Sureness (noun) : A state of mind in which one is free from doubt.
Synonyms: certainty, confidence, conviction, positiveness, satisfaction
Related words: decisiveness, determination, firmness, purposefulness, resoluteness
On a recent trip to Hawaii, I walked by a statue of a Burmese standing Buddha. The resort I stayed at was filled with spiritual sculptures and ancient artifacts, but this particular standing Jambupati (princely) Buddha made an impression on me, and I kept visiting it throughout my one-week vacation. As a communication coach and trainer, I’ve been studying and teaching the power of nonverbal communication, and it was the Buddha’s hand gesture, or mudra, that struck me. The mudra, according to the descriptive placard affixed on the wall next to the statue, is one of reassurance and the dispelling of fear.
I felt a sense of calm confidence conveyed by the Burmese Buddha. The standing statue exuded sincere, stress-free strength. I’ve never really been one to adore art—I certainly appreciate it—but don’t spend time admiring it and money collecting it. This Buddha, however, with its posture, gesture and expression, spoke to me of what I’ve been experiencing and what my clients have been seeking, and I felt as though it was sharing an important message with me.
What’s the question my coaching clients have been asking in countless conference rooms? Stated in different ways, I noticed that so many people, myself included, want to know the same thing: When do you reach the point of care-free confidence and how do you stay in that space of certainty? How can we emulate this firmly standing Buddha, warding off fear and doubt with one hand, and welcoming confidence and calm with the other? Is it possible to fully enjoy our work, know we’re on the right path, make decisions that don’t raise our own or others’ doubts, feel great about building our skill and sharing our talents, and not worry about pleasing others and being judged?
As a researcher, curriculum designer, and facilitator of learning, I’ve decided to embark on a quest of curiosity to find the answers to the meta-question: How do we experience and embody sureness, in order to fulfill our purpose and potential? Knowing that we learn through stories and application, I’ll be conducting a series of interviews across several sectors, and sprinkle my upcoming posts of these candid conversations with analysis and tools to practice and master. On a professional mission to guide my clients to develop a confident mindset, and on a personal journey to let go of limiting beliefs, I hope this series gives us a peaceful mind and a purpose-filled life.
Lee Broekman is a communication coach and trainer. Her company Organic Communication, brings interactive, never boring, always edifying presentations and programs — focused on communication, collaboration and innovation — to your firm or organization.
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