When I was twenty- eight years old I told myself I needed to stop wasting time daydreaming about being a songwriter. I remember distinct conversations with myself, talking right at my heart and saying, “Stop your moaning. Be grateful for what you have. Get on with your fabulous life.” In reality I was terrified of failing at what I really wanted to do. Failure was too horrible an option. I had no confidence in my ability to succeed. So I buried my dreams and walked away from them.
The problem was my dreams were me. It wasn’t possible to remain me and walk away from my dreams. They followed me everywhere. And I couldn’t bury them, they’d just poke up out of the ground and trip me while I was trying to walk away.
It’s not really possible to bury our dreams. So what are we to do?
Face them? Make friends with them? Invite them for tea now and again? Yes, yes and yes.
Ten years (give or take) to overnight success.
“Confidence is 98% of ability, maybe 100.” Having confidence means we are open to making mistakes, we’re able to move on and learn from those mistakes, we’re willing to share our accomplishments without fear of humiliation or loss. We own our accomplishment. We’ve earned our confidence.
When I realized I had to face my dream to be a songwriter, and before I had any confidence, this idea made sense to me. Confidence sounded like what I needed more than anything in the world. more than good health or a car. Confidence was going to make me a winner. So I practiced when I had the time, I worked on my skills. and I kept that aim to ‘be confident’ as a guiding principle.
I found out that confidence is a result of, well, many things, but in general and according to experts, an average of ten thousand hours of working on one thing. Or as I’ve heard many successful people say, “It took me ten years to achieve overnight success.”
What do you want to spend ten thousand hours doing?
That is the question you need to answer for yourself; what do you want to spend a minimum of 10 thousand hours doing in order to gain the ability to share your accomplishment with the world. If you can name one thing, what would you want to gain confidence doing?
If you’re still not convinced that spending time doing one thing will give you confidence, here’s a fun exercise that takes about an hour of daydreaming to prove it to yourself.
- Make a list of your greatest accomplishments over the past 10 years -whatever pops into your head. Don’t labour and think too much. Just start writing your list -it can be long or short.
- Make a new list with just the accomplishments you are most proud of, those that make you feel happy.
- Write ’10 Years’ in the centre of a blank piece of paper and circle it. Then begin to plot out your list of accomplishments you are most happy about. Your sheet might look something like this.
- From 1 to 10, where 1 is ‘No Effort’ and 10 is ‘Every Effort’, rate the effort you put into each accomplishment.
- From 1 to 10 where 1 is ‘Zero Confidence and 10 is ‘Super Confidence’. Rate your level of confidence in each of these accomplishments. Your rating, your choice. (ie you can’t be wrong!)
- Look at your list of accomplishments again, and with each one answer this simple question, ‘Did I really enjoy working on this?’ Rate your level of enjoyment, 1 to 10, where 1 is ‘Zero Enjoyment’ and 10 is ‘Super Enjoyment’.
Do you see when we’re heading here? ” There’s a correlation between doing what we love and confidence.
The trick is to find what it is you love to do. Maybe you’re like I was and need to learn to allow yourself to do what you know you love to do. Or maybe you’re like I was before that and wouldn’t admit to myself what I really wanted to do. I was stuck in doing what I thought I ‘should’ do, and saw doing what I wanted to do as self-centred and mean. None of those are true. They were just negative ideas that kept me stuck in not just doing what I love.
Face your dream and work hard doing what you love.
Sending thoughts of Peace and Love.
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