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Essays, Commentary, and Leadership Tools

When will confidence strike?

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Hi! Alicia here.
 

I often hear women express a desire for mentorship. They want to learn from people a little further down their path of life. Who have learned a few things that they can synthesize to us in tiny nuggets.

We want people to be the bumpers alongside our own journey. Who can raise a red flag when we are wandering too far off path. Who will warn us when we are in the territory of an easily avoidable mistake. Those who may help us get further faster.

Some of our alumni have found a mentor at our programs. And the great majority have found wisdom. All our programming at Inside Out seeks to deliver connection with other women. We find that women have a lot to offer at any stage in their lives. And when we are open to learning from others, we can receive wisdom from unexpected places.

I joke that as an entrepreneur I have to have a sixth sense for inbound wisdom. Picking up pieces from people all over the place and creating a playbook that works for me.

Last week, I was uneasy about an opportunity granted to Inside Out. The pressure to make a decision in a very specific time frame was real. I felt like I had no historical experience to lean on. The opportunity was so outside of what I would have predicted for Inside Out. But, we decided to proceed anyway.

We spent two days filming a video series on confidence as part of a blossoming partnership. Resting between the days of practice and shooting, I felt uneasy. I craved certainty that it was a good investment of our time. That it was better than all the other options available for us to create. I wanted something that was not possible.

24 hours after wrapping filming, the wisdom came after that fact. I let out the breath that I didn’t even know I was holding.

The wisdom came from an unexpected source when I was willing to listen.

I had an opportunity to be in community with a woman I admire. I don't know her really well, but I feel a kinship towards her and believe I have a lot to learn from her. She is nearly twice my age.

We meet as part of a monthly gathering and she was in a place of contemplation at the passing of a dear friend. She was coming to accept that there were less days in front of her than those she had lived behind her. She reflected vulnerably on her regret at not having taken big leaps in her life. By anyone's measure, she has led a full life, but she saw herself as passively interacting with her life. She did not see herself in the driver's seat of her own life.

"I have never realized until this moment how much my struggle with confidence has limited my life. My whole life."

Immediately my need for certainty evaporated.

If our work has even a sliver of a chance at breaking someone's limitations, I am up for facing the unknown.  If our efforts lead to one person being a bit more comfortable in the driver's seat of their life, it is time well spent. If there is even one person who feels better equipped or supported to take a leap, it is an honor to help create that. 

Confidence does not come before action. Confidence comes because of action. 

Shine On,
Alicia & Gina

Alicia Jabbar