On self-belief

Sometimes all we need are a few words to change our entire perspective.

When I started a new role over a decade ago, the team I inherited – and that I had been brought on board to galvanise – managed to show in all manner of ways a preference to have been left to their own devices. No working telephone line, no PC, no e-mail account, no desk, no chair, in fact no physical sign whatsoever that I was actually employed. Given that they were the team responsible for the provision of such necessities tells you all you need to know.

I was fortunate to receive a visit from an old friend, colleague and successful entrepeneur, several years my senior and with an associated air of wisdom. He was in the vicinity and thought that he would drop in on the off-chance. Without mobile phones – and without even a land line – it was about the only means he had.

We adjourned to a local café – yes, it happened then too – and I explained my situation and disgruntlement. I didn’t feel that the organisation valued or was prepared to support me, and that I had been simply thrown at a problem in a totally unfamiliar environment and left to get on with it. .

Cue the short pause.

“You know” he said “I always thought to myself when I was working my way up, and encountered a situation  like that – they’re  damn lucky to have got me.”

Cue a longer pause, and a full restoration of confidence. Get on with it, I did.

It’s been my mantra ever since, whenever I have faced tricky situations. You have to back yourself – your attributes, your skills, your knowledge, your application and your resources. If you don’t believe in yourself, whoever else will?

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