Let's talk about confidence, shall we?
At the beginning of every year I like to sit down and do a bit of a 'year in review' - reflecting on the year just gone, and looking ahead to the coming 12 months. Setting goals, writing lists, that kind of thing. This year, after a ton of reflection (3 days' worth, in fact, talk about navel-gazing!) I decided that in 2018, my number one goal was to increase my confidence.
Fellow goal-setters will know that this is not a good achievement to strive for - "increase confidence" is such an ambiguous concept, there are no specific outcomes, no data you can measure, its not specific or time-bound or any of those other words that business gurus use when talking about SMART goals.
Yet, once I started thinking about it, I realised that a lack of confidence was at the root of a lot of the issues that I felt I had been struggling with in 2017. Once I drilled down further, I saw that there were in fact specific, tangible actions I could take, that were small enough to not feel terrifying, but when added all together, would hopefully result in my feeling just that little bit braver, and standing that little bit taller.
I thought of all the things that, if I did them, would make me feel that I was a more confident person - from small things like cooking something new, trying a reformer pilates class, or eating in a restaurant on my own, to bigger things that I felt carried more 'risk' for me like driving solo, presenting at work, or suggesting a meet-up with someone (does anyone else find this so difficult? The fear of rejection is real!!).
Tackling the small things first, and realising that any discomfort or humiliation I felt was all in my mind, made it easier to move on to the bigger tasks. The thing above all I wanted to do this year was to write more, write online (not just in a journal) and tell people about it.