We’re not going to talk again until you have failed.
That was one of the last things I said to a client during a Coaching call. You see, he was playing life safe. Setting goals that were easily achievable and looked nice on paper. His accomplishments were good conversation pieces that kept people engaged and his ego in tact.
That’s not how I like to play when it comes to coaching. I serve high performers, people who desire to make a tangible impact on their life, their loved ones and their organization. When someone comes to me they are usually struggling in one or more of these areas: Rhythms, Pivots, or Confidence.
This client struggled with confidence. But Jason, he was accomplishing his goals, he was interesting to others, he wasn’t a bad person.
All true statements.
That’s not the game he committed to playing when he signed up. He was choosing the easy path, the path of least resistance on a regular basis and passing it off as something that required deeply of him. I knew this wasn’t the case. I knew he was holding back.
I challenged him week after week and he said he would dig deep and do something that challenged him. It didn’t matter to me if it was in the work place or in life. Just do something hard that challenges you.
I understand where he’s coming from. Over the past 20-30 years failure has become an identity that gets attached to the person who failed. Prior to 30 years ago, failure was an action. I wanted him to realize that failure is part of a life that is challenging, a life of growth.
I needed him to see that failure of a task, a goal, a project was not going to diminish him in the eyes of the people that really mattered in his home and work. We talked a couple of weeks later and he told me an amazing story of his epic failure.
The thing is; he did it with a smile on his face and a laughter that was more genuine than I had heard him in the previous couple of months. It was a smile and laughter that told me his confidence was coming back.
Confidence is something we all want. Too often we mask it with ego and bravado. We tell stories that sound bigger than they are to give a false confidence. True confidence has a settledness to it. An easy laugh, a smile, the ability to sit back and relax without being the center of the room/conversation.
Where are you masking confidence? For what purpose? Is it really the life you want?