In my recent blog, Progress – The Unsung Hero Read Here, I looked at how making progress was the key to hitting targets and goals. That with progress comes a sense of achievement which ignites emotions and motivation and helps drive our psyche to do more, to achieve more. Obviously I truly believe this and Progress is one of my words for 2016. However, to achieve progress we need to ‘do’ tasks. Now in areas of our lives where we are comfortable, ‘doing’ can come quite easily, but when we set goals that are outside of our comfort zone, or to be honest so far out there we don’t actually know what the first step is, then starting to do anything can actually become the road block in itself.
I have recently come across this issue in a few of the goals I have set for 2016. Every year I set goals on one page at the back of my notebook, and this year when actually reading over the goals I’d written, I was thinking “how the hell am I going to do that?” I looked at them, the ink still fresh on the page, basically lacking the confidence to do anything with them, almost scared to start. Therefore I immediately considered putting them in the too hard box, or thinking I’ll come back to them later and tackle the easier goals on my list first.
To give you a flavour of what these stretched goals look like, the three standouts are:
- Develop a social research programme with a leading University.
- Make a TV show.
- Write a book.
Now I’m a 45 year old man who has basically worked in one industry his whole life. I’ll admit I have a lot of life experience. You’ll see from my Linked-in profile that I didn’t study at a University and list that I attended the University of Life (had to hit my Linked-in Status of All Star somehow!). I’m proud to say that I’ve never been one to be afraid of change and new challenges. So for those that know me, these three little goals might not seem that crazy but they are definitely different. The first issue with them all is where to start? Now obviously I didn’t just wake up and think, “sod it I’m going to make a TV show and write a book”. I believe I’ve had a book in me for years but have always lacked confidence and never figured how to tell it, or wondered if it would be of any interest to anyone apart from my mum!!! The TV show came out of a chat between my good friends Belinda Coates and Scotty Cummins last year and the research programme was another chat between Belinda and I that morphed from a small business idea into a research idea.
With all of these ideas, progress will be the key to achieve success. But where does the confidence of ‘doing’ things I’ve never done before come from? Well in my experience it comes from a lot hard work, talking to the network of contacts I have and a little bit of luck and timing thrown in. But the starting point, after you’ve had the spark of an idea, is having the confidence in yourself that you can do this, or at least have a damn good go at it to see where it takes you.
That confidence in myself has taken a hell of a lot of years of hard knocks, uncertainty, and some success to build. I think of myself as a late bloomer, maybe translated as a slow learner, but whatever it’s been, I’m now at a stage in my life and career to take some gambles on me, with the help of some great people around me.
The journey has already started on all three ventures and by just reaching out to my network of friends and colleagues it’s been amazing how much momentum we have achieved in such a short amount of time. I’ve been humbled at how many people are prepared to give up their knowledge, their time and their support because I’ve had the confidence just to ask. Ask for advice, ask for help and ask for their opinion when I tell them of a passionate vision of an idea.
People seem to be craving new ideas right now. They want to get involved in something different, exciting and engaging. From this I’ve come up with a small “formula” for the “Confidence of Doing”, especially when “Doing” is outside of your comfort zone is:
Confidence of Doing = S + (Ci + N)² x Cy
- S = Spark of an idea;
- Ci = Confidence in that idea;
- Cy = Confidence in yourself; and
- N = Network that will support you.
Rather than just adding the components together to get a better outcome, done right, the components work in sequence and multiply exponentially. Ultimately, all four have to work in union enabling the right formula. Once this happens, your confidence of doing stuff outside your comfort zone goes off the chart!!
A lot easier said than done, but I believe if you follow this formula your confidence will grow and great progress will be achieved.
So where has gaining the confidence of doing equation got me so far this year. The social programme is moving well thanks to Swinburne University jumping on board and we have nearly secured the funding for the research programme to happen this year. For the TV show, we are filming the pilot in two weeks with the amazing generous help of Furphy Media who have believed in the idea since first hearing it and we have some amazing ideas and interviews secured that will hit a device screen near you in a few months. Finally the book. Well I’m 7000 words into a leadership book and loving writing. Time is the key here and finding a rhythm. I reckon it will take at least a year to do and who knows if it will ever see the light of day but while I’m enjoying it I’ll just keep writing.
So if you have a spark of an idea, grab it, speak to your personal and professional network, gain the confidence in the idea but most importantly in yourself and take the opportunity with both hands to see where the adventure of ‘Doing’ will take you.