IF WE DO NOT DO NEW THINGS, MEET NEW PEOPLE, TRY NEW EXPERIENCES, WE DON’T GROW.
‘Stay afraid, stay safe’ it screams at us. It’s so much nicer here than it is outside the comfort zone.
Except, it’s not. If we do not do new things, meet new people, try new experiences, we do not grow. We, instead, become resentful, feeling this sensation that we are not living up to our potential, but stuck in place. So, feel the fear…do it anyway. After all, hearing ‘no’ is not the worst thing that could happen. Being mauled by a wild animal if you venture outside your door, much more scary.
And honestly, what are the chances that will happen to you in the 21st Century?
What do Oprah, Coke, Amazon, Google, The Kardashians (yes, I went there), Safaricom, etc have in common? What images do they evoke and what is at the heart of building a strong, enduring brand?
The hallmarks of my teen years were pen-pals and call-boxes, waiting outside Kenya Cinema plaza for over an hour for friends who were running late (yes, I know my age is telling here). 20 short years later, we can speak with a group of people from 5 different continents, simultaneously, and we can build communities, tribes.
This interconnectedness is at the heart of building individual brands that are distinct from our employers and the various groups that we are part of – a brand that is uniquely YOU. What is your brand, and what does it say? Does it scream trust – the new currency – or is there a gap between what you want it to be and where it’s at now?
Is confidence a factor of nature or nurture? Are there people who were just born that way?
It’s a little bit like asking whether leaders are born or made, isn’t it? But we know that as we grow up, we learn more about ourselves and about relating, inspiring and connecting with people and we start tosee our leadership traits emerge more strongly and distinctly.
It’s the same way with confidence. The first time you raise your hand and stand up to share a particularly important insight in a room full of your superiors, you’re probably deathly scared of being laughed out of the room. Then you realize that the adrenaline rush is thrilling and you want to do it again, and again, and again.
Confidence is one of those things we have to continuously work towards, all the while ignoring the almond-sized part of your brain, the amygdala, that tells you to play small – much safer that way. In fact, when you feel like holding back, THAT is when you must push past the resistance.