There are many reasons why we don’t perform to our potential in business. A lack of resources becomes restrictive, competitive forces obliterate our profit margins, and government regulations kick us while we’re down.
But the most significant contributor to lackluster results is the presence of a simple trait.
Excessive, lingering doubt in business is a silent killer that eats away at your confidence and your business’s progress. It comes in various forms, for example:
- Doubt about your vision – where are you going in the long-term?
- Doubt about your strategy – how will you get there?
- Doubt about your people – who should be on your team?
- Doubt about your clients – who should you do business with?
- Doubt about why you’re in business – what is your purpose?
And the list goes on.
It’s not to say that every business should have all the answers. Some things are complex and take time to work through. Experience, or trial and error, is often the only antidote to a wicked problem.
However, many issues are not complex, yet we slow down in the face of them. We resist working through them for reasons unknown. Maybe it’s because we’re too busy with the day-to-day. Or it’s because we don’t have an immediate answer, so we relegate it in our mind. Whatever the reason, it adds up to one thing: a lack of confront.
The ability to confront
The ability to confront things in business is a high ability.
To confront something means standing there, looking at it in the eye, and dealing with it until it’s complete. Many people experience doubt because they don’t face issues head-on. People who can confront things have a knack for nipping issues in the bud before they become uncontrollable. They attack problems with zeal and aren’t afraid to make quick decisions. When this occurs, it’s akin to a river that flows rapidly: the water remains fresh, and nature thrives. When issues aren’t confronted, the river stagnates, and life within it begins to die. The same applies in your business.
What to do
When you feel like you’re grinding to a halt, it’s a sign that you are uncertain about something. Whether you realise it or not, you’re in doubt, and you need to confront it.
Here’s what I recommend you do:
Step 1. Make a list of your doubts.
Grab a pen and paper and make a list of everything you’re unsure of or confused about – all your doubts and areas of indecision. This could be personal or work-related.
Step 2. List your options.
For each doubt raised, make a list of the options you can take to resolve the confusion. If you’re struggling, ask someone you trust for help, or do it in pairs (it’s often easier to help someone else with their issues, and vice versa).
Step 3. Discuss and debate.
Analyse the options in front of you and debate the pros and cons of each. Then decide on what to do – this is key. You need to shatter any chance of procrastination, as this is what got you here in the first place. Often (but not always), it’s less costly to make the wrong decision and reverse it later than not to decide at all. So, pick and stick (for now).
Step 4. Execute.
Now that you’ve chosen your path, execute on it with discipline and focus. Don’t second guess yourself here, just get into action.
Step 5. Be accountable.
By now, you should see the results (both good and bad) and it’s time to own it.
If you’re better off from when you began – congratulations! Commit the successful action to memory for next time. If not, well done also. It took courage to make a call knowing that it could’ve been wrong, but you made it anyway for the greater good. Don’t be too hard on yourself because it’s wasted energy. Take time to understand, learn, and apply the fix required. And don’t give up on the process above until you’ve achieved the desired outcome.
Get into action
When you’ve removed the doubt in your business, you have a clear runway to get into action! Seeing everyone in your business bursting with productive energy, tearing through issues, and getting their best work done is an incredible sight and a fantastic feeling.
Getting to this highly productive state is your duty. And if you are leading a team, help them resolve their doubts too, and they will thank you for it.