Why Passion and Confidence Grow Together
by Paula Gardner
Do you love what you do? Does it make your purr with excitement? Do you feel as though you’ve really found your purpose? hav eyou ever considered that your passion and confidence could be related?
If these questions are making you feel the least bit uncomfortable the I’d like to challenge you as to whether your confidence issue is really about confidence after all? Perhaps it is simply because you are not doing the right thing.
The Research Around Confidence and Passion
When conducting research for my dissertation, all of my interviewees reported that they needed to feel they were doing the right thing in order to feel confident about it. They mentioned needing to have a sense of “Authenticity” and this was a thread that ran through my results. Other researchers have found this sense of purpose or calling to have far reaching consequences.
Wrzesniewski, McCauley, Rozin and Schwartz (1997) found that workers who looked at their work in terms of “a calling”, or being able to do meaningful work, were likely to obtain higher scores when it came to life, health, job satisfaction and health. They also self-reported significantly less sickness leave.
More recently, Rosso, Dekas and Wrzesniewski (2010) drew from a literature review that meaningful work is likely to reduce the amount of absenteeism and stress in the workplace. Another study (Allan, Douglass, Duffy, 2015) found that meaningful work reduced or moderated the impact of work stress. You can see how important it is.
My thoughts are that if you fired up about something, with a sense of purpose, you are more likely to forge ahead and less likely to worry about what could happen. You just want to get on with it. This places you in situations and introduces you to people that naturally grow your comfort zone, and so grow your confidence without you even knowing. It’s a virtuous circle too. The more your comfort zone grows, the more you feel you can tackle, and the more the zone will keep growing.
Passion In Action
My own early career illustrates this. I started off in journalism after University, but, despite being quite adept at many of the skills, it just wasn’t firing me up. I had little passion for it, which was really odd as I was sure that this was my road. I approached my jobs in a lack lustre way and always felt I was counting the hours. When my boyfriend and I moved to Australia for a year in the middle of a recession I couldn’t get a job on any publication. Eventually, I accidentally found something in PR – same skills, slightly different job.
I hadn’t heard of PR until then but as soon as I started, I felt I had found my home. I loved my work, so much as that I was inspired to set up my own business in London. I felt much more confident from the beginning. I had no qualms about approaching business owners and asking them if they would like me to represent them. As a journalist I had hated going up to people I didn’t know.
Job or Career?
If you are feeling less than crazy about what you’re doing, a good first step is to sort out of you’re feeling that way about your job or workplace, or your career itself. This is the sort of thing we can delve into on our Queen Bitch membership, where you get one to one coaching as part of your membership.