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Are You Talking Yourself Out of Success?

women-talkingYesterday, I decided to take myself out to lunch to one of my favorite local sushi restaurants. The tables at this eatery are quite close together so it’s easy (if sometimes uncomfortable) to overhear what your neighbor at the next table is discussing. I happened to sit down next to two men who were deep in conversation. As I sat there minding my own business, trying to focus on the NY Times, I couldn’t help but catch some of the conversation these two men were having. It goes something like this: “You know I just want to get my idea out there. I know it can be successful and yet there’s always that possibility that it will fall flat.” (Sound familiar?) The response from his dining companion? “I know.” By the way, this was his dining companion’s response the entire lunch. He could of actually had lunch alone and placed a tape recorder on the other side of the table that just repeated the words, “I know”, throughout the meal : -(.

The guy kept talking (basically to himself) for the next 30 minutes and at one point convinced himself that he didn’t actually care about THAT much success. He only wanted to have a “little success” (Sound familiar?). To which his friend replied, “I know.”

Have you ever done this? Of course you have. You get an idea followed by heart pumping excitement which is immediately followed by fear. Fear is a natural companion to creativity – know that my friends. It rears its ugly head reminding us of every little thing that can go wrong. And then, you slowly begin to back pedal…to downplay how successful your idea, your venture, your next BIG thing can become. And then… you settle. Settle for less or worse, you don’t even take action on your idea at all.

If this scenario has happened to you lately, I invite you to reframe your thinking and stop doing this to yourself. Stop allowing fear to steal your dream. Whether you are just thinking of starting a business or you’re already successful in business but stuck at a certain income level and looking at ideas to create more, here are three tips to help steer you in the direction of success:

  1. Choose the right listening partner – I know, right? ; -) Share your ideas with someone who can actually give you some honest feedback and solid guidance.
  2. Check it out – Do some research on your idea. Spend some time learning more about how your idea is similar to other successful ventures. Explore if this is something the marketplace wants and needs.
  3. Challenge your fear – My daughters skateboard instructor once said to her (in his 18 years of wisdom), “Feel the fear and do it anyway.” A wise young man. Know that fear is a natural partner to creativity and allow it to move through you. It’s normal but don’t let it control you.

As I left the restaurant, I felt sorry for this guy. He walked out feeling defeated. If I were a betting woman, I’d say the chances are slim that he’ll actually do more with his idea. Just think about that. What if that had been Sara Blakely considering her idea to develop Spanx? I shudder to even consider the thought ; -).