Along the way, we encounter challenges, setbacks and, worst of all, self-doubt.
Creeping self-doubt has paralyzed many would-be successful people. There are tons of people in the world with outstanding talent who never accomplish greatness because of self-doubt.
I have hosted a live talk show on a 50,000-watt AM radio station for the past 16 years. I will never forget the very first episode back in 2004. As the intro music was playing, I got a momentary feeling of self-doubt as I worried that people wouldn’t like the show or that I didn’t have enough credibility to talk about these issues in front of so many listeners. Feeling a bit nervous, I turned to my co-host and said, “Why the hell are we doing this?” At that point, the music stopped, and I just started talking.
We haven’t shut up ever since.
Now, years later, we have tens of thousands of loyal listeners, and it’s the most listened-to weekend radio show in the local marketplace. It’s amazing to think that I almost killed the show a couple times before it first aired because I was anxious about how well it would be received.
I even worried that the show wouldn’t work because there was nothing else like it on the radio. As it turned out, that was a good thing and helped make the show popular. Thankfully, my co-host and I stayed with our vision and fought off the self-doubt.
Anytime you try something new, you might have self-doubt. If you strive to do something unique and different, be prepared to face self-doubt. It’s hard not to get a little nervous when you are taking a risk. Sales is one of those professions that can bring high rewards but it comes with a risk. The more you try, the more you expose yourself to potential disappointment, failure and embarrassment.
Try not to worry too much about failure. You are better off trying something and failing than not doing it at all. With each disappointment, you learn something that will help you do better next time.
Just remember, you are operating in a high-stakes environment. You are competing with talented people and strong companies from around the globe. All the competition makes today’s marketplace very crowded and noisy. In order to attract new business and close more deals, you must stand out, do outstanding work, impress the people around you, and take some calculated risks.
Acknowledge any self-doubt you might have and then assess where it’s coming from – why you’re feeling it. Then start chipping away at it.
With a positive attitude, a strong work ethic and the willingness to manage your creeping self-doubt, you have all it takes to achieve greatness.