On the weekend I was watching a Facebook video by my mentor and friend Jeremy Watkins. He was doing the Cape to Cape walk. At the time of writing this I haven’t yet heard from him to see how he got on. But one thing he said in the video resonated with me. He was saying at the start of the walk that he was feeling a little scared and sometimes we need to do something that scares us. That got me thinking about business and my own personal journey.
For many years I would be going out of my way to avoid that scared feeling.
I had interpreted that as my gut telling me something is wrong and I needed to avoid that feeling. Subsequently business and professionally I didn’t grow like I had expected. I was just floundering along, I guess in a comfort zone but not feeling like had achieved anything and felt unfulfilled.
I then learnt a couple of things that changed my thinking. We all have that voice in our head called ‘Doubt”. Doubt is that voice that tells us to stop what we are doing because we are going to fail and we are not very good at what we are doing. There are times we need to listen to that voice of Doubt because it stops us from doing stupid things (that voice of reason doesn’t seem to exist in a young mans mind until 25). But doubt is also the obstacle that stops us from progressing, from setting really big goals, from taking on really big challenges. We need to learn when to listen to doubt and when to not listen.
I have taken on several challenges this year. Some of which do scare me.
There have been times I have questioned what I am doing, and fluctuated between this isn’t going to work, to this is going to work. But I have wonderful support from wonderful people who believe in me and what we are doing. It has been hard, but it has been worth it and I am glad I have taken on Jeremy as a mentor and taken on these challenges.
As we travel through our business and personal lives, I think there are several times we need to take on a big challenge and do something that scares us. Otherwise we do not grow and we become stagnant. And that is a difficult place to be in, it is a difficult mindset to break out of. But I think it is essential to take on these challenges, and do something that big, that will scare us. In doing so though, we will need a lot of support. Support from family, your team, your mentor etc. Quite often these people will believe in you more than what you will believe in yourself, and will help guide you and support you though this process. Particularly when they have an emotional investment in what you are about to take on and want to see you achieve your goal.
The journey will be hard, and will involved obstacles and problems you have never encountered. But stay true to yourself and believe in the path you have chosen.
The greatest gift from taking on something that scares you is it makes you believe in yourself that little bit more. You personally grow, and your team will grow with you. That then gives you the courage to then go and take on something else.
Breakout of the rut, challenge yourself, your thinking and do something that scares you. Know when to listen to doubt and when to acknowledge those thoughts, but doing it anyway.
There is a saying. “Man has no greater enemy than his own mind”. That is very, very true.