Have you ever wanted to try something new, but consistently procrastinated or produced reasons not to? How often were the reasons more like excuses? It’s a common phenomenon for all of us. Some would say it’s a sign of laziness or a lack of motivation; I think it’s a sign of fear of failure, or said differently, a lack of confidence in our ability to succeed. Confidence is our belief or assurance in our abilities, judgments, or the likelihood of a particular outcome or success. It does not guarantee success but helps push us to do better.
It seems logical that if we have the experience, knowledge, and resources needed to get something done, we should be able to. As with anything there are always challenges along the way, but the odds are in favor of success. I agree with all of this, but there is one other key ingredient…..confidence. Confidence in some ways is more important than the knowledge and experience which can always be gained. The problem, of course, is it takes confidence to ask for advice, as well as gaining that experience. What a vicious cycle! It all adds up to one thing: some level of confidence is needed to get started.
This year we (J2) turn 21! Yes, in human terms, we may now go to a bar and order a refreshing adult beverage! When Sanjay and I started the company, we had no idea what it took to be successful or even how to define success for J2. Although we didn’t know what success looked like, somehow, we were confident of our ability to be successful. Some might call it a leap of faith. I think it was more about confidence. We were confident enough to make the connections we needed, build relationships and to ask for help (which we did, at each step). Who knew that we would need to pay taxes in almost every township our people were in?!! We certainly did not!!! But we understood that we did not know everything and in recognizing that, we learned asking for help was a strength, not a weakness. We were confident that we could find the help we needed along the way and confident enough to ask for that help. With that confidence (some might call it chutzpah!) we started the business. As expected, we learned while doing and made mistakes, but we were always sure we could right the ship. If we were not confident in our ability, J2 would not exist today. We would likely still be dreaming of and discussing the possibility along with all our reasons (excuses) for not getting started. What a shame that would have been; we both would have missed out on what has been a fulfilling, amazing experience. Worst of all, we likely would never have met many of you: our colleagues, friends, and supporters. That is a possibility I simply can’t imagine!
I’m not suggesting the road was always smooth. It wasn’t. There were times when we had doubt or were afraid to take additional risk, but our confidence, reflection on the success that got us to that point and the resilience we earned along the way kept us going. I’m so glad it did!
So, if you have something new on your mind, why not take that leap and get started? Even if you take small steps, reflect on all the knowledge and experience you are carrying into the task and use that to build your confidence and gain momentum. Even if it doesn’t work out, you will gain learnings and experience that will be a building block for the success of your next idea. And that in and of itself, is success!
“Self-confidence is a superpower. Once you start to believe in yourself, the magic starts happening.” – Anonymous
What will you start this weekend? We would love to hear from you!