The enthusiasm is palpable. I see energy in the actions. The new gym membership. The new meditation practice. The new juicer. My coaching calendar fills with appointments.
Recovering from the holiday hullabaloo, we set our sights on the year ahead. Some set SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time-based) goals. Some identify intentions. Some resolve to be better or do better.
Some simply pick a single word. One focus for the year.
Regardless of the strategy, in a few weeks or a few months, many of us will have not only lost the zest of the new year, we will have completely forgotten what were once sincerely pledged promises.
I’ve set hundreds of goals in my life. Many small. Some giant. I’ve hit the mark on enough of them that a few years ago I told myself I needed no more mandatory achievements. While I would continue to set meaningful goals, I gave myself permission to no longer have to prove myself to the world by doing more. (Not that the world was asking.)
So why did the word “Confidence” come calling as my surprise word of the year?
As a woman who is closer to the end of her career than the start, my crossed off list of To Do’s is respectable. Attorney, teacher, business owner, author, speaker, executive coach. I’ve enjoyed numerous awards as well as accolades from loved ones.
How could confidence be so compelling now?
Confidence is that feeling of self-assurance that one gets from appreciating her own qualities. When your life has focused on performing, the evidence of your worth appears obvious. A book with your name on the spine. A building or a business that says you built something of value. A baby grown up who makes you proud.
But what happens when instead of all the doing, you are focused on being. Being compassionate. Being loving. Being present. When there is less of the “doing” that can be counted in numbers and dollars and doing, how can we be assured of our value?
“How do you gain confidence?” I ask my clients. “Practice,” is their predictable reply.
I may not know how to grow confidence without doing. But this year I am willing to practice. I am confident that with continued practice, come this spring I will not have forgotten to be the person I promised myself I most want to be.
What will your word of the year be?
Is there something you will practice to gain more confidence?
What qualities do you have that you are confident you have?