“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams…”
Thanks, Henry David Thoreau, but what if I don’t have the confidence yet?
Here’s what I propose, “Go in the direction of your dreams…one shaky step at a time.”
“I’ve been afraid every single day of my life, but I’ve gone ahead and done it anyway.” ~Georgia O’Keefe
When I was twenty-three, my dream was in the form of a blue-eyed boy named Nick in my real estate class.
He was gorgeous and I mean the kind of piercing blue eyes that make a girl’s palms sweat and cheeks blush at the sight of him.
I can’t believe I even learned anything in class but he was a damn good excuse to show up every day (and to apply an extra layer of lip gloss every 20 minutes.)
We didn’t exchange words for the whole three weeks, just a lot of stalking looks on my part and he threw a few casual glances my way.
At the end of week three, we took our final exams and I turned mine in.
I looked around and noticed he wasn’t there.
Nick, where art thou Nick?
I booked it out of the lecture room and took off down the hall, frantically looking around.
It turned out that he was finishing the test in a nearby room, free of distractions.
I walked by, saw him alone in there and fear struck my heart.
The universe had definitely thrown me a bone.
It was now or never.
The familiar rambling inner critic voice reared her head but I didn’t stay in my head.
Instead I reined in the huge rush of fear adrenaline and took action.
“You’ll always miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” ~Wayne Gretzky
I nervously walked into the room.
He looked up from his test and did not smile.
Oh shit, what was I doing?
I smiled like a crazy woman and scampered over to the desk where he was sitting.
Voice shaking, I blurted out “Hi, I’m Devon.”
He said hi and that his name was Nick.
I already knew his name but I didn’t tell him that.
“Don’t mean to bother you, but, ummm, I don’t know if you’re spoken for or not but, ummmm, would you ever want to get coffee sometime?”
I shut my mouth and stopped stammering.
He grinned a little, put his pen down, sat back in his chair and replied, “Umm, haha, no I’m not spoken for and yeah that sounds cool.”
I almost passed out, I was holding my breath at this point.
“Great!!! What’s the best way to get in touch with you?”
OMG, I sounded like I was at a networking event.
“Here I’ll give you my number.”
He wrote down his number and I tried to control myself.
Walked backward right into a chair and almost fell over.
Blushing like wildfire, I sheepishly grinned and said “Awesome, I’ll text you!”
I spun around like I’d just won the lottery.
Walked outside, got into my car and started fist pumping.
I was so PROUD of myself for just doing it.
We ended up dating for two years.
Point is, I was a nervous wreck.
If I had waited until confidence came, I would have been dead in the water because it never came.
Fear was pulsing through me but I took action in spite of it.
Instead of letting it paralyze me I used it for fuel.
I took one small step for womankind and one huge step for Devon.
My confidence muscles were weak and flabby at the time.
But they got their first real workout that day.
“Do one thing every day that scares you.” ~Eleanor Roosevelt
And I’ve been building the confidence muscles ever since.
One day and one step at a time. In different areas of my life.
How do you build yours?
Is it saying “NO” to something you really don’t want to do?
Is it saying “YES” to something you normally never would do?
What’s something you could take action on that’s a complete 180 degree difference of what you’d normally do?
Instead of letting fear paralyze you, take advantage of the enormous energy it has behind it.
Channel it into action. Act on it and confidence will follow, I guarantee it.
So go talk to that person. Or leave a conversation that doesn’t feel good to you.
Email the person who has the amazing job you’d want to do someday and ask to take them out to coffee.
Or ask the dude you’ve been crushing on to go out to coffee.
Sign up for the class at the nearby community college. Speak up in class, in the boardroom or in the bedroom.
“Take risks: if you win, you will be happy; if you lose, you will be wise.” ~ Anonymous
Here’s what I suggest: Just GO in the direction of your dreams.
Trembling in your boots. Or high heels. Or tennis shoes.
With a shaky voice, sweaty palms and heart pounding with fear of failure, success, being judged, looking stupid, the unknown.
If you’re scared of trying something, that’s a good sign.
Means it’s a risk worth taking and you are headed in the right direction.
“The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.” ~ Joseph Campbell
So what do YOU think? Can you relate? Is fear keeping you from moving forward?
Your confidence will build over time but FIRST you gotta take action.
What’s ONE thing you can do this week to move forward toward your dream in spite of fear?
I’d love to hear in the comments below so that I can support you!
Giddy up and let’s do this!