Risk before confidence

“Being willing to feel your feelings and face your fears are two of the risks you must be willing to take to gain confidence.  In order to gain confidence you must be willing to feel every feeling and take actions regardless of those same feelings.  But confidence doesn’t come first.  Risk does.  Therefore, the only way you will build confidence is to do the thing you fear.” ~Rhonda Britten

I recently made a decision about my future that involves a very high level of risk. Unfortunately for me, I am not implementing that decision for a couple of months yet, which gives me plenty of time to second- and third-guess that decision. My fears are constantly reminding me of all my past failures in an effort to preserve the status quo, and this just further undermines my confidence that I can really succeed at this risky endeavor that I have set before myself. As I continue to read about the Law of Attraction and the ways in which my feelings and beliefs affect the outcome of my efforts, my worries and fears increase as my confidence drops lower. How can I possible succeed when my confidence is low and my fear is high? This rapidly becomes one of the negative spirals that I’ve been hoping to transform.

The biggest help I’ve discovered so far is to add three small words to every internal reminder of past failures that my fear raises. Those three words are “up til now.” Those three words transform “I’ve always failed at …” to “up til now, I’ve always failed at …” This allows me to acknowledge the truth of the past that my fears are reminding me of but also frees me from being controlled by that past. “Up til now” points to the possibility that this time will be different from what I’ve done before. I feel the change in my body when I re-frame it this way; it feels lighter, more hopeful, filled with new opportunities.

One of the other interesting things this does for me, besides injecting a bit of hope for a better future outcome, is that it is refocusing my attention onto figuring out is, or can be, different about this time that will increase the odds of a better result. By forcing me to look at what habitual patterns might have contributed to former failures, it helps me to focus on new habits I can develop this time, new ways of thinking or acting that might be helpful, and in the process of doing that problem-solving, I find even more hope. There are things that are different this time. I am different now than I was in the past. My situation is different from anything I’ve faced before.  This refocusing then starts a positive spiral going as I gain hope and confidence from finding new ways of being that I can try.

This whole process keeps bringing me back to the famous quote: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results” (Rita Mae Brown). The only way that my future outcomes are going to be different from what I have experienced in the past is for me to do something different this time than I have before. In this case, one of the biggest things I am preparing to do this time that I have not done before is to face my fears head on and do so without the safety net of counting on someone else to save me. Up til now, I’ve never saved myself; I’ve never had to. Up til now, I’ve never taken a risk this big; I was waiting for a guarantee. Up til now, I’ve never had the confidence to try.  This time, I’m doing it differently. I’m facing the fear, I’m taking the risk, and the confidence will come as I watch myself succeed. And I will succeed this time! I’ve stopped the insanity and am doing something new.


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