Last week I spoke about Courage at one of my networks.
I have expanded it into a short blog so you can explore (if you wish) your relationship to Courage, your Fire and Inner Warrior!
I also posed the question on social media…which comes first, confidence or courage…?
To be clear, I am not knocking confidence!
There is nothing wrong with wanting to feel more confident.
Indeed, that is something us coaches help people with, indirectly or directly.
It’s just that in my personal experience,
I found that my definition of having confidence was the feeling of not being afraid.
Not feeling nerves, insecurity, anxiety, shame etc..…ultimately fear. Many of the things that plagued me beneath the surface.
I also found that confidence was something I craved!
On some level, I believed that feeling confident was the answer.
For much of my life, I chased after it.
Confidence was a drug to me.
There is a massive difference between wanting, desiring, and craving something.
All three exist because we have identified a gap.
Something that we don’t have but would like.
That’s great awareness.
We must see the contrast in our life to identify what we want to work towards.
To have a want or a desire is to identify something that would benefit our life in some way.
This can give us a sense of focus, something to direct our intention towards.
When we feel good about it and can imagine how positively this will affect our life & potentially the lives of others, then we have struck gold!
However, when we CRAVE something, it goes deeper.
If you think about it, we crave because there is something missing ( a lack of/ short supply).
It is not uncommon for people to crave sugar when they feel tired because the body is missing sleep, rest, and rejuvenation.
We can crave certain types of food because our body is lacking in that specific nutrient or because we are looking for stimulation, comfort, love or support.
We can also crave addictive substances or activities when we have a hole to fill.
Perhaps we are seeking distraction, avoidance, a high, a buzz, temporary relief, sedation, an alter ego, escapism, an outer body experience or obliteration.
The Addict archetype is the part of us that can become attached to something or a state of being.
Typically, something that we believe exists outside of ourselves.
This is why addiction is so often a route to healing and even spiritual awakening.
We can also crave when something feels beyond our reach.
Or when we believe that our life can’t be as good without that something or someone.
Craving can become entrenched in a feeling of lack, a feeling of not having or being enough.
It is a nod to the victim archetype (said to exist in all of us at some level).
No judgement here, I have felt all of this and so much more during my own journey and deep shadow work.
To end the craving, we must find acceptance, non-attachment, and peace.
That means we must heal,
sometimes we must grieve,
sometimes we must find forgiveness,
some of us are meant to find our true selves and even spirituality.
Now, back to confidence!
There were & are many times I have confidence, sometimes in plentiful supply.
And I certainly often looked the part in the jobs I had.
There have also been many times that confidence has evaded me,
despite reading the books & taking the workshops that held promises of discovering this life changing elixr.
For most of us, confidence depends upon variables, which therefore means, it cannot be fully guaranteed under all circumstances.
One of these significant variables is hormones!
Hormones affect all of us in different ways at different times.
I can only speak as a woman because I am one, a peri-menopausal one (whole other blog coming on this!) and these changes have KICKED MY @RSE and my confidence!
Anyhow, back to pre peri-menopausal times, I used to spend a lot of time observing people whom I perceived as confident.
I wanted to be like them.
I particularly noticed this confidence in public-speaking and wondered how they did it.
What was this secret sauce they had and how could I bottle it?!
What I found out was that confidence can be faked!
And to add to that, our perception of confidence is not always accurate.
After all, other people often thought I was confident, when I didn’t feel it.
Many of the people whom I thought were confident, didn’t feel that way, they could just act as if they did.
Some were genuine and authentic,
they would say it was quite normal for them to feel nervous doing presentations, even when they were brilliant.
Some were dedicated to giving and serving others, and so they would do a good job despite not feeling confident, this is one of my personal drivers.
Some were just born entertainers!
Some were very well practised at their craft.
A couple were confident bordering on arrogant.
Some were so lacking in self-awareness & talked for so long, enjoying the sound of their own voice far more than anyone else who was listening / being subjected to them.
They were completely unaware that they had lost their audience, some of whom had fallen asleep, and one had died.
That last bit’s a joke…just checking you are still awake! 😉
So, confidence can also be based in perception and deception.
And here’s another great point that was made by a clever person I know; confidence does not always go hand in hand with competence!
The more I thought about this, the more I realised it was an interesting truth.
Confidence does not exist in direct proportion to competence.
You can be highly competent and lack confidence,
And you can be very confident and lack competence.
The upshot being, I no longer crave confidence.
