“I’ll never be any good at that.”

“I’m rubbish at this.”

“I always mess it up.”

Lots of people tell themselves this kind of damaging, destructive nonsense every day (British people in particular, it seems, although I have precisely no data to back that up. It seems to be true, though).



Well, giving up’s easy; anyone can do that. Dropping your head* and giving in to the doubters doesn’t take any courage, creativity or dedication, and you’ve got all of those (yes, you have). I was a poor student academically, but I had persistence learnt from running and cycling. Being made to feel like a fool as a teenager at school when I knew I was creative was actually good – if slightly tough – preparation for the rest of my life. Being misunderstood is par for the course** when your left brain is a teensy bit more powerful than your right (‘In my left brain there’s nothing right, and in my right brain there’s nothing left’ as a shining wit once said (no idea who)).


A Megaphone and a Bicycle***

You need someone to cheer you on from the sidelines, to shout “Keep going!” when you need it. Now, that person might be a friend or a colleague, but – even better – it should be you. Learn this skill and you’ll be unstoppable. I learnt it from doing hundereds of stand up comedy gigs, but I recommend applying yourself to the task at hand: getting up and speaking to groups of people. Hard, but simple and very effective.**** A bit like getting up at 6:30am every day to do some physical exercise.


Do. Or Do Not. There is No Try

The demons in your life want you to just stop trying. The angels on the other hand, your friends, family and – stick with me on this – the future version of you, are all yelling at you to just. Keep. Going. Imagine their voices encouraging you to go over the slides again, to rehearse one more time, to include a bit of your personality when you speak, because that one extra step may be all that’s standing between you and the sweet experience of success.

* Sport-orientated reference #1

** Sport-orientated reference #2

*** Sport-orientated reference #3

**** Not really any kind of reference. Just enjoying using all these asterisks, to be honest. Sorry.


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