I think often about courage and confidence, courage vs. confidence, how they are connected, and which of them is necessary for the other. This is a topic I’ve thought about for years and probably warrants its own blog post rather than a paragraph or two here…stay tuned for that! As I came across these bits of inspiration however, I thought I’d keep the pondering light and get your thoughts and feedback as I consider writing and exploring more on the topic on my blog.
I have heard people, friends, and clients tell me they need to have confidence before they attempt the endeavor they want to undertake, whether starting a business, writing a book, creating a product, or seeking a new job or promotion. I remember having the thought myself, “If only I had the confidence to do…” or “Doing this certificate or program will give me the confidence to do…” or “I wish I had the confidence that person has…then I would do…”
Then I started thinking, especially after I had a stroke and then proceeded to run the Boston Marathon, and people asked me, “How did you have the confidence to do that?” Well, I didn’t have the confidence. Confidence implies some guarantee. What I realized is that my experiences with other health and personal challenges had given me the courage to try, the courage to work hard, and the courage to attempt the feat.
I didn’t know how it would work out. I remember some of the fearful thoughts that went through my head as I went running and swimming for the first time, post-stroke, “What if something happens and I can’t call for help? What if something happens and no one notices I need help?” But run after run, and swim after swim, and a little research, and a little faith and reflection, I mustered the courage to challenge the fears and give the Boston Marathon a try. I made it to the finish line.
Four years later, I had been running but hadn’t signed up or trained for any official events. Four years of running consistently longer distances gave me the courage to finally register for the Newport Marathon 2022 and put the stroke behind me. As I mentioned in my June Three Thoughts, I crossed the finish line again, this time with my two boys. I gained another experience to add to my container of courage. This container of experiences and courage I’ve collected over the course of my life has given me the confidence to question fear and walk through it to at least try the endeavor I want to take on. There are no guarantees, but I have learned, that I can be confident, not in the outcome, but in my ability to learn from, overcome, and handle whatever the outcome may be. The lack of confidence in the outcome is no match for courage, and courage has amassed the experiences necessary for a deeper understanding of confidence, and a strengthening of my resolve and courage. I’ve come to believe confidence comes from having the courage to challenge fears.
What do you think? How do you define confidence? How do you define courage? Are they connected for you, and if so, how? Do you have more of one than the other? Why? What challenges might you be facing or not facing that need your attention? Are you waiting for confidence or courage? Where might you find what you seek in yourself, in your experiences thus far, to help you step into the challenge and try? What might you do to face down your fears? What beliefs do you need to shed in order to become limitless?
Quote I’m pondering:
“The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek”
~ Joseph Campbell
What I’m listening to:
This month’s favorite podcast comes again from The Good Life Project with host, Jonathan Fields and Guest, Jake Wesley Rogers.
Vogue Magazine named today’s guest, Jake Wesley Rogers, Gen Z’s Elton John, but truth is, he is a wildly-talented, 25-year-old singer, songwriter, and performer who not only dazzles audiences but also stands powerfully in an identity that belongs to no one other than himself. How a queer kid from Springfield, Missouri, went from growing up in the deep South, then studying songwriting in Nashville, TN, to eventually gracing the stages of music festivals like Lollaplooza, headlining for artists like Panic At The Disco! And Ben Platt isn’t all that of a mystery once you hear his music – and his story.
Jake has this unique way of creating bold, emotional music that tells the stories of his life, yet feels universal at the same time. He invites us all to feel and sing and move and, in no small way, reclaim the parts and stories in our own lives that we’ve left behind. Elton John, himself, sang Jake’s praises while he was a guest on the 300th episode of Elton’s Apple Music radio show, Rocket Hour, saying Rogers reminded him of himself when he started out. And, all the while, what you’ll experience in this conversation, is how deeply grounded, loving, and intentional he is with everything he does.
In today’s conversation, we dive into Jake’s journey in music and life and explore some of the lyrics of his recently released six-song EP Pluto, which has been long-awaited since his signing to hit songwriter Justin Tranter’s imprint of Warner Records, Facet Records, in 2020. We unpack the art of songwriting and storytelling and its ability to help us process difficult experiences and explore some interesting asides on identity, finding inspiration, his connection and love for his family, and how important it is for Rogers to keep himself centered and present as the rocket shit that has become his career as an artist takes off.
