We all have a comfort zone at work and outside of it. When we sit in that zone, we feel confident and at ease with ourselves, in control, able to deliver results and perform well. These moments in time can feel rewarding and energising and, as we snuggle up in our cosy, security blanket, life feels safe. So, when the unexpected is thrown at us or we decide to step out of the wrap-around security blanket to expand our thinking and emotions, we don’t always do our best and we can often feel like we have let ourselves or others down. What is it I wonder that helps us make the stretch? Is it a boost in self-confidence we crave for or is it about expanding competence?

Here at GRA, we watch hundreds of people face endless learning challenges when we deliver our training. Whether it’s standing up and presenting to an audience or leaping off a 30ft telegraph pole to grab a trapeze bar at our Outdoor Learning Centre, as human beings we all face the fear!

So picture this, years ago, I was a novice in the outdoor training arena so an experience called “The Trapeze” became my quest. Everyone said what fun it was to jump off the top; seriously, deep down I couldn’t think of anything worse! Week after week I avoided the challenge and yet I secretly yearned to do it …I didn’t know how and like so many of us, I felt I couldn’t admit it.

There are self-development gurus that will tell us that, all we have to do is think positively, get lots of support, believe you can do it and go for it. There are even a number of Hollywood actors who would say “if you have confidence you can pull anything off”. Well, that’s up for discussion because in this instance it was my lack of self-confidence that inspired me to expand my competence and I knew that I couldn’t go up until I had a process to break down the task and understand which arm and leg went where. For weeks, I studied people climbing the trapeze. Watching them climb with great ease, lifting their bodies so gracefully, I knew that the time invested in understanding the activity helped me to eventually reach the top myself and successfully achieve the goal that had challenged me.

What has this adventure taught me? Helping individuals to be the best that they can be is my passion, and building confidence is a challenge for all of us. In my quest to find the confidence to climb a trapeze I learnt that having no or low confidence gave me the determination to expand my self-competence in this task. Once I found the competence, the confidence took care of itself.

Challenge yourself in more ways than you think – come and climb our trapeze or experience another one of our courses – you will be surprised what you can achieve. Your self-esteem and even your hair will survive in more ways than you realise.

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