Gary V. wrote an interesting article recently on what motivates him to succeed. You can read it here. Basically, he psychs himself out of thinking he is successful. Here’s a quote by him:

“…And I kind of stumbled on something this morning. I realized that even when I’m at my height, even when I’m most succeeding, I play a trigger game with myself to make me believe that I’m losing. I’m at my worst even though I’m at my best…”

By telling himself he isn’t as successful as he thinks, it puts pressure on himself to keep going. Gary is very, very successful. This strategy works for him.

But, it would never work for me. Here’s why…

I don’t like feeling bad about myself. There’s enough NST (Negative Self Talk) I must battle with – I don’t need to create more of it in my head. I like feeling happy about what I’ve accomplished. I find it motivates me to do more. When I reach a goal it’s like opening Door #1 and finding a party. I get so excited about accomplishing the goal the energy makes me say, “Wow. Where’s Door #2? Let’s see if I can open that too.” In short, I like to keep the party going – so I keep looking for new ways to lead me to the celebration.

Intimidation Slows My Enthusiasm

There is one thing that grinds me to a halt in my quest to succeed: self-intimidation. As I mentioned earlier, like everyone else, I have NST. Sometimes, it takes over and dominates my brain, trying to convince me that I can’t achieve the goal. The worst type of intimidation for me is the fear of making a costly mistake. I don’t want my enthusiasm to blind me from reality. So, I’m often side-tracked by intimidating thoughts like:

“You don’t have the smarts to do this.”

“You need way more resources than you have to accomplish this.”

“You don’t know the right people to do this.”

“You don’t have the time to do this.”

“You can’t afford to risk any money on this.”

Notice how it’s all about me and what I can’t do? Very intimidating. Yet, something in me hates being pushed around and held back from the party. Especially, by myself! So, I found a solution.

I Crush Intimidation With Fact

When I find myself hesitating due to the NST above, I hit the books, the internet, and my network to get the story straight in my head. I’ve found that 99% of the time, the intimidation I’m experiencing is due to lack of knowledge or mis-assumptions on my part. Instead of allowing myself to believe the NST, I disprove it. I go out and get the resources I need to empower myself and minimize the risk associated with my goal. Here are just a few things this has enabled me to:

Quit my corporate job.
Change careers so I could work from home to raise my young daughters.
Write a book.
Launch a blog.
Start a company and set up an office.
Hire employees.
Build an “after-school room” in my corporate office so my kids can be with me.
The above are all actions I took to help me achieve my career goals. I would have never done a single one of them if I hadn’t been intimidated enough to feel compelled to find solutions.

Today, I (Almost) Look Forward To Being Intimidated

I’m now inspired when I feel a sense of intimidation. I’m able to put myself into immediate action to get rid of it. It’s one of the most powerful motivators for me. It took me years to develop my self-awareness towards intimidation, but the result has been a more productive career – not to mention, a more satisfying one. There’s just nothing like slaying an intimidation monster!

How Have You Used Intimidation To Your Benefit?

I’d love to hear your stories below.

P.S. – First time reading my posts? Thanks for taking the time to stop by! Not only do I write for Linkedin, but I’m also founder of a popular career advice site,CAREEREALISM,and currently run the career coaching program,CareerHMO. I hope you’ll check them both out!