Recently I traveled from Scottsdale, AZ to Boston, MA. The trip took me approximately 6 days and I covered roughly 2600 miles. As I was driving I realized there were quite a few similarities between various life lessons about confidence and my experience making the trek across the country.
This move meant so much more to me than just changing my geographical location and heading back to my hometown because in so many ways I also felt it was an expression of my own coming home to myself. I decided to make significant changes in my business in addition to the significant change in my latitude and longitude and I honestly couldn’t be happier.
I decided to compile my thoughts in a five part blog series entitled Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost : Life Lessons on Confidence (from a cross-country road trip).
This is Part II:
3. Celebrate the Small Victories
On the first day of driving, I made it to Albuquerque, NM (coming from AZ). I was tired from the long drive and making sure I was still going in the right direction (I lost service (and GPS) for more than two hours at one point), but when I got to the hotel and had settled in without any acknowledgement of how far I actually had gotten, I started having thoughts of “but I’m only in Albuquerque, I could be driving right now”.
I think sometimes (ok, most times) we get so focused on our larger goal or on making something happen on a grand scale that we forget to stop and celebrate along the way. I think we’re fearful that if we celebrate too early that we’ll give up.
It’s no different when building confidence. If the end goal is to be able to feel confident enough to leave your job and start your own business but the “only” steps you’ve taken so far are getting your first client and setting up your website it can be tempting to focus on the fact that you’re still at your full time job when the reality is that getting your first client can be one of the most challenging obstacles you’ll face and something to be completely celebrated.
So I would invite you to think about where you can celebrate the steps you’ve made in boosting your confidence even by one degree today? What did you do differently or what did you do that you wouldn’t have done before? Once you have your thing(s), set a timer for 1 minute and just acknowledge that you did it. If you need to, you can remind yourself that you’re doing this not with the intention that you’re stopping or slowing down, but instead that you’re cheering yourself on along the way.
4. Consistency is King
As I continued on my journey from Albuquerque to Tulsa, OK I realized that the only way I was going to get there was by settling in and just driving. I had started out passing the cars that I felt like were going less than a desirable speed, and making sure that I was leading the pack so to say. I continued this way for a few hours until it was time for a bathroom break. As I pulled back onto the freeway, I came upon a car that I had annoyingly jumped ahead of miles and miles back. In that moment, I realized that all my “leading of the pack” hadn’t gotten me anywhere. This car, on the other hand, had probably been doing the same speed all along, and arrived at the same stopping point that I had just a moment or two afterwards.
After that, I backed off, and started using the cruise control. Set at an even 75 mph (the speed limit, thank goodness on most of the major cross country roads), I arrived to my destination, on time peacefully, and most importantly, in one piece.
How does this apply to building confidence? Because how often do you do something that scares you and feel really good about it only to hide in the comforts of your routine or what’s familiar the next day? Or you reach out to make a collaboration or submit a piece of content to get published only to fall off the face of the earth for the next three weeks? This is the same as my rushing to pull ahead of the traffic only to get back on the freeway next to the same car I had passed before.
Where could you be more consistent in your efforts to build your confidence? Could you break your goal down into smaller pieces so that each time you accomplish a little nugget it’s a boost in the right direction? What would it look like if you did?
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