Let me ask you a question…have you ever been afraid? Now, I don’t mean afraid of the dark or afraid of a scary movie…I mean have fear that changing or trying something new could result in failure? Scary, right? I have to admit, I have been there…more than once in my 51 years. And, although not comfortable, it forced me to learn…to face the breakthrough that was coming for me. And, it resulted in my confidence growing…every single time!
When I became a teacher, of course I thought I knew what I was doing, but I sure didn’t. I quickly realized it about 5 days in….and not only was I uncomfortable, but I sure was scared. Afraid that I was going to fail and worse yet, ruin the lives of my 4th grade students. At the time, I knew there was only two things I could do…allow myself to fail because I did not have the skills to achieve, or I could learn and gain the skillset needed to be the best teacher I could be. After 27 years in and currently a school principal, you can tell which choice I made!
Becoming a mom was really no different. I had no idea what I was doing, like most first time moms….and I was worried every day that I was going to do something that would result in my child being less than she was capable of in life. So, I learned everything I could…and when something didn’t go right, I reflected and adjusted so that I could feel much more confident in being her parent.
Then came my divorce…I sure didn’t know how to live alone, be a parent that kept my daughter and I on the right track, and learn how to be single. I was not only afraid…I was terrified! I remember a time when I went to the grocery store soon after the split, worried that everyone who saw me that day would have this sense that I was newly single, because my partner no longer wanted me. Talk about a confidence squasher! But, once again, I learned more about my part in the split, I learned how to sleep alone, and I even learned how to love myself again…and this is when I realized that after each of these times of change, the more competent I had become, the more confidence I had.
As I blog and begin to transition into this coaching world, I try to write and speak as if I am talking to my younger self…and giving the best support I could to her. So, today, I share this to say, competence really does equal confidence. The more you learn, the more you experience, the more comfortable you get with a new situation, the better you will feel. The more skill you will have when the unknown arises, and trust me, the better you will be at handling these new experiences and showing up as your best self. So, how do we develop competence? Great question!
In my years, especially as a teacher at heart, the first thing I do is learn. I research, I listen, I learn from others who have done it or can teach it. As I am learning, however, I remember that sometimes learning is more about theory, and we must remember the real world is not necessarily a text book type of situation. So, once I have learned the skills, I am sure to find ways to apply them…even if it requires me to practice with my own daughter or even the dog! The more I can internalize the skills, the more I can apply…and as any good teacher knows, application is how we know we have acquired the skill. Now, I also wouldn’t be a great teacher if I didn’t follow this last step…I then try to teach to others. I have always believed, in and out of the classroom, that if you can teach it to another, then you have completely internalized the information.
These are a few of my suggestions as you begin to make change in your world. Change is not easy…learning these new skills is not easy…but with the right mindset and the right plan to help you gain the confidence you need, you can make any change happen! Trust me…you are powerful and you deserve to live a life you love! Until next time! Cheri ❤️