Thursday, October 2, 2008
Crisis of Confidence
By Kirsten Scott
Don’t worry, I’m not going to talk about a credit crunch, or a financial meltdown, or bailout packages. Really. I promise! But I am going to talk about a crisis of confidence. A moment when you said – you know what? I’m not really sure I can do that.
I used to teach rock climbing and lead people through high ropes challenge courses. Inevitably, at some point during the course, I heard people say, “I can’t do that.” Usually, they said it right before they got over a particularly tough challenge. They said it when their energy, confidence, and strength were at their lowest. But then they reached down inside and did it. Every time.
It was amazing.
We lived for that sort of thing. It was our bread and butter, the stuff of legends, the reason we hung out in the trees for hours. We were all there waiting for that moment of truth, the turning point from, “I can’t,” to “Holy cow, I just did!”
Of course, a ropes course isn’t real life. It takes something most people find scary (heights), makes them physically safe, and then sets people up to accomplish amazing things. It’s the perfect controlled experiment in accomplishment. Life isn’t quite so perfect. Sometimes in life you aren’t wearing a harness, and when you step off a balance beam, you really fall off. Sometimes you try something really hard and don’t succeed.
But that’s good too, right? Because you can learn from that. You can become stronger, braver, and even tougher than if you’d never failed.
I used to tell people when they were climbing, “if you don’t fall, you aren’t trying hard enough. You haven’t picked the right route.”
So tell me – have you ever tried anything and failed? Ever had to dust yourself off and learn from your mistakes? Can failure be even sweeter than success? Or have you ever had a crisis of confidence that you resolved with a huge accomplishment? Ever succeeded against the odds? Please, restore our confidence and tell us all about it!
Delilah Marvelle wasn’t able to be with us today, but we’re trying to reschedule her guest spot. Until then, I’ll give a signed copy of her book to one lucky commenter!!
Posted by Kirsten at 1:27 AM