Here's a recent post from Seth Godin that caught my attention:
The worst golfer in town came in last in the club tournament.
Actually, that’s not true. The worst golfer didn’t even enter.
Well, that’s not true either. The worst golfer doesn’t even play.
Self-confidence is something that every consultant needs to cultivate. I previously wrote about its importance in landing new projects and creating more content. But acknowledging the fact doesn't prevent us from being harsh with ourselves.
We are our worst judges. Anxiety, imposter syndrome, and perfectionism will constantly attack you. And the sooner you learn how to deal with it, the better.
You can look at your situation from a different perspective, as Godin did in his post. But it also helps to remember what consulting is about: Serving your prospects and clients, and putting their interests first.
- Why are you worried about the quality of your offerings, your marketing material, or your sales skills? You are afraid of failing to meet your goals and how others will judge you.
- Why do you avoid creating content, sharing your ideas in public, and teaching others? Because you want to make sure whatever you create is meeting your quality standards.
- Why are you hiding behind perfectionism? You don't want to make it perfect - you are afraid of critique, and that you and your work will be seen as inferior.
Can you see a pattern here? It's all about you. Your goals, your feelings, your standards.
But clients don't care:
- People don't care if you're uncomfortable selling, as long as you're respectful and professional, put their interests first, and help them generate their desired outcome.
- People don't care how you judge the quality of your content, as long as it is helpful and useful to them.
- People don't care about your absurdly high standards. You can't expect clients to be delighted if your perfectionism prevents you from delivering projects in time.
When you judge yourself, compare yourself to others, or try to protect your ego, you put yourself at the center of the universe. That doesn't help anyone else. Not even you.