These Times Are Made for Misfits

#2. Action Confidence

Helio Borges
8 min readJan 9

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Inspiration. Image by Gapingvoid featured in Psychology Today.

Read These Times Are Made For Misfits #1. How to Be a Misfit, here.

If you want to be a misfit who gets the upper hand in life, you must have a spiritual compass, and from the edges of the system, you will be able to see what is on the horizon and collectively discern what is needed to meet the challenges ahead.

Think different, act different, and make a difference!

These articles intend to awaken, to set free the misfit that lives inside everyone one of us, and to show the world that 2023 can and will be different. The outline defining the content and order of the articles will be the acronym built by the words forming the phrase Happy New Year.

The first letter is the H; accordingly, the first article explained How to Be a Misfit. A misfit is a change maker who won’t stop trying to change things around until the job is done. Specifically, we defined misfits from the points of view of:

  • Spirituality:As misfits who were pushed to the edges and in-between places, we are able to see what is on the horizon and collectively discern what is needed to meet the challenges ahead… Minister Jen Bailey. Richard Rohr Daily Meditation.
  • Innovation:misfits push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius because the people who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world are the ones who do. Steve Jobs.

To be a misfit, fundamentally, you need:

  • To have a clear purpose — your Why
  • To do the things that fulfill your purpose — your What
  • To master the methods and tools that will make the things you do produce a systemic impact — your How

Your Why, What, and How constitute what Simon Sinek calls your Golden Circle.

Every disruptive innovation process begins by defining your Intention. You have a clear intention when your Why, What, and How are aligned and working harmoniously. However, if you do not enact your intention, all you do is wishful thinking. Therefore, you must have Action Confidence.

What is your intention?

Mine is to do everything I can to improve the world by helping others master the methods and tools to bring their purpose to life.

I must confess that I fear exploring unknown territories to achieve my intention, but I advance with courage sustained by being confident in my actions. How are you going to act on your intention? Have you developed the necessary confidence in your actions?

You know your Why — the purpose of your being on this planet. In these articles, I am giving you What you need to know to achieve your purpose in life at your own pace. And next February, I will give you the How — the methods and tools you need to master to make your Why shine.

It will be a Disruptive Innovation Bootcamp, where you will join a selected group of change makers in awakening and setting free the misfit that lives inside everyone one of you so that you make a difference in the world here and now.

Today, as promised, we are going to explore another key element of What you need to know to achieve your purpose. It begins with the second letter of Happy New Year— the A.

Action Confidence

I. The Psychological Perspective of Action Confidence

Action confidence is a trait that does not come spontaneously; you need to cultivate it. Benjamin Hardy, Ph.D., teamed up with Gapingvoid in an article he wrote for Psychology Today called 4 Pictures that Explain Motivation and Confidence. He uses the Semiotic artwork by Gapingvoid that illustrates this piece to show gallery style, the science of motivation, confidence, and decision-making. Following are extracts of the mentioned article.

Confidence. Image by Gapingvoid featured in Psychology Today

Action Precedes Motivation

You’re more likely to act yourself into feeling than feeling yourself into action.” — Jerome Bruner, Harvard psychologist.

Motivation and momentum are two highly connected concepts. You cannot have either of these without first acting in a goal-directed way. You can’t wait until you feel inspired to act. Motivation doesn’t just happen; instead, it is a reaction to intention and integrity.

Action Precedes Inspiration and Ideas

Getting creative insights regularly is something you can personally master. Psychologists call this “epiphany ability.” Like motivation, inspiration is not something you should wait for. Instead, it is something you need to design for and actively seek it!

Your desires are the product of your behavior, not the other way around. Therefore, you can train your desires. You can train yourself to want success, happiness, health, and deep connections.

Success Precedes Confidence

Personal confidence comes from making progress toward goals that are far bigger than your present capabilities.” — Dan Sullivan.

Confidence is a direct reflection of past performance. Hence, yesterday is more important than today. Luckily, today is tomorrow’s yesterday. So, even if your confidence today isn’t optimal, your confidence tomorrow is still within your control.

Decision Is More Powerful Than Decision Fatigue

“It’s easier to hold to your principles 100 percent of the time than it is to hold to them 98 percent of the time… Decide what you stand for. And then stand for it all the time.” — Clayton Christensen, Harvard Business Professor.

