I used to really struggle with self-confidence.
As a pastor, I’d go into meetings with other church leaders and let little quips they’d make about my age, experience, or some decision I’d made that hadn’t worked out erode my confidence.
I’d wait for them all to speak first before I’d ever think to speak. I’d often miss out on sharing my thoughts because they simply wouldn’t call on me. Frustration, and even a little anger, would seep in. As a result, my effectiveness with that group was minimal.
You know what? This was my fault. My low confidence level led me to be passive and to blame others for not respecting my contributions.
All this changed for me when I took a coach training certification course. A by-product of this training, for me, was that I became more assertive about my own needs. I came back and did nearly a 180 degree turn in meetings: I began to prepare the meeting agenda ahead of time, offer my perspectives when appropriate rather than waiting to be called on, and participate in the meeting rather than merely observe it passively.
This was not a focus of the training, but it is the natural result of asking questions, thinking, and seeking a growth construct in your own life.
If you want to become more confident you have to begin thinking differently. You have to look at your life as fodder to help you grow. This is difficult, because growth means change. But change begins with asking these two questions:
- What am I learning about what’s happening to me?
- What am I going to do about it?
A coaching process will help you become more assertive by guiding you through these questions and offering you a structure to help you think through your answers. Taking action leads to growth. Growth leads to confidence.
How will you seek growth today?
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