(Yikes! Look! A video version. Don’t get used to this. It’s a one-off because a few of you asked. Your wish is my command. -Randy)
“Coach me and I will learn; challenge me and I will grow; believe in me and I will win” is the quote from Dr. Robert Halgren, Michigan Science Olympiad Site Coordinator. And I like it very much. I also agree with it. Not just for athletes, but for entrepreneurs and leaders, too.
Confidence is mysterious. I don’t claim to understand it. I’m not sure anybody does. But I am sure it makes an E-N-O-R-M-O-U-S difference in our outcomes. I’m equally sure that expressions of confidence – within ourselves and the expressions of others in us – have a big impact. A positive impact.
Over at the hobby podcast – LeaningTowardWisdom.com – I’ve begun a project called Craving Encouragement. Sparked by the many interactions I was having with high achievers I began to direct questions and conversations about times when people had been encouraged in a meaningful way – a way that was so powerful it changed an outcome in their life. As I watched people’s eyes widen, and their cadence quicken, it was obvious every single person understood the value of encouragement – expressions of belief.
I broadened the conversation to include anybody and everybody. Ordinary folks. People like me. People like you. People seen by others as financially successful. People seen by others as not so financially successful. People with a long list of accomplishments. And people who struggle to list much of anything.
I discovered something I knew was likely true, but something I hadn’t thought of so deeply until I began this effort. No matter who we are, or where we come from, or what education we have (or lack), or how accomplished and financially successful we are (or aren’t)…we all CRAVE encouragement. It quickly resonates with every single one of us.
Are expressions of belief in you so rare that you can instantly think of THE time when somebody encouraged you in a way that impacted your life? For many of us, the answer is, “Yes.” Yes, they are that rare.
I wondered why. Why is that true since we all understand the value it? Why is this true when we’ve all experienced our own positive impact by the expression of belief others offer us? It’s so powerful and so universal…why don’t we do it more?
Entrepreneurs and leaders were asked, “When is the last time you offered such strong encouragement to somebody that you walked away confident it would make a positive impact in their life?”
Thankfully, sometimes I get a fairly quick response. But sadly, more often than not – the same people who just told me of a time when somebody encouraged them – these people struggle to remember a time when they did it for somebody else.
They don’t know.
Many are too embarrassed to try even though it comes naturally for us if we’ll just lean into it. Others have such a jaded view of the world and others, they honestly find it difficult to find something worthy of encouragement. Such a cynical viewpoint is deadly to productive output. They’re like that little boy in the movie, Sixth Sense. Everywhere they look they see idiots, not dead people. The idiots have done nothing worthy of encouragement. “I think you’re an idiot. Keep it up, I believe in your ability to constantly disappoint me.” That’s not quite what I’m going for. 😀
Believe In Me
As we end this week let’s give this some practical power. It starts with how you feel and what you think. Firstly, let’s make YOU the aim of your own belief and your own encouragement. Self-encouragement. Self-belief.
Does it begin with you saying it, then convincing yourself of it? Or does it begin with you really believing it, then expressing it? I don’t know. Or care. I know both matter. I’m rather sure the order you put them in – whatever order works for you – is of no consequence.
There have been times in my life when I struggled to believe so I began with self-talk. Was I fully convinced? Did I truly believe? No. Not even close. But I somehow knew if I put language to what I wanted and what I knew I needed, then it couldn’t hurt. It helps that I have a deep belief in visualization. For me, visualizing details – as many details as possible – is a powerful tool. Try it, if you haven’t.
Belief isn’t fake, even though I’ve often prompted it with talking to myself first. I challenge myself with the truism, “Great leaders see the future first.” Attempting to always prove that I’m a great leader (perhaps more accurately a good leader working to become great), I want to see the ideal future and encourage myself to pursue it.
Words are just words until and unless they become what we believe. But words can help. Choose them wisely. Be thoughtful in how you speak to yourself.
Now, let’s aim outward, our expressions in and toward others.
You naturally know others are silently saying, “Believe in me.” Just like you’re silently saying to others.
So do it.
Starting today look for the things – the positive things in others worth encouraging. If you’re in the habit of being critical, thoughtless and filled with judgment — well, you’ve got more serious to work to do. Work that no 10-minute podcast is likely going to help. Stop being a miserable human being. Figure out what happened to your heart. Find out where along the way you lost your compassion and get it back. If you never had it, then the depths of your problems will likely require years of professional help. That’s way above my pay grade.
It’s probable that you’ve not developed the habit of being an encourager. Change that. Today.
As you walk around, interacting with others, pick people you already believe in, but you’ve neglected to tell them. Make today the day you tell them. That way you don’t have to work too hard to get in touch with your belief in people. Branch out from there.
I Will Win
Again, let’s start with YOU. You will win when you can express belief in yourself and it’ll be amplified when others express it in you. I know it’s popular to talk about not caring what anybody thinks or says and I get it. We can’t care more about other people’s opinion of us as much as we care about our own opinion. I even did a show about this just 2 days ago (episode 170).
But let’s face the truth – people matter. The people in our lives matter. We matter in the lives of others. I don’t want to contribute to the popular belief that we’re so powerful we don’t need others. It’s simply not true! We need each other.
I’ll end this week by making an appeal to the U.S. based entrepreneurs in the audience. Do you believe that the people who surround you can accelerate your success? How would you feel if you were surrounded by 6 other entrepreneurs on a regular basis to share experiences, insights and to work together to maximize the opportunities in each other’s businesses? Find out all the details by visiting ThePeerAdvantage.com. It’s a 7-member peer advantage group just for entrepreneurs. All the meetings are online, done virtually using a video conferencing platform. I encourage you to apply – the application is short and doesn’t commit you to anything except a brief phone call with me so I can answer your questions and find out more about you and your company.
I believe in you. My mission is to help more of you win, not just in your business, but in your whole life.
Be well. Do good. Grow great!