Jump and the Net Will Appear
Even when leaders become clear about where they want to take their teams, self-doubt can stop them dead in their tracks.
All leaders are subject to resisters and critics, both external and internal. But with a little bit of practice, you can learn to overcome these negative voices.
In Jump and the Net Will Appear (New World Library, 2002), author Robin Crow claims that the obstacles holding us back are almost always internal.
As a leader, your challenge is to manage these self-sabotaging “inner voices” so they do not block your forward movement.
As leaders chart new courses, they encounter many self doubts, including:
“You won’t succeed.”
“You’ll fall on your face.”
“You’ll look like a fool.”
“Who do you think you are?”
“They’ll never fund my idea.”
You can manage these doubts by being more aware of negative self-talk and recognizing that these unconstructive voices are distinct from your true intent. If you allow them to continue unchecked, these internal conversations will earn more credibility than they deserve.
In Confidence: How Winning Streaks & Losing Streaks Begin & End (Crown Business, 2004), author Rosabeth Moss Kanter points out that “everything can look like a failure in the middle.” This can lead you to give up prematurely, just as you begin to “round the corner” and achieve your goals.
One strategy for inoculating yourself against the impact of powerful inner voices is to construct a personal safety net.
Many people view safety nets as insurance to help them through life’s unexpected shocks and stresses, such as a serious illness or job loss.
However, leaders can also build a net to mitigate the effect and lower the volume of the various “inner voices” they’ll invariably confront along the way to achieving greatness. I call this personal structure The Confidence Net™.
If you want to build a confidence net, develop a repertoire of positive habits (daily exercise, prayer or meditation, even a power outfit) that will feed your confidence and allow you to remain focused on your future-despite the noise all around you.