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What do Cliffs Have to do With Confidence? - by Joanna Lindenbaum


Imagine you are standing at the edge of a cliff. Deep inside you have a rising desire to jump. You know in your heart that if you could get to the other side of the canyon, there would be amazing gifts and rewards waiting for you. Gifts that would make your heart sing. You just know it.

However, you are scared to take the leap. For one thing, you have never jumped so far before. For another thing, you don’t actually know for a fact that you will make it to the other side.

So, do you take that leap to discover what you want in your heart?

We ALL have our metaphorical cliff-leaps that arise every now and again. These are the opportunities in your life that hold so much potential, so much promise, yet scare you because of the risks you would be taking. For example:

  • leaving a job with benefits in order to start your own business or an educational program
  • creating an internet dating profile and opening yourself up to new love even though putting yourself out there might lead to a broken heart
  • speaking the truth within you to friends and colleagues even though you have been hiding behind “being nice” for most of your life
  • moving away from family and friends to a new town, state, or country in order to follow a dream
  • asking for help on a project even though you are scared you will be perceived as weak by asking for support

How come the fear of the risks so often overpowers our pursuing our deepest desires?

Because we believe we need to have total confidence and skill in order to take those risks. How many times have you given up on pursuing an opportunity (in other words: not taken a risk) because you believed that first you needed to cultivate confidence in order to do it?

Here is a little known secret that is absolutely revolutionary:

You need to take the risk in order to cultivate the confidence.

You need to FIRST jump the cliff before feeling confident that you can do it.

It’s the ACT of taking the risk, of jumping, that actually builds the confidence and propels you to achieve your goal. You simply can not have it the other way around. If you already had the confidence, and you already knew exactly how things would turn out, then it wouldn’t be a risk.

Let me explain further: When I first started my business, I knew I needed to network in order to build my practice. But I never really networked before, and I didn’t know the first thing about it. What I did know, however, was that I was terrified to do it. I was scared of going to networking meetings and telling people about my coaching practice because I didn’t want them to reject me, or judge me. I was scared of making myself vulnerable by telling people about my work and that I was looking for business. It was a RISK for me to put myself out there without knowing how the networking would turn out.

Well, I can tell you now, five years later, that I am a great networker and I love doing it. I walk into a room and I am excited about the new people I am about to meet. I can also tell you that a good part of my income comes from my networking abilities and the ways that I take absolute joy in connecting with new people, hearing their stories, and attracting them to my practice.

The secret is: I didn’t WAIT until I was confident in my networking abilities before attending networking events. If I had done that, I would have waited forever! I developed and cultivated my networking skills by taking the risk and SHOWING UP. Showing up at the networking events, showing up for myself, showing up for the people that I could help through my coaching.

Was there the possibility of failure? Absolutely. Did I know what the heck I was doing when I started, or how things would turn out? Absolutely not. But I did know that if I didn’t take the leap, I would get nowhere. So, I took the leap. And took the leap again. And again. And again. Until I was very comfortable networking. I kept on leaping and risking and risking and leaping until networking became something that I was really good at.

So, I want to ask you a really important question:

What is the thing in your life right now that you just know deep down in your heart that you are ready to do?

It might be networking, or speaking your truth, or learning to ski, or launching a new project, or learning to trust your loved ones.

What is the thing that you want so much? Have you neglected going after it because you are scared of what you might risk?

If you haven’t yet done it because you are waiting for the confidence to do it or the experience or the know-how, then it is my coach’s request that you take the leap, risk knowing that it may not turn out the way you planned…and find your confidence on the other side.




Joanna Lindenbaum, M.A., has 12 years of teaching and coaching experience. Her coaching invites women to think bigger, to embrace their power, to create more compelling and exciting goals for themselves, to become leaders, to connect to their intuition, to open their hearts, and to make it a practice of remembering how special and important they are. By activating this inner wisdom, Joanna helps her clients achieve extraordinary success in business, career, and life. Sign up for Joanna's complimentary "How to Overcome the 5 Most Common Obstacles to Soul-Centered Success" at http://soulfulcoach.com/ecourse.php.

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