How do you overcome doubt when chasing a dream?
“Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will.” –Suzy Kassem
I would like to share with you an article I ran across on LinkedIn by Richard Branson.
He is one of my idols.
We have a shared philosophy. We both believe that we don’t have to know everything, we just need to know where to find that information and surround ourselves with very smart people. Einstein once said, when asked a question, “I don’t know. I don’t burden my memory with such facts that I can easily find in any textbook.” When I use to teach pilots at UPS, I had a huge book that I would bring to each class and it contained all the reference materials for what I would be teaching that day. Also as a manager at UPS I would make sure to surround myself with the smartest people for whatever project I was working on.
I learned with this book, that It is not always possible in the real world. I hired people to help me with this project but unfortunately, you don’t always get what you pay for. No big deal, I have learned a lot in the process.
So many times, with this book project, I wanted to throw up my hands and walk away but as you will read in this article there are very good reasons why you should not do so. At the same time there are reasons you should reevaluate your decision to continue down that path.
What I’ve learnt throughout my life is that every success is built upon a thousand failures (or ‘opportunities to learn’, as I like to think of them). Whenever doubt creeps in, I remind myself that dreams aren’t linear. I also think of all the brilliant innovations and discoveries that would have come to nothing if their inventors had given in to their doubts. I’m sure everyone from Thomas Edison to Gertrude Stein doubted their dreams from time-to-time, but the difference is they didn’t let it knock them off-course.
It’s always a good idea to discuss any doubt you have with colleagues and friends, and to really listen to their feedback. If you feel more confident after these conversations, take a ‘screw it, let do it’ attitude and push your doubts to the side.
It’s also healthy and perfectly human to have a little bit of doubt. It’s how we make progress and stay in touch with reality. Your doubts may signal a niggling problem that needs to be addressed. If you demand proof from your doubt, you’ll be able to either squash it or solve the problem. Either way your dreams and ideas will be better for it.
The day after we launched Virgin Atlantic, the bank manager came to my house and threatened to shut us down. I managed to get him out of the door and brought my team together to find a solution. It was a very sweaty moment, but I didn’t let doubt creep in and we quickly fixed the issue.
If things really start to get you down, my advice would be to step outside, get some fresh air, and have a cup of tea. Whenever doubt starts to get the better of me, I find exercise really helps. I’ll get on my bike, play some tennis or have some downtime with my family. This is often when my best ideas come to me as well!
Some of my best ideas come to me while I am running.
Bottom line, I did not give up and overall I am very happy with the outcome. Many ask why I wrote the book in the first place. I have several answers depending on who is asking.
I actually love listening to books as opposed to sitting down and reading one. I read many while traveling, running or right before bed. I thought it would be great for Catherine and I to listen to our travels, so I reverse engineered the project. In order for that to be possible, first I had to write the book. I did a lot of writing of articles at my old job and that continued through my open heart surgery. I wrote to a journal and shared with other open heart surgery patients at Heart-Valve-Surgery.com
It was very therapeutic and by reading other journals it gave me a great insight on what to expect. That morphed into a blog I wrote to while traveling. When I decided to write this book I simply took that material, edited it myself, while stuck in St. Kitts, due to Covid and then hired a professional editor. I then selected a publisher and here we are. I must admit the most rewarding part was working with the narrator, Lucas, who did a great job. He had it done on time and under budget, which was very refreshing, since all other experiences with the book did not go as well.
The other day we were driving to Richmond Virginia and it was with great joy to hear Catherine’s laughter and see her smiles as we listened to our book on Audible on the car radio. It made all the fits and starts worth it.
Lastly, I plan on donating a portion of the proceeds on the sale of this book to organizations that provide support to Alzheimer’s patients and their caregivers.
So with that said it is not to late to order your autographed copy at RunningwithCat.com. So far I have autographed over 100 books with great joy.
Or you can click on one of the links below to order from your favorite establishment in your preferred format, Hard Cover, Soft Cover, Kindle, Nook, iTunes or my favorite, Audible.
Thanks for reading and support.
Tony and Cat