Someone recently told me about a potential project that was coming up for them. At the time, they were very animated about it, telling me about all the opportunities that would come their way with this new venture.
Their enthusiasm was contagious and you could see how giddy they were at the very thought about the future.
A couple of weeks rolled on and I met the person again and asked how things were progressing. Something had changed and you could almost feel it in the air.
The lady's entire demeanour was tired. They were sceptical and they were losing heart for the idea that had just a few weeks earlier made them feel like they had won the golden ticket!
I enquired about their change of heart. They told me that they had thought the idea through and had spoken to a number of other people and now felt it would not work.
What had emerged was that people had started to plant the “seed of doubt” in their head and it was growing legs. Now my colleague was focusing completely on why they should not take on the venture and it got me thinking…why do we do this to ourselves?
My belief is that sometimes we get very excited about a plan and look at things through rose-tinted glasses. So naturally, when we talk about it with our peers, family and friends, they question us. We hear negative connotations and we find them very disheartening – helping to feed the “seed of doubt” in our heads.
When considering an idea, it is important to gain an objective perspective and to evaluate both sides of the coin. Yet, perhaps when we present our ideas, we pitch them from just one perspective. So we need to be realistic and recognize that there are downsides or risks to every situation.
We also need to remember that people are different with very diverse ideas and beliefs and that's okay. Some people are risk takers and others are not. What may seem like a great idea to you or me may not be of interest to someone else.
So, I would ask the question, just because someone else may choose not to do something, does that mean we should not try?
I believe we have to be positive and believe we can achieve our goals. And we need to spend more time thinking about why we should do something – rather than why we should not do it!
In essence, what I have learnt over the years are a few key points that help me manage the “seed of doubt” when embarking on new adventures. I hope you find them as useful as I do:
- Remind yourself why you want to do something in the first place
- Think objectively - weigh up the pros and cons when making a decision
- Be positive and keep talking about why you should do something
- If you don’t try, you won’t succeed
- It is better to regret what you do than regret what you don’t do