotional was “Give me the courage to do the work I love.”  I had to pray for courage because I didn’t have it, what I did have was commitment.

I heard once that the best thing you can do to increase your self-confidence is to keep the promises you make to yourself. I didn’t let myself down and I stood by my side through the tough times. The courage and confidence then naturally arose within me as I stayed committed to my dreams.

You don’t have to wait for it, just keep that promise to yourself and all the resources within you will awaken to support you to have the life you want.

Just because you are scared, doesn’t mean it isn’t right. Most of the time, the fear is pointing you in the right direction. I am proof that you can be scared and still make great success in your life. If I can do it so can you. I am glad I kept going because living your purpose is a journey of a lifetime that everyone should take.

3 Comments
  • Debbie, too
    Posted at 19:07h, 03 March Reply

    This is a terrific article, at just the right time: I started freelancing a few months ago after 30 years in the corporate world. And lately I keep thinking maybe I should go back – it sure was nice to get a paycheck every 2 weeks instead of having to wait months for invoices to be paid. But I love the freedom to manage my own time, no commute — and being able to work in my sweats! I think I will keep this taped to my Mac for inspiration for a while.
    Thank you!

  • joanne
    Posted at 23:18h, 03 March Reply

    Great article. Thanks for sharing so openly your fears.

  • Lynda Silva
    Posted at 01:24h, 04 March Reply

    Hi Debbie, Thank you for telling us about what it has been like for you to stay on path to do the work you love. I’m going to add your prayer to my daily prayer. I think it will support me on my path. “Give me the courage to do the work I love.

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