‘You’ Might Be Your Biggest Problem

My friends often laugh at me.

When I discuss what I plan to do, I often remark that I want to do x y or z because I know I will be good at it.

More often than that not I also say I am already brilliant at the skills which are required to be successful in this particular field, and that this will immediately put me ahead of others doing this already.

Only recently I heard myself saying this to a friend about doing more video in my business, and I realised how often this is my attitude internally – and how important it has been to my own development over the years.

You are probably reading this and thinking what an arrogant idiot .. and maybe if I heard someone else saying this I would be thinking the same thing.

But having an unshakable core belief in yourself is not arrogance.

Arrogance is a distain for others. Arrogance looks down upon them as if they are beneath you. And arrogance is also often a false confidence in your own ability.

I am a humble man in many ways. I learn a fantastic amount from those around me – often people who don’t realise how brilliant they are impart something which makes a difference to me personally – and I often tell people this too.

Don’t let the fear of being perceived as arrogant rob you of your own positivity.

I have changed career several times, as one got stale and another appealed. And through these changes I have often had to challenge myself to start again somewhere else. I think perhaps this has trained this attitude into me, but I think I had a measure of it already.

This wasn’t always the case. As a young man I was angry and scared of challenge. I learned my current positive attitude, and I am so glad that I did.

My take on this is simple. If you start with an understanding of what you are good at and develop your business and your life in line with those strengths, you can be more sure of the success you will achieve trying new things.

But much more than that ..

To learn to do anything new, you have to start with a positive attitude. Your first few steps might be utterly awful, and this inbuilt confidence will help you rise above these mistakes and learn from them.

If you start something new already convinced that you won’t be able to do it – you won’t. This sounds obvious, but this is the approach of many people – and so many people fail even before they begin, because of this barrier they effectively place in front of themselves.

How do you manufacture this state of confidence ? How do you put yourself on this positive train?

First, understand what you are good at. Take a few moments to analyse your own life and identify these things in yourself. It’s important to do this as if you are someone else looking in – get a really good external view of yourself – perhaps based on what others tell you, but more than this – how you understand yourself.

After you’ve done this, and truly understand your talents – when looking at your business, filter every opportunity you come across with this understanding. So you are focused on your strengths – or areas which you think are those you can develop based on your core skills.

Maybe your analysis, and your own preferred business model will throw up some areas you lack in terms of skill. Recognising this is fantastic. You are the biggest asset your business has, and to develop these skills you first need to recognise their importance.

But regardless of whether you are good at something or not, whether you are learning something from scratch – or if you are making every mistake in the book as you learn how to do something well … you can always go into new learning experiences with a positive, can-do attitude.

To develop your own internal confidence learn to listen to what you are telling yourself internally – often this is subconscious and barely noticeable at first.

But like a dripping tap it has a growing impact far beyond what we might realise. This dripping tap is a reflection of you – it’s what you really think of yourself, and recognising this can be unsettling at first.  But this internal voice is not you – it is simply a collection of all the times people have told you that you can’t do this, or you’re not good at that.

You can stop your subconscious dripping negativity into your daily life through consciously telling yourself positive things – do it out loud, and mean it. In time your subconscious will catch up with where your conscious mind has got to.

Because ultimately .. if you don’t blow your own trumpet – don’t expect that others will do it for you.

Or as a weighty teacher of mine years ago, shouted at me across the classroom once … “Don’t hide your light under a bushel boy!”

About Ant Carter

I am a writer and digital entrepreneur - my passion is helping ordinary people start extraordinary digital businesses. Join my list for free strategies and advice exclusive to my community.

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10 thoughts on “‘You’ Might Be Your Biggest Problem

  • igor Griffiths

    Hello Ant

    I really like this post as it is so counter to how we are told to behave and because of which far too many fail to reach their true potential. In most western education systems, the kids are educated to an average standard, with the bright held back and the weak brought to an acceptable standard. This then perpetuates as they progress into adulthood with the gifted unconsciously restraining themselves and the weak accepting their situation.

    • Ant Carter Post author

      That is an extremely accurate observation of the experience of education and learning of many young people in the western world Igor – you are absolutely right.

      Isn’t it a shame that to some extent, children have to train themselves out of some of the habits their childhood has taught them. I have a chance to do this right with my daughter, who is now 17 months old – and I am determined to help her realise the huge advantages of a positive mindset when learning new things.

  • Igert

    Hi Ant
    True words. There is a saying in the sporting world “nice guys come second”.

    Many people are hesitant to say and show what they can do becacause they want others to see them as good guys and team players.

    The truth is that a team also needs a leader and this role usually goes to someone who is confdent enough to lead by example.

    You are net doing anybody a favour by hiding your talents – least of all yourself.

    Good post

    • Ant Carter Post author

      Hi Igert, I like this comparison you make to being a team player .. and the fact that a lot of the time we are taught / expected to be team players first and ourselves second. I hadn’t thought about it that way before. You are absolutely right that hiding your talents doesn’t do you any favours – it also doesn’t help them grow.

  • Peter Beckenham

    Hi Ant and many thanks for this inspirational post.

    Way too often in life I see folks who are chronic under-achievers sumply because they don’t know any better.

    Its posts like this that remind me just how lucky I was to haveca dad that pushed me to believe that anything was possible “if you just have the courage to give it 100%”

    Great timing by the way. I am going to share this post with my list as I was planning to send out a message that relates to self- belief

    Thanks for sharing Ant.

    Best wishes from a remote Thai village marketer.


    • Ant Carter Post author

      Hi Peter, I write what I think – and a lot of it turns out to be motivational stuff – i’m glad it hit the spot for you.

      You are right about the impact of parents on your outlook – especially with the schooling systems in developed countries increasingly becoming conformance factories. You must be the first person from Thailand to comment on my blog – it’s an extremely nice feeling to have reached so far from my home in rainy Oldham UK!

  • Samii Nuks

    Thanks for the article Ant. I am most definitely my biggest problem.

    My attitude & my self doubt gets me at times.

    Knowing that this is part of growth & continuing to grow is the way to go!


    • Ant Carter Post author

      No problem Samii .. I think self doubt affects us all – it’s one of life’s great challenges – and perhaps conquering this is the closest thing we will come to a meaning of being here at all.

      I write what I think here – and looking back, much of it seems to be positive and motivational .. I hope to help myself through doing this – and other people too, if I can.