Second Thoughts

It is okay to doubt yourself for a moment. The only people who don’t have second thoughts are the ones who have few thoughts in the first place. 

 

Having a doubt in your mind doesn’t mean you’re a doubter. It means you have the mental capacity to re-think something. Many times a second thought will sharpen your decision, not change it. 

 

Second thoughts cause you to ask yourself questions, find alternatives and take the appropriate action. Second thoughts slow us down and give us time to reflect on the decision we just made. Second thoughts can serve a valuable purpose. 

 

But…

 

Second thoughts can also come straight out of fear. Fear of failure, fear of being wrong, fear of upsetting or disappointing someone. Second thoughts born out of fear are almost always a very stressful experience. 

 

Second thoughts sometimes stem from a lack of self-confidence. Those second thoughts are demotivating and cause you to doubt not just your decisions but your abilities, values, and even your relationships with others. Second thoughts based on a lack of confidence in yourself actually feed on themselves and grow every time you experience doubt. 

 

Second thoughts from fear or a confidence issue serve no useful purpose because they cause you to ask the wrong questions. They cause you to question yourself more than the decision you made. These kinds of second thoughts don’t sharpen a decision or even change a decision, they simply delay it or eliminate the decision completely. 

 

So when you’re having second thoughts you need to determine the source of that doubt. If it’s coming from fear then remember that the only place that fear exists is in our minds. Fear can not make a home in your head unless you allow it. The fastest and most effective way to deal with fear is to take action. Do the thing you fear the most and fear will no longer have control over you. 

 

If your second thoughts are coming from a lack of self-confidence then you need to remind yourself of all your past successes. If you’ve succeeded before then you can absolutely do it again. You need to ask yourself what’s the worst that can happen if you move forward with your decision. Realize that in most cases you are perfectly capable of dealing with that “worst.” Rethink your decision to determine how you can minimize that “worst case” and then move forward. 

 

Not making a decision due to second thoughts IS a decision. It’s a decision to do nothing and doing nothing is almost always wrong. 


People who never have second thoughts are know it alls who most often know nothing at all. You actually want to have second thoughts. Use them to make better, more confident decisions. There is no doubt, no doubt at all, that it will lead you to a better life!

Why Are You Hesitating?

There are many things that can limit a person’s ability to lead. Hesitating when action is required is one of the more common characteristics of weak leadership. 

 

There is rarely a perfect time to act. If you wait for that perfect time when all the stars are aligned and every conceivable obstacle has been removed then it’s likely you’ll never act at all. Sitting still makes it impossible to go anywhere so unless you’re already exactly where you want to be you better do something.

 

Some leaders hesitate because they are afraid of risk. Well here’s the deal…risk is mandatory if success and growth are your goals. The legendary Randy Gage (if he’s not a legend he should be) wrote a book in 2013 called “Risky is the New Safe.” The title pretty much says it all. I highly recommend this book if you’re struggling to take the leap of trying something new. It’s available on Amazon for under 10 bucks but it’s value remains priceless. 

 

The fact is the riskiest thing you can do in almost any situation is nothing. Yet nothing is what way too many people in leadership positions do when action is called for. That’s a direct path to failure.

 

Limited leaders also hesitate because they know that they need help yet they refuse to ask for it. They see acknowledging that they need help as a sign of weakness. Even the biggest most powerful trains sometimes need an extra engine to get going. Perhaps you need a boost too. It’s not a weakness to ask for help, it is in fact a sign of strength. If you need help ask anyone and everyone until you have the help you need to succeed.

 

Many failed leaders procrastinated past their window of opportunity. They may have convinced themselves that they were being patient. They were really hiding in their comfort zones waiting for the opportunity to pass. Their belief is that if you didn’t try then you cannot fail. They didn’t realize that their failure to try was their biggest failure of all. 

 

Patience is the acceptance that things can happen in a different order than you had in mind. When you don’t know what to do next just do the next right thing. The “order” of things will work themselves out if you keep doing the next right thing. 

 

Joseph Addison said “He who hesitates is lost.” He said that in 1713. I’m thinking life moved a little slower back then. Today that phrase might be updated to say, “if you even think about thinking about hesitating you have zero chance to succeed.”


Business and life in general move so fast these days that not only do you lose if you hesitate, you’re not even in the game. 

I Dare You to Lead

 

I dare you to lead…from right where you are. I dare you to lead…with just the skills you have available to you today. I dare you to lead…with the title and position you have today…even if you have no title and no position. I dare you to lead…this very minute! 

 

We don’t need more leaders in the world. What we need is for more leaders to lead. Most leaders today are leaders in waiting. They are waiting for the title that will make them a leader. They are waiting for “leadership skills” to somehow magically appear. They are waiting for the right “opportunity” to come along and then they will spring into leadership action. 

 

For some of the leaders the waiting may seem necessary. Others know that they are simply procrastinating. Still others are hiding from their fear of failing as a leader behind the safety net of waiting. 

 

Whatever their reasons the waiting is usually an excuse. No one who possesses the ability to influence another person need wait one more second. They can chose to lead right now, today.

 

Nothing makes you a leader but leading. Don’t buy into the myth that you need a lofty position or a fancy sounding title to lead. No title, no position, no timing and no opportunity can make you a leader. 

 

You must decide to lead. When you suddenly start leading there may be people in your sphere of influence who are offended. Lead anyway.

 

People like me can’t really “teach” leadership. We can only talk about how to lead. We can only explain the common characteristics of authentic leaders.  We can only describe the frequently repeated mistakes of poor leaders. 

 

But the only way to truly learn how to lead is to lead. Deal with your mistakes along the way, learn from them and lead better the next day. If you’re waiting until you are comfortable with your leadership skills and completely confident in your leadership abilities, then you may never lead at all. 

 

Authentic Leaders are often less than comfortable and completely confident with all the decisions they make and all the actions they take. They lead anyway! 

 

There has never been a great leader who was great on their first day of leading. Everyone learns along the way. Don’t wait until you think you’re good enough. Begin leading today and dedicate yourself to working hard to become the leader you’ve been waiting to become. 


I dare you!