Struggle is an Opportunity

by | May 5, 2016

Seeing struggle is an opportunity impacts your confidence

The Confidence Code: I just finished reading The Confidence Code by Katty Kay & Claire Shipman. A book I would recommend to anyone who a) has a daughter b) wants a better understanding of what/ how makes confidence development different for the genders c) wants insight on what the heck confidence is about and how to improve your own. I am sure I will be referencing some of my reading learnings in the next couple months. I saw what a difference seeing struggle as an opportunity makes to the development of self -confidence.

Slide 1

Here’s one that has got me thinking:

Katty & Claire shared their research insight from Jim Stigler, a professor of psychology of UCLA, who studied the difference in how learning is viewed between West & East Cultures and it’s impact on confidence. His findings linked to effort. Stigler says that in America “We see struggle as an indicator that you’re just not very smart. People who are smart don’t struggle; they just naturally get it. In Asian cultures, they tend to see struggle more as an opportunity”. Page 168 of The Confidence Code.

How nuts is this?!?!?!?!

NUTS! Cookoo NUTS!

[Tweet "I love this line from the quote: Struggle is an Opportunity."]

I don’t think I have done this enough in my life. I think I have been “much better” at being clear at what I’m not “naturally” good at and therefore strayed from it.  This list includes things like: math, gymnastics, fashion, the monkey bars, and cooking.  Through reading the shared insight from Jim’s study, I realized that because of my own filter of I’m not naturally good at any of these things, my effort slowed, stopped and/or whined enough that help was brought in or I was excused.

*Note that some teachers, coaches and an ex husband’s comments may have played a role in shaping my filter yet ultimately, I’m in charge of my filters so I take full accountability.

A clear case of self-inflicted confidence deflation and such a good realization for me. Read: Have Confidence in You to Create the Career You Want  

And then I realized a Whopper on the other end.

I went to speech therapy from 2½ to 10 years of age. At 10 the Therapist explained to the school contact that nothing more could be done with me. I REALLY struggled with speaking. Read: 6 daily habits to boost your confidence

Fast-forward 30 years and look at my career.  I am a Facilitator and Key Note Speaker with a focus of Intentional Communication. There’s nothing more I’d rather be doing. Lucky me.

Struggle is an Opportunity.

Well look at that!  So I can do it. [Tweet "I have the ability to see Struggle is an Opportunity."] Gosh – that realization feels good. Really good. Yet I have some things to turn around.  Why? Because it’s time to put some effort in versus label myself with the “it’s not a natural for me.” I can’t imagine my life without the fulfilment of facilitation and connecting with others.

Where is it time for you to see Struggle is an Opportunity?  Wonder what you’ve missed in your life because of it.

Need help finding your opportunities? Book a coaching session NOW!


Originally Posted on August 24, 2015

Nancy Milton Contributor
Leading through Intentional Communication Nancy Milton works with leaders to be better coaches and employees to be better communicators. Covering 40+ competencies under the leadership skills banner including tough conversations, trust, level two listening, diversity & inclusion, partnerships, performance coaching, change leadership and self awareness + confidence.
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