The battle lines are drawn and it’s you versus everything that holds you back.
First there are the army of cognitive biases – the ways common to us all in which our brains are wired that makes us do weird things, analyse things poorly, think in strange ways or make lousy decisions.
One of my favourite…
…cognitive bias horror stories is omission bias.
Our omission bias says that a bad result that comes from action is worse than an equally bad result that comes from inaction.
So, when there’s doubt about the outcome of, say, making that sales call, raising the price, saying “no”, speaking your mind, standing up and being counted…the fear of doing these things and getting a bad result is greater than the fear of not doing them (“hey look nothing bad happened!”) and getting an equally bad result so we have a bias towards doing nothing.
For some of us, doing nothing is a very, very, very good idea.
For most of us, doing nothing is an invisible, devastating disaster.
There are over 120 of these biases…(120!)
Then there’s fear…
…which I write about often. I won’t re-iterate it all here but the effects are dire – and the primary effect is inaction. Because of course if we don’t do anything we cannot suffer the things we are afraid of, like looking stupid, getting hurt etc etc. But if you’ve been paying attention you will see that this is the very same omission bias I talked about above.
Then there’s your self-image…
…your self-belief, attitudes, behaviour. Your beliefs. What you think you can and cannot do (what you think you cannot do is the biggy.) If all this stuff is not reasonably well aligned with what you want to achieve, you’re stuffed.
But we are conditioned…
…to see our competitor as outwith us. So we compete with other people. This is pointless at a practical level – you can’t beat them, because, like zombies in a horror movie, every time you beat one of them, there’s another one coming at you.
Competing with others is also pointless at a strategic level because it gives you the wrong target – you can usually only compete with others on what you can see – the externals – i.e. their results – the money, the job title etc. and that’s useless because if you want to compete with anyone it should be on what they do to get their results, not the results themselves.
But rather than compete with others…
…it is much smarter to model them. Copy what they do.
If you model what they do, you stand a fighting chance of becoming independently able to replicate their results. If you try to mimic the results, you will almost certainly not do the right things and therefore not get the results.
Back to the point…YOU…
I believe the only sensible person to compete with is who you were yesterday. You know what works in your life. So do more of that and hone it. You know what’s not working. So change what you do or simply stop doing it.
Imaging 30 years spent on continual improvement of your strengths. Where does that take you? Even 10 years. You’ll be an expert, a guru even, an authority. And if people are prepared to swap their money for your value you might make a few quid while you’re at it.