Individuals, teams and organisations want to feel confident in themselves and in their interactions with others, but we need to ask ourselves at what cost?
With a desire to always be 100% confident in what we do, it is very likely that we will seek to operate well within our existing levels of competency. No testing of ideas, no questioning of values, no examination of systems or processes with little or no development or growth. Always in our comfort zone and yes, feeling supremely confident as we do so.
In a study that I carried out previously that involved feedback from 35 CEOs and Senior Executives/Managers there was an almost universal acceptance that the wider operating environment was currently undergoing rapid change. Despite this, more than 61% of respondents in the study were reportedly adopting the exact same leadership style that they had always done, in some cases for many decades.
After all, it was this tried and tested approach that had gotten them to the position that they now found themselves in and their self-confidence was heavily dependent upon it.
Today, the complexity and pace of change in which we all operate is more challenging than ever. Our rate of day to day certainty is down while the levels of expectation from clients/customers/regulatory bodies etc. significantly up.
In such a climate, how better might it be for us to sacrifice our need for confidence and instead act with genuine courage? To value courageousness over confidence and to willingly embrace temporary levels of discomfort.
In doing so, we proactively test taken for granted assumptions, try new approaches and continuously seek out new and better solutions. We look outwards, lead and respond with greater levels of flexibility.
Through embracing courage rather than prioritising confidence, we shine a light on those aspects of ourselves which we typically try to avoid and our performance both individually and collectively improves as a result. We sacrifice our own self confidence temporarily for more meaningful and long term personal growth.
We should remember that those that are most certain are more closed to learning and that confidence is indeed overrated. Instead, be brave and understand the importance of prioritising courage over confidence. As Epicurus once said ‘You don’t develop courage by being happy in your relationships everyday. You develop it by surviving difficult times and challenging adversity’.
create10 supports individuals, teams and organisations in finding courage and enhancing their performance through one to one executive coaching, impactful workshops and online courses. See www.create10.ie to learn more.