Life Lessons

Stop Expecting to Feel Confident

I’ve recently started a new full-time job in the learning and development department of a rapidly expanding company based in Denver. It’s a wonderful job. I get to write quizzes and exams, align them with learning objectives, and convert technical manuals into training modules. I’m reading about adult learning theory and immediately applying that knowledge to real-life situations. It’s a blast.

Still, I keep expecting to feel … different. Confident. Brave. Assured. Or at least, feeling like I know what the hell I’m doing. Instead, as I encounter more situations that require me to reach beyond my comfort zone, I feel unsure, hesitant, even derpy. Well-intentioned and earnest, sure, but a little goofy.

In reflecting on this experience, I’ve realized this: Confidence is the reward for bold action, not its prerequisite.

You don’t have to feel confident to extend yourself beyond your perceived limitations. In fact, you can expect to not feel confident in these situations. Confidence isn’t some magical gift. Confidence is earned by making small but courageous choices every day — to show up, to be vulnerable, to admit what you don’t know, to embrace uncertainty.

If you wait until you feel confident before you do the thing that beckons to you, then you’ll waste your whole life waiting. Don’t wait. Just do the thing, whatever it is. The confidence will come later.

Jam of the Week

Il Grecale by J-Walk

This laid-back and playful tune has been playing on repeat in my car and on my headphones for days now. Imagine your favorite summer days from childhood — days spent riding your bike and catching crawdads in the creek — and then imagine someone turned that memory into music. It would sound pretty close to this.


Make it a good weekend, friends.