The One Word Solution to Deal with Doubt (and Doubters)
How many times has doubt swept over you? How many times have you figuratively or literally banged your head against the wall because your friends, family, or both haven’t gotten on board or given you the ringing vote of confidence you thought you deserve? Before I give you my answer, I’ll dispel the common wisdom right now. It’s actually not them. It’s you. Unfortunately, you’ve conditioned them to only half believe you. This is because you’ve done things in a half way before. You’ve conditioned them to only half trust you, because you’ve only half trusted yourself for so long. You have conditioned those who should be your biggest fans and supporters and cheerleaders to watch from the sidelines wondering if you’ll finish, because you’ve started so many things and never finished many of them. It’s not their fault their belief is low. It’s yours. Now the question remains, what will you do about it?
In my short time on the planet, I’ve discovered that the only sure fire way to turn doubters into supporters, and neutral family members into raving lunatics on your behalf, is CONSISTENCY. The other thing that I know, and know well (and you do too, if you’re honest) is that things never just change for the better on their own. So back to consistency: do not quit; do not give the indication it’s crossed your mind; talk about and do nothing else except what you said you would. Sometimes we are our own worst enemy. We get so excited about the first new shiny object for the fifth time this month and expect for everyone we know to magically jump on board at the drop of a hat. That’s not realistic, and quote frankly, it tires them out. How about we find one thing, check it out a bit, and then throw ourselves into it. After we’ve vetted it, taken the time to understand it and can speak to it, now we can spread our enthusiasm for it. Maybe even give yourself time to achieve a small win with it and you’ll be that much further along when it comes time to deal with the naysayers, for surely they will come.
“First they’ll ask you what you’re doing, then they’ll ask how you did it.”
You see, this only happens, though, after they’ve seen you getting after it for a while. You have to keep this in mind because many people don’t have the courage to start something, let along stick with it for any measure of time long enough to see it work. The best ideas die slow deaths for the creation of other ones. This is the same death we pass onto to our closest friends and loved ones as they are literally begging to believe us through not our words, and how excited we are, but our consistent, enthusiastic and prolonged action, boss. It is this same consistent action that will cure our own fears and doubts and paralysis analysis that leads so many of those beautiful ideas to the graveyards of life.
So back to the question at hand; how can you become more consistent than you have been in the past? First off, just take the first step and make up your mind to not quit. Then do something truly counterintuitive, especially when we’re excited, and that is—don’t tell anyone else what you’re about to do. Just do it. And do it for much longer than you did the last thing, and watch what happens. You will even surprise yourself.
Sadiq Ali, MBA, is a speaker, trainer, professor, and author of Millionaire Manners: The Men’s (and Boy’s) Guide to Social Grace in the New Age and founder of Millionaire Manners Academy, a full service educational consulting and leadership training organization that teaches life and career success through great personal and professional etiquette.