The proverbial phrase “He who hesitates is lost” is often taken to mean that when we know what we need to do to solve a problem, we should act immediately, or our window of opportunity is likely to pass.
More than 50% of my work is helping people to do what you know you should.
Why do we hesitate to do what we know we should?
“To know and not to do is really not to know.”
attributed to Stephen R. Covey in some circles and simply as Zen wisdom in other places.
I believe the key reason we fail to do what we know we should do is because we don’t really trust ourselves.
Most of my 1:1 mentoring work is about helping people to be more self-aware because the greater our self-awarness the greater our understanding of who we really are and what is special (unique) about us. The more acutely aware we are of the one-of-a-kind that each of us is, the more we can trust ourselves in any given situation. Equally the more we become trustworthy and the more trustworthy we are, the greater our influence and the greater our success.
Once knowledge was power reserved for the elite who had access to information. This is no longer the case. We can Google pretty much everything.
Today trust is power. And a lack of trust in ourselves leads to less trust by other people in us which renders us less powerful than we need to be to stand out in the modern world.
Trusting ourselves and acting on such trust means we have the personal power to influence. Personal power is always more influential than position power.
3 ways to trust yourself more
1) Spend at least 1 hour per day working on yourself.
All change is personal first. We cannot change other people. We can change ourselves.
“Work harder on yourself than you do on your job”
In my Changing What’s Normal book I provide 23 sparkenations (sparks that ignite passion that lead to action that changes what’s normal) about personal change. If you don’t yet have my book there are 3 ways you can download it with my compliments. Check out the 3 ways.
One way to work on yourself everyday is to read and integrate. I have been in the habit of reading a book a week for 40 years. I read everyday. I recommend it. Read and integrate what you learn about yourself into your life and work. Real leaders are readers. Keep a journal. You might like to start with my recommended reading list.
I also recommend writing everyday even if you never publish what you write.
2) Do what you fear the most
We are remarkable beings capable of amazing feats. Have a go. Do what you fear. Afraid to speak out? Speak out in situations you haven’t in the past.
There are many great insights in Daniel Pink's book Drive – the surprising truth about what motivate us. One is “there is a mismatch between what science knows and business does.”
There is also a great mismatch for most of us between what science shows as that we are capable of and what we actually do. Have a crack. You have got nothing to lose except not living the life you were born to live. Google neuroscience, get a book on this subject. You can rewire your brain. Get going.
“You are ten times better than you think.”
3) Practice Feedforward
Feedforward is a tremendously powerful concept created by Marshall Goldsmith.
You can learn about feedforward in my Changing What’s Normal book - 3 ways you can get my book free, or go direct to the source. I find feedforward many times more powerful than feedback, and, it is a great trust builder.
Be the difference you want to see in the world.
“If you don’t believe little things make a big difference then you have never been to bed with a mosquito!”
Anita Roddick, Founder, The Body Shop