Hold onto your hats and keys, this might get bumpy
I know I shouldn’t, but I get so frustrated reading book after book and article after article telling you to get out there and make shit happen, when each one completely ignores the fact that people might lack the confidence to do it.
There are mountains of “be yourself”, “how to succeed” and “become an entrepreneur” titles out there (I won’t single any out here, but if you drop me an email and plead with me I might just share), and as I read these things I find myself shaking my head, sighing to myself and shouting “You’re missing the point!” when I see the author make the fundamental assumption that everyone reading will be confident enough to get out there and do what they’re advocating.
They completely skip the part between having an idea to do something differently (leaving your job, starting a business, travelling the world, facing a huge challenge, hustling to make something happen, etc) and doing it. If self-confidence isn’t a problem for you, then great, that gap won’t be a big deal.
But these books and articles miss the very real point that a huge number of people reading (and maybe you’re one of them) won’t feel like they can do what’s being advocated, for all kinds of reasons:
- They don’t believe they can have, do or be what the author’s talking about
- What’s being peddled is too far out of their comfort zone to be relevant
- They feel like they’re not worthy or deserving enough
Those reasons (and a whole heap more) lead me to the conclusion that all of these people are missing a central piece of their work that will stymie any pick-up or change by readers, but don’t seem to recognise it or care much about it.
Really?! How can you ignore what’s holding people back from your you’re advocating?
This really gets my goat. Like, majorly. If goat-getting were people, I’d be China.
People look to these people for solutions, but the solutions on offer omit the most essential ingredient – the layer of self-trust needed to start the process of change. Without that there’s little point; they’ll keep on feeling stuck, turning back, doubting themselves, and feeling not-good-enough.
It’s like giving people a wonderful cook book so they can make a stunningly delicious meal for the people they love, but taking away all their chopping knives. And plates. And food.
Without this layer of self-trust and self-confidence (I call it natural confidence) people will always hold themselves back from getting out there and doing the shit that really matters. Because there’s just too much on the line to risk failing or succeeding.
And just to enhance my level of frustration, it’s not just in the written page. I’ve seen it from prominent bloggers and in presentations, keynotes, coaching models, YouTube video’s, etc – people are missing this essential need all over the place.
Seriously, isn’t this a no-brainer?!
And don’t get me started on the hustle-making, go-getting, goal-setting crowd…
Yes, pushing yourself is where extraordinary changes happen, and it’s where you get to apply your natural confidence. But I’m getting more than a little tired of the kind of bullshit peddled by the chest-thumping, go-getting, goal-setting, sky-punching crowd.
These are the people who tell you that to make something happen you’ve gotta hustle, hustle, hustle.
They’ll say that if you’re not going all out for your goal then you’re weak-minded.
They’ll say that you’ve gotta be ready to skip meals or lose sleep to get what you want.
They’ll say that feeling fear or quitting is for losers.
This kind of philosophy is deeply flawed.
Decreeing that you have to go about things a certain way or it means you don’t want it badly enough is misguided at best and dangerous at worst.
It’s totally unacceptable to tell someone they’re no good unless they assimilate dogma or pursue something with the kind of single-mindedness shared only by the Terminator.
Hustling is not the answer to success, any more than staying in bed is.
It sure fires you up, but it puts people into the same mindset that’s shared by serial goal-setters – going from goal to goal to goal but not feeling something click. Maybe it feels good for a little while, but that fades quickly and they’re straight onto the next thing. Always moving, always ticking things off, always doing.
But they never really find what it is that’s missing.
It’s an approach to life that doesn’t consider defining a view of success based on personal insight, achieving meaningful success or even feeling worthy of meaningful success.
So please, can we just stop worshipping at the altar of “the hustle”?
Over and over during the last decade I’ve seen the felt need for natural self-confidence in people I’ve worked with and in peoples’ stories, and I know it’s real and important.
For years I’ve wondered why nobody is talking about it.
So I started talking about it.
I wanna be the guy who helps you sharpen your knives. I wanna help you get your mis en place together. I wanna help you get excited about being in the kitchen and having amazing ingredients to work with.
Enough of the food metaphor; my whole thing is focusing on the 3 missing pieces:
- Building a life-long layer of natural confidence
- Integrating what matters to you so you can go about what matters
- Doing things in ways that work for you and allow you to apply your best
I promise you that I won’t skip over the stuff that’s necessary and important because it’s convenient to do so. I won’t give you step 1 and then go straight to step 5 because steps 2, 3 and 4 are kind of tricky or fuzzy.
I promise you that I’ll get into the weeds with this whole natural confidence thing so I can clear the crap away and give you the stuff that a. works and b. you can own.
I promise you that I’ll do my damnedest to be of genuine service to you. This is not about me, so if you see me not being of real genuine service then I want you to email me and tell me that I’m full of shit.
Thank you for this! I work as a professional development consultant for a large company and have just started my side hustle towards entrepreneurship. Something has been missing from the work I do and how our organization approaches the development of our people… It’s confidence. I love setting and achieving goals and helping people do so, but not everyone can do it…. This is everything I have bee missing! I thank you for the insight and direction for myself and my clients!
Yes! I’m starting to consult with L&D people and departments about how to bring confidence into organisations, as it’s something that makes a huge difference. Glad this connected with you, and just holler if I can help.
Wonderful post! Looking back It has been my experience that a lack of confidence is a goal killer. However if I have confidance I can take on the world! Nothing is too hard if I’m confident I’ll win. I don’t even care if I don’t win first time because I can see it’s not the end UNTIL I win. But if I’m feeling low.. one sideways look and I’ve already lost the will to continue. I know I’ve always known this somewhere in my gut but didn’t solidly consider this powerful gem.
So if I know my personal confidence is key and I know what I control that gives me confidence, do I have to always give that my first attention? Then all fuelled up just listen for my own intuition that always follows natural confidence?
Perhaps number 2 priority is to learn how to defeat the confidence destroyers that are out of my control???
Great post! I am (finally) realizing that the deeper stuff has to click into place before everything else can work.