You'll Never Be Ready Enough

Competence comes after confidence, not before.

Since starting secondary school at thirteen years old, I decided I wanted to become the leader of my house team by the time I reached my final year in education.

Being a house leader would involve speaking to large crowds of students and hosting the annual competitions that took place between each house. At thirteen, I was nowhere near confident ‘enough’ to become an ambassador - or so I thought. In my head, though, that didn’t matter. By the time came, I’d be ready.

Each year that passed, I was surprised that I wasn’t becoming increasingly more confident. Despite my hopes, nothing seemed to be changing.

And, much to my dismay, I still didn’t feel ready when the time finally came for me to apply to join the house team. I was just the same as I was back in my first year, just older and a little taller. I was disappointed that, after all of those years, that long-awaited self-esteem had never arrived. And that’s when it hit me.

No matter how much you hope, pray and wait patiently, you’ll never feel confident ‘enough’ to do the things that scare you.

You gain confidence after you face that which you’re afraid of; after you put yourself in a position in which you might be rejected, humiliated, lonely or fail — but never before.

Every single time you confront your fear, you gain a little more courage to do so again in the future. When you face your phobias again and again, you gradually start to realize that there’s no need to be afraid. This isn’t a life-or-death situation, and you can handle a little embarrassment or rejection from time to time.

To make that realization, however, there’s a hurdle to overcome. You have to put yourself in some pretty uncomfortable situations. You have to become well-acquainted with fear.