Try everything! Three strategies to cultivate confidence and take a risk
Updated: Apr 2, 2019
by Myrrhanda Novak
Try Everything! My six-year-old has heard me say this a hundred times or more. We dance around to Shakira’s song by that name and we sing the encouraging lyrics when we’re nervous about something new.
When Stephanie and I started discussing the opportunity to start WOMENdontDOthat, I said yes right away. I knew nothing about starting a podcast. I had very limited experience in the blogsphere. The whole idea of publicly discussing my personal perspectives on family and feminism made (and still makes) me totally uncomfortable. But I wanted to do it. Try everything!
Fast forward a month. The reality of the risk and work required is sinking in and I’m questioning if I can do this well. You know the lies and questions that come when you begin a new challenge? This is too hard for you. You are going to make a fool of yourself. Why did you think you were smart/talented/organized enough for this? You are not enough. Do you even really want this? Maybe you should come up with some convincing excuses to quit.
Maybe similar thoughts have bounced around your head as well. Perhaps you have given in a time or two. I have. A time or ten.
This time, I’d like to push past all that fear and do it anyway. Try everything! I tell my son that it’s okay to fail – failure is how you learn – failure is quite often the road to success. And I believe that. I don’t want to be a hypocrite who teaches my children to pursue adventure but backs down from it myself.
WOMENdontDOthat is all about empowering women to be their best selves – whatever that looks like for them. As I work with Stephanie to create this forum, I want to be honest about my own insecurities and share my strategies for cultivating confidence.
Collaborating to create WOMENdontDOthat has shown me the value of a friend who believes in you and has your permission to hold you accountable to your goals. Whatever your goal is – better health, getting out of debt, improving a relationship – such friends or mentors are valuable treasures who can help you succeed much faster than you would on your own. Find one and be one. If you’re not sure where to start, look for someone in your peer group who is succeeding in the area where you would like to see growth. Take a risk and reach out to her. Ask if you can buy her a coffee and have a conversation about how she’s gotten where she is. It might feel vulnerable asking, but you’d be surprised how eager most people are to share their stories and offer advice.
2. Practice positive self-talk:
You are going to hear unkind voices in your head. You might not be able to make them go away, but you can overpower them with words of kindness and confidence. Say nice things to yourself! As awkward as it might feel at first – do it anyway. If you believe 10 per cent of what you’re saying – say it anyway. My little speech goes something like this: Myrrhanda, you are enough. You can do this even though it’s uncomfortable and new. Your story matters. Your contribution matters. Be brave. Keep going.
I would love to hear your words of self-love. Please, be brave and share them with us.
3. Be willing to fail forward:
We all need to make peace with the fact that we’re going to fail a few times before we get it right. In his book, Failing Forward, John C. Maxwell explains that “Your attitude toward failure determines your altitude after failure.” If you're trying something new, failure is inevitable, but it doesn’t have to feel like a crisis. Decide in advance to forgive yourself quickly, learn from your mistakes and try again. And of course, if it helps, dance around to Shakira;). This resilience leads to growth and ultimately the success you desire.
Those are my intentional practices right now. I would love to hear about your strategies for overcoming fear in the face of a new challenge. Share your thoughts and thank you for being a part of this journey with us.
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