Don’t be tentative in your endeavors – Podcast

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We can all be scared when starting a new endeavour. Whether it is a new job, a new business, a new relationship, the fear of the unknown can stop us in our tracks. Still, most of us can power through the fear, make it through the first day of work and move on with our careers. It isn’t always pretty and it isn’t always easy, but for the most part we all get through those first tentative steps.


Now available from Douglas E. Welch and

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Cultivating Your Career Opportunities by Douglas E. Welch

11,000 Words

While we often talk about having one, monolithic, Reputation – with a capital R — I believe that there are a series of reputations that combine to create the whole. It is often said you can’t “do” projects, you can only do the individual tasks that make up the project. The same can be said for reputation. You don’t build your reputation as a whole, you cultivate the smaller reputations that create it. Each individual action builds your reputation in unique ways and each requires some thought as to how they relate to the whole. Cultivating Your Career Reputations examines each of these reputations in detail and helps you find specific areas where you can improve your work, your actions and your thoughts so that your overall professional reputation can grow

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Unfortunately, there is another behavior that can crop up when we are faced with new experiences. In these cases we might profess our excitement about a new job or other endeavor, but when we go to execute it, we are tentative about it. We don’t jump into the new job with both feet and our whole being. We don’t push as hard to build our new business. We stop short on all points like a child cautiously dipping a toe into the water to see if it is too cold. This tentativeness can be more damaging than not pursuing new opportunities at all because it gives us a false excuse should it fail. We give ourselves the ability to say “well, I wasn’t that into that project anyway.”

Being tentative about a new project starts that project off with a deficit. When we fail to commit to something — and yet do it anyway — we risk the success of that project because we are basically telegraphing our insecurities and worries to the world. Why would anyone want to partner with us on a project when even we can’t seem to summon up whole-hearted support for it. I see this type of tentativeness on almost a daily basis. it usually comes out in some form of woulda, coulda, shoulda, talk or the even worse, “if only” talk. If only I had more money. If only I had more time. If only I had a partner. Woulda, coulda, shoulda and “if only” are usually code words for tentativeness. When you use these phrases you haven’t fully committed to making the project work. You haven’t found the strength within yourself to give a clear message to yourself and others that this project is moving ahead.

Will your project fail? Possibly. Every project, no matter how well thought out or prepared has the potential for failure. But that reality shouldn’t give you permission to be tentative. Committing to a project means trying with all your effort to make it a success. There is no guarantee that it will succeed — no one can provide that. So you need to summon up the commitment that you think the project is important enough to put in the effort required.

When you go tentatively into a new project, you are trying to protect your ego above all else. You don’t want to be embarrassed if the project should fail, so you tell people it is “just a test” or “only a trial” or “still in alpha”. You try to give yourself an “out”, but what you are truly doing is indicating to everyone around you — and yourself — that the project doesn’t matter. Tentativeness sends the message that you expect the project to fail. You can probably see how damaging it is to go into a new project with such an attitude. It colors everything you do from that point forward.

When approaching a new project of any sort, find the power inside yourself to commit to it fully — or don’t do it at all. To approach it with tentativeness means you begin the project with a deficit. You aren’t committed and, when others sense that, they will not be fully committed either. It is far better to acknowledge your fear and doubt and still commit to the project because you think it is something of the highest importance. We all have worries when faced with any new experience, but commitment allows us to do the best that we can even if the project itself might fail. It gives us a sense of energy and power and makes sure we can’t use tentativeness as an easy way out when the going gets tough. If you are going to do something at all, do it wholeheartedly. Sometimes you just have to take that first step, even if you might be a little afraid of where it might lead.


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