In 1979, President Jimmy Carter gave a speech where he coined the phrase "a crisis of confidence." Lately, I feel like I have been living this phrase out loud. Leaving a steady job I loved with a steady paycheck, (which I also loved,) for the unknown of no guarantees has been a daily rollercoaster. I am consistently swinging between "this is amazing!" and "what have I done!" and there is rarely an in-between. If I have any friends left at the end of this, I'll be amazed.
However, today I was giving my situation some thought, and I realized something that made me pause. This is how y'all feel every day. I have taught and counseled and advised independent contractors and entrepreneurs my entire adult life. And while I have great respect and understanding for the work that you do, I admit that I never understood the level of emotional uncertainty that accompanies it. Until now.
But that wasn't the only realization. A quote came across my desk today that smacked me between the eyes.
“It's not what you are that holds you back,
it's what you think you are not.”
Yep. There it is. The brutal truth. See, the reality is that it's not that I am not capable of doing what it takes to make this leap successful. The issue is whether I believe I am or not. And I think this is what makes or breaks us in these situations. It's not what we are, it's what we think we aren't. And boy, do we ever spend a lot of time thinking about what we aren't, amiright?
I know you are nodding along with me on this one. Maybe you have also been thinking, "maybe I am not smart enough for this" or, "maybe I am just not cut out to be one of those" or, "I'm not sure I have the credibility or experience to make that work" or, worst of all, "maybe no one will believe that I am good enough at that."
Which brings me to one more quote. One of my favorites, from one of my favorite people.
"You can be whatever the hell you want to be.
Just raise your hand and say, "I am this thing."
The world will believe you."
Pretty powerful, right? It's all about what we decide to keep between our ears... belief in what we are, or a crisis of confidence in what we aren't. At the end of the day, it's up to us to make that choice. I'm not saying that it's an easy mindset switch. It's something I have to work at every day, and I am sure you do as well. But deciding what we are, and then deciding to believe it - it's the first step.
So, decide what you are. And then believe it.