Thursday, October 2, 2014

It's a Confidence Thing

Yesterday, I had to drop off my car for some repairs that are going take a week or two, so I needed to pick up a rental car in the meantime.  The rental company was nice enough to meet me at the repair shop and shuttle me to their location to pick up the car.  The driver was a younger gentleman and we had a nice chat on the ride over.  At some point he mentioned his colleague was picking up the car he thought was going to be mine and it was an SUV.  I immediately just blurted out 'Oh, I can't drive an SUV'. Hahaha So smooth Jilly, really.  He started giggling and said 'Aww I'm sure you can.  It's just a confidence thing.  It's all in your head'.  Wise words my man, wise words.  You see, I drive a tiny little economy size car.  It's petite just like me and super fuel efficient, which I love.  It's totally within my comfort zone and that's the way I like it [TYPICAL].  I don't like change.  I mean, I'm getting better with it in general, but still.  Fear of change is just human nature, but it's something we must overcome again and again in our lives to grow. 
Anywhooo, getting back to my story.  So, we finally get to the rental car site and this wise sage drops me off at the office.  After being checked in by another nice gentleman, and having apparently learned nothing from my exchange with the driver, I nonchalantly tell this guy that there's a rumor going around that my rental is going to be an SUV.  'Oh no, he says, we've got you in a [insert large family sedan model here]'.  And once again, I come back with, 'Oh, that's pretty big isn't it? I don't think I can drive that'.  Hahaha what is wrong with me?!  So yada, yada, yada he's handing me paperwork, I'm signing my life over, and we go out to inspect the car.  And I'm walking around thinking this thing is boat sized and ask the man if they have anything smaller.  'No, unfortunately this is all we have today.  You'll do fine.  It's all about confidence!'.  Deja vu and worst student of life ever right here.  I love when the Universe has to SHOUT lessons at me. 
So I drive the boat/family sedan/ok, actually normal size car home last night going about 20 mph under the speed limit and acting like I have no idea how to maneuver a vehicle, even though I've been successfully operating them since the age of 16.  As you may have predicted, I survived and made it home in one piece.
That night I thought about the eerily similar message given to me that afternoon by two separate people and it was of course, as these things usually are, just right for me at that time.  I am not the most confident person.  Even when doing things I inherently know I'm good at, I still doubt myself, and especially downplay my strengths when talking to other people.  I take modesty and humility to the extreme but I also think there is a little voice inside of me on many occasions telling me I'm probably going to fail. 
The thing is, if you don't have confidence in yourself, why should anyone else?  Thinking you can is half the battle.  If you doubt yourself going into something, you're already placing yourself at the back of the pack.  Think about the hiring process for any type of job.  No one wants to hire or place their trust in someone who comes off as unsure and insecure in their abilities.  Why would you hire someone, for example, to paint your house whose best sales pitch is that they'll give it a shot but it'll probably come out wrong?!  In the same way, if you go into a race doubting your training and ability, you're already setting yourself up for failure.
Downplaying your own abilities and planting the seeds of your doubt in everyone else's mind will not get you anywhere you want to go.  In running, in your career, or just in your LIFE.  I know this, yet I continue to do it.
I'm sure this is part of the reason I have hesitated in taking some next steps in my life.  I like my comfort zone.  Don't we all?  But there is no growth or reward to be had in comfort.
The lesson was heeded (for now at least) and things changed as I got back into the rental car this morning.  I stepped into that thing a whole new person, and drove that behemoth of a family sedan like I OWNED that b**ch. 
I'm ready world.  Bring on the SUVs.
How self confident are you?
What holds you back from being more confident in your abilities?
What do you do to boost your confidence when doing something new or hard?

1 comment:

  1. Love it--such an important lesson and question to ask yourself: If you don't think you can, why should anyone else? It's like smiling--you are more likely to be happy if you smile, and you are more likely to invite the good in by smiling because people are attracted to that energy.
    I would say that I am pretty self confident in many things, and very NOT in some. Often I do things, and then question the heck out of my actions. I think that sometimes, you just have to go for it--once you jump in, you are already wet. Might as well swim about for a while. The body and mind are wired to survive--let them take over if need be!