In psychology, the scientific term for willpower is “decision fatigue,” which means that you haven’t truly decided about what you want… And as a result, you’re forced to sit and think about what you want. .. This is really bad for willpower and ultimately leads to people falling prey to the negative influences in their environment.

Motivation is the byproduct of goal-oriented action. Inspiration and “epiphanies” are the byproduct of courageous and bold action. Confidence is the byproduct of successful behavior, even if in small “baby” doses. And the decision is the antidote to decision fatigue. Benjamin Hardy, Ph.D.

II. The Deeper Structure of Action Confidence

Eva Pomeroy and Otto Scharmer explore the deeper dimension of Action Confidence in the article Action Confidence: Laying Down the Path in Walking. They see a “dormant space of possibility” where people can step in accessing their “courage” with “confidence.” They also differentiate action confidence from performance confidence. The latter is to know how to do something well, while the former is to have the courage and capacity to step into something new and bring it into being. In other words, action confidence might be the key to any innovation process.

When we look at where we are coming from when we step into new territories and act with courage, we see qualities that might characterize new leadership capacities.

Action Confidence. Animated scribing — by Jayce Pei Yu Lee

Open Mind

The precondition for action is operating from a place of not knowing, from genuine curiosity and inquiry. Operating from an open mind means developing the capacity to see what was previously unseen, including disconnects and shadow, and to perceive the self and the system differently. What is the capacity that enables this kind of inquiry? Open-minded humility.

Open Heart

The seed for action comes from opening the heart and being touched by the world. Rather than getting lost in your own emotions, you use the heart to tune into the world. And if you really connect, that in itself becomes a source of energy that allows you to do something that no one thought was possible. The precondition to do something magical or impossible is the opening of the heart — having a genuine social field experience where you connect with someone or something that isn’t you that begins to activate another level of inspiration and commitment. What is the quality that activates this connection? Open-hearted vulnerability.

Open Will

Somewhat paradoxically, the movement into action comes from letting go of pre-conceived ideas about what action should look like and becoming an instrument for emerging possibility. The thing about being an instrument is that you are holding something you don’t know. You don’t know what is emerging, but you are committed to holding its coming-into-being anyway. Open will emerges from stillness and manifests as the movement from sensing to realizing the future that calls us forth. What is it that allows us to let go and let come? Open-willed surrender.

Discernment: Knowing What is Ours to Do

Real action confidence is about having an intimate sense of connection with the field of the emerging future. Sensing and feeling the resonance of that space of future possibility in the current moment. That’s really what is guiding you. The original definition of presencing is sensing and actualizing the future that wants to emerge. Sensing and actualizing are intertwined but distinct elements. Sensing is going into resonance with the field of the future: feeling it. Actualizing is about turning yourself into a vehicle to bring that possibility into reality — embodying it now. Action confidence is these two things together, sensing and embodying the field of the future now. It emerges in situations where we feel the sharp boundary between the inner and the outer beginning to collapse.

A Container for Developing Discernment — The Social Field

This discernment cannot be developed in isolation. It needs a container. And the container for supporting the process of waking up to a new level of aspiration and agency is the social field. When we activate the social field, we support people to develop trust in acting from a place of humility, vulnerability, and surrendering to what wants to emerge. Trust does not grow because you tell me this or that — those are just words. It grows when we feel a social field that immediately activates a trust that we are not alone.

The above mapping of the deeper territory of action confidence can serve as a helpful tool for leaders and change-makers to design interventions and create holding spaces that allow for the four qualities outlined above to be activated and cultivated. Learning how to create these conditions face to face and also at scale globally is one of the most important dimensions of transformational leadership work today.

In these articles, I am giving you WHAT you need to know to realize your purpose in life at your own pace. Next February, I will give you the HOW — the methods and tools you need to master to make your WHY shine.

It will be an Intensive Experiential Bootcamp, where you will join a selected group of change makers in awakening and setting free the misfit that lives inside everyone one of you, so that you make a difference in the world here and now.

If you are interested in acting confidently on the issues that matter most, we will find the way together. So, don’t hesitate to contact me by commenting below, messaging me at +58(414)328–7997, writing at hborgesg@gmail.com, or subscribing to my articles.

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Helio Borges

Executive & Team Coach & Mentor. Cultural Transformation Change Agent & Consultant. Twitter: @hborgesg. Instagram: @heboga. FB: helio.borges.35. Uriji: @hborges