This Has Killed More Dreams Than Anything Else
Overconfidence. Can it be a problem? Sure. Think of a time when you were really confident about some outcome and things didn’t work out the way you’d expected. You come away disappointed and chastened. It’s just part of the human experience. BUT … as a business coach, overconfidence isn’t a problem I see all that often.
Sure, sometimes I’ll get a prospective client who wants to build a six- figure practice in six months starting from scratch. That’s a recipe for disappointment … maybe even complete disillusionment. But those folks are not all that common.
No, the problem I see far more often is underconfidence. And yet, nobody ever really talks about underconfidence. It’s not even really a word. My spell checker just flagged it.
Underconfidence comes from looking at the world and your individual circumstances and feeling vulnerable. We all crave certainty and feeling as if we’re in control. And when you don’t feel the level of certainty and control necessary to move forward and take risk, you wind up in limbo. You may want to take the leap, but the fear of falling is too great and you freeze.
And where does that leave you?
Safe … but frozen.
Is that a place from which you can build a thriving business?
No. So, what do you do?
Well, what you don’t do is skip your due diligence and leap before you look. And you don’t ever want to move forward with something that feels wrong on an emotional level. You need to feel energized and positive about what you’re setting out to do and not proceed because that was the plan and, well, it’s time to get on with it.
If you don’t feel confident, then work to build up your confidence … both in yourself and the ability of the Universe to give you what you’re asking for.
And try your best to appreciate that lack of confidence is very often not warranted. It’s just a story you’re telling yourself!
Yeah, I know, the world these days has gone a little loco, and that only reinforces the urge to play it safe and pull in your horns. That’s completely understandable. But some of the most successful businesses of all time, like GE and Hewlett Packard were started in the throes of severe economic depressions.
In a sense, they rose from the ashes. When things looked worst, that was, in fact, the best time for Mr. Edison and Messrs. Hewlett and Packard to go for it.
Is that the case now? Is it time to be bold? Who knows?
But here’s what we do know.
First: You can always talk yourself out of things, because risk is omnipresent. There’s no such thing as risk- free reward in business.
Second: Success has far more to do with your big idea, your vision, your sense of mission, your determination, your rigor, your performance, and, yes, your willingness to take a chance, than it does with external factors. And timing matters less than intention.
Look, it’s okay to say, “No, not doin’ it. Not movin’ forward.” It’s also okay to say, “I’m gonna make this happen no matter what!”
What isn’t going to serve you is to say you want something, but then to freeze up, because you think you can’t have it. What doesn’t serve you is chronic underconfidence.
Will you get burned sometimes by adopting a more confident state of mind and a greater willingness to act in the face of uncertainty?
Of course! But it’s like the old saying, “It’s better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.”
It’s better to take a shot and come up short than to live life wondering, “What if I had only ____________?”
There’s another old saying … so old it goes back to Roman times.
“Fortune favors the bold.”
Be more confident more often. Be bolder … and you’ll likely be more successful.
There are no guarantees, but know that I’ll be rooting for ya.
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