A little less conversation, a little more action…

(Published originally in March 2019)

So, Anna, where do you see yourself 10 years from now?

And so I had stumbled upon one of the most typical job interview questions ever – and truth to be told – I did not see this coming.

But, as it always happens, my brain came up with an answer.

Well, it was an answer of some sort… 

I will be the CEO of Finnish National Ballet.

Yes, that’s what I said. To be honest, even I thought it was thick…! But at the same time, I knew I needed to stand out from the crowd – the competition was tough. What’s the worst thing that could happen anyways?!

And then what?

A month went by and nothing. Then it was nearly Christmas and my phone rings. I remember it like yesterday.

At the other end of the line was a Deloitte partner. He told me they had two hundred applicants and they were going to make two offers. Two!

I froze. This is impossible.

And…they offered me the job!!!

…I said yes. Of course I said yes!

Funny that, this process happened about ten years ago…! While I haven’t become the CEO of Finnish National Ballet, when I look back to these events now I can see my confidence played a huge part in getting this job.

Actually, I think it was mostly due to my confidence I landed this job.

During the interview rounds I rose to the occasion several times and went all in.

Burned the boats and tapped into my potential.

Gave it my all.

Since then, I’ve come back to the topic of confidence several times. Let’s get real here, my confidence has been knocked, sometimes I’ve been feeling like on top of the world and other times I’ve had no clue what I’m doing.

I can tell you when I left Finland to London over six years ago, I didn’t have a job or a place to live and about 500 euros on my bank account…confidence was all that I had. I was determined I’m going to make it and I was willing to work hard for it.

But sometimes, finding that confidence in me was hard work.

I needed to learn first-hand how I can sustain and improve my confidence when things were tough.

I dove into research and found out that while some of us are more favourably wired for confidence, we also have evidence that brain plasticity allows us to create physical changes and new neural pathways in our brains, which can reinforce and even override genetics and change brain chemistry – i.e. we can impact how confident we are!

I thought I need some of that. Re-wiring, that is.

Also, I thought a healthy dose of confidence enables life.

So, I went on a journey.

With this urge I did some more research and understood that confidence has to do more with doing than thinking. Confidence is actually the stuff that turns thinking into doing. This made all the sense: we are the happiest when we’re doing things, learning, growing, and progressing in our lives. That said, we rarely feel good about ourselves if we lounge on the sofa for the whole day watching Netflix.

I decided to be a person who takes action and doesn’t procrastinate.

The second thing I learned was that confidence is also a feeling. It’s about a healthy self-esteem and holding the belief that I will figure it out. I will try, sometimes things will not work out, but I will always keep trying. Life’s a practise, not a one-time rodeo.

I decided to be a person who is always learning and growing, rather than trying to be perfect.

Finally, confident people seemed to have their stuff figured out! You know these confident people, starting new hobbies, jumping bungee jumps, frolicking in the pool with a giant unicorn, walking on fire, talking to strangers while ignoring what others might thing. Well, they certainly seem to know how to make the most of their lives!

I decided to be a person who is not taking her life too seriously, has a lot of fun in her life and is fun to be around!

Wouldn’t it feel great to take control of your own life, emotions and experiences, all while being more confident?

With love, abundance and success,

Anna

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