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Tycoonism “If you think you’re under pressure, you’re probably not, because when you really are, you don’t even have time to think about it.”

June 1, 2009

Courage is sometimes defined as “Grace under pressure”. In business terms, it is “growth under pressure” that demands courage. This is not as contradictory as it sounds. Growth is inherently a high-pressure activity at the best of times. It involves one or both of two stressful activities – either establishing a market where none existed before or seizing a share of an existing market from competitors. The term grace under pressure came from Ernest Hemingway when Parker asked Hemingway: “Exactly what do you mean by ‘guts’?” Hemingway replied: “I mean, grace under pressure.”

I have heard somewhere that one’s character can be defined on how we are as a person when we are under tremendous pressure. It is human nature that sometimes when we are under pressure, we tend to buckle at the first sign of conflict and difficulty. And as we allow pressure to control our life and self doubt seeps in, then it becomes a problem as this will permeate into every aspect of your life and prevents you from living your life to the fullest. If self-doubt has become a problem for you, the danger is that you may decide to settle for mediocrity. This is because, self-doubt has the power to destroy your confidence, cripple you and stop you from pursuing your dreams.

So how do you overcome self-doubt and develop courage?

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes.

Self-doubt is grounded in fear. It is simply the fear of negative things from happening. In order to overcome this fear you will need to change your thought pattern. Human beings are not perfect and making mistake is something we do. So don’t allow mistakes to make you feel guilty and bad, rather, let them be your teacher. Remember that you can recover from making a mistake, so do not allow the fear of making one imprison you in self-doubt. Know that just because you make mistakes does not mean you are a failure. Go on and try something new, you will never grow unless you take risks.

Do not allow your feelings to rule your life.

We were all born with the ability to make our own decisions without any influence from outside. Self-doubt forces us to do things by placing outside pressure on us. In other to overcome it, you need to recognize that doubt is just a thought in your mind. It only has power to stop you from enjoying life if you allow it. Remember that you have the ability to go forward and do whatever you need to do regardless of how doubtful you feel. I know that feelings are often very strong and it is not always easy to go contrary to them. But, to be able to enjoy freedom from self-doubt you need to behave contrary to these feelings of doubt. Otherwise, it will continue to run your life and hold you in bondage.

Practice at being positive.

Overcoming self-doubt is just a matter of doing away with one habit and forming another one. Discipline is required anytime a person is forming a new habit. Practice believing in yourself rather than doubting. Bear in mind that, in any situation you could either be wrong or right. So why not take the positive approach first? Purposefully try to look at the positive side of every situation. Look at the glass of water as half full instead of half empty. For example, if you are going to apply for a new job, don’t start by saying “I am not going to get that job” but rather say words like “I believe that I will get the job”. Then, regardless of how negative you may be feeling about yourself take action and apply for it. The biggest mistake will be allowing your thoughts and feelings to stop you from giving it a try at all and then spending the rest of your life regretting and blaming yourself. Practice, practice, practice and before long you will start to actually feel better about yourself.

Overcoming self-doubt begins with you.

You must believe that you are able to achieve your destiny in spite of what other people say or what your own mind and feelings say. Maybe you had negative messages fed into you since you were a child. It could have been a parent who excessively compared you to a sibling giving you the impression that you were flawed. But whatever the reason for your self-doubt and negative attitude towards yourself, the power to change lies with you. If you desire to be able to fulfill your dreams, then you must make a decision to start believing that you are a valuable person with a purpose to fulfill on this earth.

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