His EP “Pluto” is filled with passionate ballads and poetic lyrics that tell the stories of his most formative years and dealings with love of all forms—from romantic to familial to self-love. And though Jake is early in the years, he’s deeply wise, we can all learn something from his outlook not just on storytelling but on gratitude, joy, and taking life in stride.
If you LOVED this episode you’ll also love the conversations we had with Justin Tranter about their life in music and creativity and really finding a place of power and beauty and creative expression.
What I’m reading:
By Laura Gassner Otting
Limitless will help you get “unstuck” – and achieve extraordinary results. This book is like a high-energy masterclass and brainstorming session all in one – with actionable tips to transform your vision for your career and do work with purpose.
What if success doesn’t equal happiness? Many of us spend our lives pursuing a singular idea of success, one that was created for us by someone else. We give votes to those who shouldn’t even have voices and strive to go faster and faster even as we find ourselves falling further and further behind. We chase gold stars, we check all the boxes, we lean in – and we still feel incomplete.
This is not a story about failure, but it might as well be. When we don’t define success in our own terms, finding our purpose, and carving our own path becomes impossible. How do you break the cycle so that you can be better at work and life?
In this book, Laura Gassner Otting teaches you how to ignore the rules that created your limits, align your energies and your actions, and do work that really matters so that you can live your best life. Often described as “a kick in the ass surrounded by a warm hug”, Laura brings both tough love and wisdom and offers a no-holds-barred look at what it really takes to get out of your own way and earn your success today.
If you ever dreamed about discovering and crushing that personal goal that is so big and so scary that you’ve only dared whisper it to yourself, this audiobook is the permission you didn’t even know you needed to live into it as only you can.
You can sign up to receive my Three Thoughts for Thursday post as an email on the third Thursday of every month by clicking here.
Women local to the Seattle area, you are invited to attend Savor the Sweetness on September 17th. For more information and to RSVP, please click here.
Please check out my latest blog post, The Problem of Intentions, Also check out my post, Be Careful, Recipes and Inspiration Yield Different Results! and my July edition of Three Thoughts for Thursday, as well. In light of my continued theme on process, you may also be interested in my series, Lessons of the Run – Endurance, Resilience, Rest, and Grit. And if you could stand to hear more about processes and patterns, stay tuned for an upcoming expanded post on Examining the Process – Behind the Drive.
If you are interested, or know someone who may be interested, I also offer leadership and emotional intelligence coaching and workshops. You can find more information on my website, or you can use this link to set up a free 30-minute introduction to coaching session.
Beginning last year, in April 2021, I have had the privilege of Co-Hosting with Kathy Hadizadeh, the Emotional Intelligence Special Interest Group for ICFLA. Please join us for August’s session on Tuesday, the 23rd of the month, Integrating Empathy in Coaching, as we workshop, define, and practice the art of empathy.
For more information on the next “EQ and WooWoo” workshop (Thursday, September 22nd) with my colleague and Spiritual Coach, Katie Kay, please email me or RSVP. This workshop series is designed to help you manifest action towards the year you want to live, the person you want to be, and the goals you want to achieve. We will be hosting quarterly sessions that intertwine the use of Tarot (and other Woowoo tools) and Emotional Intelligence to help you and your clients step outside the box in order to take your coaching and personal work deeper. September will focus on Relationship Management, harvesting what you’ve planted, and continuing to care for the relationships you are building and maintaining.
If you are interested in joining and co-creating these learning communities, please use the links above to find out more about ICFLA’s Emotional Intelligence Special Interest Group and the EQ & WooWoo Workshops. I hope you will come along for the journey!
I’m always looking for new inspiration, new books to read, and new podcasts to listen to, so please send your suggestions my way or comment on this post to offer some new recommendations!
As always, thank you for your continued support and readership! Stay strong, stay brave, stay true to you!
Wishing you a season of courage and confidence to face fears holding you back!