Confident people typically have a pretty clear internal guidance system. A set of beliefs, guidelines, passions and desires that drive decision making, perseverance and the courage to put themselves out there. At least for me, it takes hard work to truly get to know myself: to regularly take time for reflection, ask myself difficult questions, learn to listen to myself, sit with discomfort, (good lord I sound like a serious split personality – me, myself and I sitting having coffee) journal, talk and work to understand who I am at my core. I’ve used the word “work” twice in this last sentence because it really is work. It doesn’t come easy, it doesn’t come fast and it can be uncomfortable.

And sometimes our values don’t become clear until they’re tested. Being a mom, going through a divorce, getting married again – this time to a woman – and being an entrepreneur have all challenged my sense of self, what I believe and how I want to show up in this world. I’ve had people tell me “you’re so brave” during significantly difficult times in my life, and each time it happened I wanted to laugh in their face. Bravery had nothing to do with it. It would have taken more courage and more energy to stay the course than to make the change.

Years and years of wading in and dredging through my personal crap have helped me get pretty clear on what I believe. And not just intellectual clarity, but more of a full on physical sensation of knowing. Mainly in my gut. I can intellectualize or rationalize or try to justify something all day, but as soon as I tune in to what my physical being is telling me, things become pretty clear, pretty quickly. I’m confident in what I need to be doing.

Which doesn’t mean it’s easy. In fact, my stupid gut is often telling me to do something that’s hard, gross, scary and almost always involving delayed gratification. I HATE delayed gratification. But I know it’s the right thing.

Next week I’ll be launching a free tool that will help you get more clarity on your values, beliefs and vision, which will increase your confidence in your decisions, yourself and where you’re going. Stay tuned!

At PowerHouse Performance we offer keynotes, half- and full-day programs in addition to one-on-one coaching to help leaders and employees improve resiliency, performance, confidence and health. Please let us know how we can help your organization.