Becoming Confident

“Confidence is all about being postive concerning what youcan do and not worrying over what you can’t.”

A friend posted this on Twitter last night and it really resonated with me. Yesterday was a rough day for me. I started a new position at work that I’m really excited to be in and that I’m confident I will be able to do well. However, before work, I started worrying over all the aspects of the job that I don’t know or am not fully comfortable with yet. Mind you, yesterday was my first official day in this position and there’s still some training I need, so I shouldn’t expect myself to know everything at this point but I totally do! Throughout my shift I kept comparing myself to other fitness coaches and getting discouraged that I wasn’t as confident as they were or that I didn’t have an easy comraderie with the members as  they did. Hellllooooo! It was my first day AND I was working at a club I’ve never worked at before. How on earth did I expect myself to have the comfort and relationship with the members that other coaches have when I’m in a brand new position at a brand new club??

Unrealistic expectations. I was setting myself up for failure by focusing on all the things I didn’t know how to do. I’m friendly, sweet, relatable, and I have a killer smile. Why wasn’t I focusing on those things? It didn’t matter if I didn’t know the members or had to ask where to put paperwork after I filled it out. Everyone knows I’m new and understands. I should have been walking around the club meeting members and standing outside of classes before they started trying to encourage people to join the class. That’s what I’m good at. Instead, I was sitting in my office crippled by the fear of all the things I didn’t know. 

Confidence is like an article of clothing; you have to put it on when you get up in the morning. Sometimes it’s like a mask and you use it to cover up what you’re really feeling. Confidence comes naturally to some, but I think most of us have to work at it. I was told when I was hired for this position that part of being a good coach is being confident. It doesn’t matter if you know what you’re doing or not just pretend you do. I blew that one last night, but I won’t today! And I really think that’s how confidence works – sorta fake it ’til you make it. If you’re confident in yourself, others will have confidence in you too. Plus, if you walk around like you have a purpose, nobody can tell that you’re just desperately trying to find the bathroom in a club you’ve never worked in before.

I guess I must be kinda decent at this because when I was in the process of interviewing for this position I told the VP that I’m not outgoing. He looked pretty thrown off and asked why I would say that. I told him that it’s difficult for me to start conversations with people I don’t know and that meeting new people makes me uncomfortable. I was working at the front desk of the club at that point, and he pointed out that having conversations with people is what I do everyday. I thought about it and figured, well, that’s my job. I can do it when it’s my job to do it. My comment about not being outgoing must have stuck with him becasue he brought it up in another meeting a week later. What I discovered is that by forcing myself to be outgoing in work situations, I’ve developed a persona that seems outgoing. Maybe I’m becoming outgoing. Who knows? All I know is that by pushing myself out of my comfort zone at work I become a more outgoing person. Confidence is the same way. If I appear to be confident and know exactly what I’m doing, people will see that and have confidence in me. And, eventually, I will know exactly what I’m doing. It’s also okay to not know what you’re doing and to ask questions when you need to. That’s something I also need to remember. Asking questions doesn’t mean I’m dumb or incompetent. It just means I’m smart enough to know when I’ve come to the limits of my knowledge and need  help from an outside source.

So today I’m going to go to work confident in all the things I do know and who I am, but not be afraid to ask questions and learn new things!

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