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When to listen to your fear

Self-belief can motivate you to succeed. If you lack it, you may need more resources, experience, or strategy.

I’m a big fan of mistakes. In business, as in life, mistakes are how we learn. As infants, we learned to walk by falling over. We acquired speech by speaking gobbledygook that eventually evolved into language. And yet, when we grow up, we often become strangely awkward about our missteps. It’s no accident that almost all business books are about successes—that’s what we like to talk about. But it’s the mistakes we learn from.

So what’s your best mistake? One of mine occurred when I was in charge of an exhaustive (and exhausting) series of television programs: 13 shows designed to go out in one week. Of these, two were live broadcasts. Now, I’d never in my life produced a live show; all I knew was that they were really different and very demanding. It slowly dawned on me that I was out of my depth and that these shows were too important to be my first lessons.

So I went to my boss and explained the difficulty: I didn’t have the experience, the expertise, or the time to acquire either. I needed help. At which point, he put his arm around my shoulder and came out with the immortal words: “All you really lack is confidence.” And he then proceeded to talk me into persevering.

The shows were a fiasco.

…to read this article in full, visit leading US small business resource, Inc.

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