When you start something new, you're only scared of having to prove yourself if you feel like a fraud for getting where you are. But when you have a proven track record of success, dread doesn't fog up your mind. When you’re confident, you trust your resources and believe that you will have positive outcomes no matter what happens, then fear is neither here nor there. Look, pressure is a choice. The powers that be can try to put the fear of god in you as much as they want to, but that scare tactic only works on people who don’t know who they are. Sorry, try another angle. Sell crazy someplace else, we're all stocked up here.
BASELINING — Figuring out where you're already been trusted for a history of delivering quality, and use that to your advantage.
Allred, the first deaf professional basketball player, authored a book about the changing state of modern masculinity. And he wrote that learning to start anew can have grace and dignity, because you're not starting from scratch, you're starting with experience. That's both empowering and calming. In a world where fear soaks the collective back of humanity on an hourly basis, it's nice to know that pressure is choice and that peace is always a possibility. Next time people try to shoot down your confidence, try leading with who you truly are, and you'll take away their ammunition.
Let's go back to my first week at one of my startup jobs. Although their company had never hired someone in my role before, the majority of my team was energized for my arrival. Possibility was in the air. Although the cofounder did have his doubts. Was hiring this guy really the right decision? How will we know when he's successful? What's our return on investment for his work? His skepticism wasn't unfounded, but it made me laugh more than it made me tremble. And I reminded myself of several things that were true. I'm creative, I'm organized, I'm experienced, I've done this before, I want to do it again, and I absolutely want to do it for this team. When that's your baseline attitude, you’ve already won just by showing up. You're not going to let anybody spin this into you losing. What follows is merely a victory lap to do with as you please.
Baselining doesn't mean there's not lots to learn and lots to do. But anytime you're starting something new, whether it's a new job or a new project or a new relationship, you leverage where you are already successful. You figure out where you're already trusted for a history of delivering quality, and use that to your advantage. What if you aggregated so much experience that you could no longer fail?
Start from a place of experience, not from scratch
Remain calm in the face of skepticism about your potential
Motivate yourself by remember where you are already successful
Aggregate so much experience that failure is a mathematical impossibility