Getting started: No confidence necessary!

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blogimg mar5 Getting started: No confidence necessary! Ahh, Mark Twain, how right you are! I don’t know about you, but I sometimes have trouble getting started. Since getting started is a critical step on the path of change from old habit to new (hopefully good!) habit, I figure we might need to spend a little bit of time exploring the perils of beginning forward movement.

Today, for example, I had some trouble motivating myself to do a painting project in my house. To say I am not a highly skilled painter would be a huge understatement. In fact, I would probably rather do any number of other household chores, and be able to do them at a higher level of expertise. This morning I found myself daydreaming about different projects I would rather do than paint: deep clean the kitchen, menu plan for the week, make my bathroom sparkle, finally re-arrange those shelves above the fireplace, anything, really, except paint.

Now why was I so hesitant to paint? Well, I am not good at painting. I don’t know how to paint well. It is messy. It seems intimidating. What if I do a bad job? Maybe I picked the wrong color! In short, I was hesitant to start because I didn’t feel confident about getting through the process. As my dear colleague and friend, Dr. Mel Restum likes to say, “Confidence is over-rated.” Confidence is often something we think we should have at the beginning of doing something new or different. This is a huge reason why so many of us don’t start! We aren’t sure of our skills, so we do nothing at all.

Confidence comes at the end of a learning curve, not at the beginning. Thus we need to notice we don’t feel confident and START ANYWAY! Go for it, learn as you go, test out your skills, make mistakes, correct your mistakes, do, do, do. (Or in my case today, paint, paint, paint). What happens when you start anyway? Well, often it gets you one step closer to getting done. Even if you don’t finish, at least you ignored your lack of confidence and started anyway. You may surprise yourself and get farther than you might have thought. I know I am happy to report that the painting project is pretty much done (final touch ups and room rearrangement tomorrow). Lovely color, two coats of paint, one extra unexpected trip back to the hardware store, and a fresh feeling in our house. Do I feel incredibly confident in my painting skills? No, I can admit I am not a great painter, but it got done (with tons of delightful help by the way) and for that I feel proud.

Thanks for reading ~  Dr. Carrie

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One Response to “Getting started: No confidence necessary!”

Melhim March 22nd, 2013 at 1:04 pm

Hi Dr Carrie,

Fun seeing the quote about confidence in your latest post.
Helping people get beyond our natural reticence to take actions in the face of e
emotions and thoughts suggesting that would be “dangerous” is one of the greatest challenges facing the human race. As a profession we are in the best position to share all the tools at our disposal to help people overcome these irrational fears. Unfortunately, our field is also stuck when it comes to doing this and I believe it has to do with our over valuing of talking as a vehicle for promoting change. We must do more than promote catharsis and share insights with our clients if we expect them to in their lives which we find difficult to do in our own. In fact, I’m reminded by another important qoute: talk is cheap. I think the best way to helping others with this problem is to identify things in our own lives we are uncomfortable doing and get ourselves to do them one at a time using whatever change faciliting tools we
can find. Then we can proudly say that we are “walking our talk.”
As you know Carrie, when it comes to growing one’s practice/business successful professions usually rely on a coach or mentor to teach and encourage us to take a series of scarey steps in order to achieve our dreams. I am very proud of you Carrie for continuing to strive to achieve yours. It is the best way for each off us to help the largest number of people possible.

Warmest Regards,

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