During July 2020, here at Adaptaa, we have been exploring what it means to feel Confident. And what it means to feel Audacious, which is one step beyond confidence. It means taking risks, it means Dare TO Care, and knowing when to Dare AND Care and when to Dare and NOT care.
Caring is a fundamental human skill, but if you don’t care enough about yourself, you cannot care about others. That’s the paradox of life.
Confidence is NOT “They will like me.” Confidence is “I’ll be fine if they don’t.”
Humans are wired for social approval. We all like approval from others. It’s OK to want approval, it’s called being human. What’s NOT OK is NEEDING approval. When you care so much about what other people think of you, what you’re really saying is that “what you think of me, is more important than what I think of me”.
When you tell yourself that because others don’t like you, it means there’s something wrong with you, you give that person a lot more power than they deserve. You need to learn that another person’s opinion is just that – their opinion and that’s all it is. You must never give anybody that kind of power and control over you, because they will always have it. This is what I try to teach my kids, which is not an easy task, in the era of social approval and social acceptance measured by the number of likes on social media.
There’s a big difference between wanting approval and needing approval. When you need approval, it means you become powerless and ineffective when you don’t get it. You make other people’s opinions more important thank yours.
As a coach to high achieving leaders, what I have noticed is that people who get the most approval in life are the ones who care the least about it. They care most about staying congruent with their own values. And the ones who get the least external approval, are the ones who are always going after it.
So if you want approval, you need to understand the paradox of life – when you stop needing the approval of others, when you stop concerning yourself with what others think of you and start living in accordance with your own values and advance confidently in the direction of your own dreams, you will meet success.
And what that means is that success is not something that you can get in life. Success is an inner process. Success is something that you bring to everything you do in your life. It isn’t something you get out of what you do or what others think of you. And when you get that, and you learn how to make sense of your inner signals, then success will begin to chase you. Simple and not easy.
One of my favourite quotes is: “Success does not lead to happiness. Happiness leads to success.”
Some call synchronicity. When you are aligned with your deepest values and have the audacity to live your life in full accordance with those values, some unexplainable coincidences happen and success will come into your life in amounts that you never dreamt of before.
I am finishing off with the title of one my favourite Brene Brown’s books – live “Daring greatly! Have the courage to be vulnerable and transform the way you live, love, parent and lead.”
ADA, 14 July 2020