This article originally appeared in Forbes on May 16, 2019. Please click here to view original article.
Degrees. Promotions. Bonuses.
In our run-faster, get-as-much-as-you-can world, confidence is an important ingredient in the recipe of success. It fuels us to accomplish just one more thing. It drives us as we hustle for outward signs that we are worthy. It encourages us to develop the skills necessary to be competent, even an expert.
Yet, as I personally navigate life’s messiness and sit with corporate leaders every day who make a difference, I find that another kind of confidence is needed: courage-based confidence.
Courage-based confidence is the peace that comes from having done the inner work necessary to move through fears, lean into all emotions, accept painful truths and embrace your gifts in order to create the impact you are designed to have. It flows from failure and struggle. As a result of accepting this hard-earned wisdom, we experience a heightened sense of belonging to ourselves and hence others that directs our decisions and how we show up.
Take a moment to pause and think about the times you went within — the times you had to figure out what you were made of, pulling from an inner strength. This journey within takes courage. We learn that what we thought would break us actually remakes us. We trust that when life is falling apart, perhaps it is falling into place. We learn that if nothing changes, nothing changes.
With courage-based confidence riding shotgun, we can choose a life of meaning, practice gratitude in the face of difficulty and move forward with hope, even when others would totally understand if we sat this one out.
I have learned the importance of this courage from exceedingly talented executives who spend months looking for their next job, wondering how someone with their track record of results and transformative leadership could be passed over so many times. I have also learned the importance of this courage from whole teams that rally in the face of tremendous failures and change, and clients who share with me the personal struggles their families face behind closed doors, yet they still show up to work vulnerable, honest and determined to make a difference.
There are four beliefs that serve as cornerstones on which courage-based confidence is strengthened:
As you navigate chaos — whether it comes in the form of a corporate reorganization, starting a new position, terminating an employee whose behavior is unacceptable or dealing with a health crisis — what are you learning about yourself that you can share with others? What themes fill your days as you grow and evolve? What fears do you need to confront?
What is it you are willing to change so you don’t keep choosing the same ineffective, habitual patterns? How are you practicing rigorous self-honesty and encouraging others to do the same? Are you willing to change a behavior, set a boundary and rat on yourself in order to break free?
Nailing the numbers and having an innovative strategy is not enough to change lives. Bringing home the bacon does not matter if our families are traumatized by our interactions with them.
Go within. Own what is yours. Step away from what is not. Be the one who others see as an inspiration and a haven. It is within the struggles that our confidence in ourselves can grow into a battle cry focused on emotional wholeness, mental well-being and spiritual strength. This is the battle cry that changes lives and cultures, at home and at work. This is the battle cry of courage-based confidence.
Karen is currently writing a book about how the power of connection can transform leaders into catalysts, groups into teams, and businesses into places where people lean in to courage, clarity, and compassion.
During this time of sanitizing wipes, hands made raw from washing, and lighting many a candle, let’s take a page out of the playbook of a global team our firm has worked with for many a moon. Their success is built on a myriad of strengths which include the ability to navigate chaos with courage and wisdom, using it as a catalyst for transformation.