Because I can’t rely on it.
The truth for me is, that sometimes I feel confident and sometimes I don’t.
And that’s OK, because I know that however I feel, I am enough.
There, that’s it! That is the juice I was searching for that I mistook for confidence!
I can accept myself; I have been working on this for some time.
I also know I am highly competent in some areas, and I am completely ignorant in others, and I am honest about this.
Unfortunately, we can meet people who love to tell us how competent they are, only to find out that they had more fake confidence than competence!
I have done many things over the past few years that I haven’t felt confident in,
I have mostly been so far out of my comfort zone; I needed a passport!
But this is how we grow and how we transform.
One thing I have learned about myself is that I have courage.
And I have found that this is more valuable to me than confidence.
Because courage is a choice.
When confidence isn’t there, I can rely on my courage.
It feels harder, but every time I choose courage, I grow beyond who I thought I was.
I shift beyond my limiting beliefs.
So, I am an advocate for courage and if you lack confidence at times,
I encourage (see what I did there?!) you to consider courage.
Why is courage so powerful?
Because courage can exist alongside fear.
Fear ignites our courage. Thank you fear!!
Confidence can’t be relied upon to show up when the heat is on, but courage can.
Courage is the driving force and our inner strength.
It can be found at the depth of our being and in the face of perceived danger.
Courage is the part of us that can take up the driving seat, pop fear in as a passenger and have a conversation with it.
The word courage comes from the Latin word Cor which means Heart.
The heart is connected to love.
To overcome fear, we can bring a form of love to the situation.
That can often mean loving ourselves enough to do the things that scare us, back ourselves and move with & through fear.
Courage is what we need when the heart says yes but the mind says no.
So how can we be more courageous in life and in our businesses?
Because it can take courage to be entrepreneurial, to face challenges & to stretch ourselves.
We must find our inner FIRE (a component of my Elemental Leadership model)!
Within our fire, lives our inner Warrior archetype.
This archetype needs to be in balance to serve us well.
Here’s what it looks like when that is not the case.
I have detailed some examples but of course, there are more & you can be a combination of these imbalances.
Believes you must fight for survival. ‘Kill or be killed’ mentality.
Experiences life as a battle. In struggle or striving mode.
On the defensive. Sharp or aggressive communication.
Needing to get ahead. Impatient. Single minded. Narrow focus.
Win / get results at all costs (to health, quality of relationships etc).
Always on duty (cannot switch off). Highly competitive. Personal agenda.
Makes decisions impulsively without proper care and consideration.
Forcing others to conform to your beliefs. Trampling over those in your way.
Suppression of fire (passion, vitality, action).
Inability to stand up for yourself and hold healthy boundaries.
Lack of vision, direction & meaning in life.
Lack of energy, feeling lacklustre.
Fearful of speaking your truth and of facing challenges.
Inability to make decisions and cut things out of your life that don’t serve you.
Focus can turn inward, and you become a worrier.
Following others rather than activating your inner compass and leadership.
Self-doubt or low self-belief.
You have a mission that is driven from the heart and one you believe in.
You communicate honestly from the heart and inspire yourself and others to action from this authentic place without a hidden agenda.
You have a purpose that is fuelled by passion and motivated by the desire to serve and make a difference.
People will work with you, follow you and join your mission because they want to be on the same journey. You can lead and be part of the team.
You have healthy boundaries for the benefit of yourself and those around you and you have integrity.
You are driven and inspired by love, not fear.
You take good care of your energy, and you know that resting is necessary for you to serve at your best.
When your energy is high, you do something constructive with it.
You know what to say Yes and No to and you remain aligned with your vision and values.
Your natural state is a peaceful one, but you can access your fire energy at will.
Therefore, to find our inner fire means to connect with the heart of ourselves and our businesses.
So many times, we are making business decisions based around fear and lack, rather than focusing on love and abundance.
I say the heart knows the way, but we spend a lot of time stuck up in the head.
I have some questions for you, should you wish to do a bit of work around this:
Why did you start your business or take up your position?
Are you still in it for the same reason now?
What do you genuinely love & enjoy about what you do?
Write down 3 positive things or ways that your business gives to people, serves people or the community or makes a difference on any level, large or small.
What next action could you take to make a difference to yourself, your business, your team, or your customers that requires courage?
Whatever you do next, may your heart be fully in it, if it isn’t, then be a resting warrior. The fire will return.
From my heart to yours, big love, Amanda G
#courage #fire #elementalleadership