Two years into my freelance writing career I’d made a whopping $10,000—barely enough to qualify as a hobby, let alone a career.
I still lived with mom and dad. And even though I put consistent effort into writing, I wasn’t fully committed to making it big. It took moving out to get where I am today, writing articles for national ad campaigns, working for multinational corporations, and coaching the people who are inspired by my work.
The world is divided into givers and people who haven’t learned how to give yet. And then there was the most solipsistic creature alive…
According to Dr. Ivan Joseph, TED presenter and confidence expert, self confidence is the belief in your ability to accomplish any task no matter the odds, difficulty, or adversity.
Some people have had this trait in spades all their lives, and the rest of us watch along with a mixture of resentment and admiration as they steam-roll their way through seemingly effortless accomplishments. But the way Dr. Ivan tells it, self confidence can be learned no matter your starting point.
All it takes is repetition and positive self-talk.
If you’re anything like me, mornings can be mentally intractable. You wake up in a dark cloud and feel everything but positivity–as though you were an orphan in a Charles Dickens novel, almost picturesque in your please-don’t-make-me-face-the-day despair. (Okay, maybe it’s not quite that bad.) And from those first waking moments, you probably think, “Welp, there goes the day!”
And how you spend a day is the same way you spend a month — “Ah, I just didn’t feel that motivated.”
And how you spend a month is the same way you spend a year — “Where the hell did it just go?”
Last year, I was in a dilemma. I’d found success as a writer and as a coach, but my business had slowed to a torpor. I didn’t know how I was going to pay the rent, let alone eat. Of course I engaged in the typical self-sabotage. Why the heck is this happening to me? I should be rich already! I’m not cut out for this shit. Help!
I indulged those thoughts for a week, which accomplished nothing and slashed my confidence to a speck. Rent was due in exactly three weeks, and I feared having to move back in with my parents — again.
But in my three years of being a freelancer and entrepreneur, I’d always found a way when I kept moving. I’d figure out some problem or make a new connection or stumble into a new gig. Only when I kept pushing, though. So in the midst of my weeklong wallow, I reinforced the weakest voice in my head. Just keep moving, I told myself.
I coach CEOs, executives, HR managers, doctors, lawyers, and tech consultants–all busy people, many of whom can’t stand planning. But you won’t find me brushing up on Japanese business philosophy or fiddling with century-old planning templates in order to help my clients out. I’ve found that daily planning from a weekly action list is all it takes to keep them on track for the long haul.
By Dan Dowling
The idea of working for other people else always seemed ridiculous to me; repulsive, even. I just knew it was the worst idea in the world. So when I worked the normal jobs I was expected to, I was never really there. I couldn’t get into something that I had a fundamental abhorrence for, let alone excel. I didn’t know how to work for myself.
So I always burned out and quit my jobs or got fired. No shocker there.
Yeah, it sucked that I didn’t have money; but worse was the toll it took on my confidence. Each time my square-peg self tried to fit into a round hole, I identified more and more as a failure. That’s not exactly the attitude you need if you were born to be an entrepreneur like I was (and maybe like you are).
Elon Musk has been quoted as saying, “I think it’s possible for ordinary people to choose to be extraordinary.” Now, whether you view him as the real-life Tony Stark, most of us view him as an exception among the humble stock of this planet. But even Elon Iron-Man Musk believes that any ordinary person — you included — can become extraordinary.