Confidence hack: The Jar of Awesomeness

Keep a “Jar of Awesomeness” to track all your successes big or small. Keep it to give yourself a confidence boost anytime, anywhere.

Yesterday I found a 100,000 SEK check in my friend Erik’s apartment. The money that our startup (Tunaspot) was awarded some five years ago in Venture Cup, a Swedish business plan competition . I remember how we celebrated all night long. Then we evolved Tunaspot into one cool company and run it for a few years.

The problem is I tend to forget my successes when moving on to new projects and problems to ponder.

To be honest with you, despite quite a successful track record, I very often find myself doubting my own abilities. Doubting them big time. Quite often I find anything and everything I do simply not good enough. “Oh only if I did it that way and double the growth”. “Oh look at those guys, they are making [insert number] per year on their label, we are just breaking even”, “Look at my old friend, he is my age, but got a more successful law career and a giant pay check every month”. Actually, I’ll tell you a secret: Sometimes I even find myself questioning my whole existence and wondering if any of the choices I’ve made during the last 15 years were any good.

Luckily I found a simple relief tool that helps me to instantly boost my confidence when in doubt and get back on the track. It’s called the Jar of Awesomeness. Every time I do something good, big or small I make sure to write it down.

The “Jar” can be physical or digital. Mine isan Evernote Document. I prefer Evernote since I can access it any time from my mobile, when I need a confidence boost like before going on stage.

It can also be an actual jar in your kitchen with post-it notes. Every time you achieve something awesome or experiencing a good moment, write down a few words about and put it in the jar.

My Jar of Awesomeness looks like this (samples):

  • Raised €200,o00 from German investors for our start-up
  • Launched Balanspodden — totalled 10,000 listeners
  • Richie Hawtin contacts us personally re Tunaspot
  • Taught Annabel to ride the bicycle
  • Swim (A HMWL label artist) is number 1 on iTunes in Sweden
  • Went to Borderland festival, built a camp.
  • Paul Kalkbrenner praises one of our label’s releases in his Facebook feed.
  • Finally found and returned those library books (thought they were gone forever and I’d have to pay a fortune).
  • Made a really good three course indian curry and invited 10 friends over
  • Sold out our Backyard Rooftop party
  • Got a ride in a Tesla
  • etc…etc.. etc…

Every time I start doubting myself I just quickly open the Jar doc and feel the confidence instantly returning. After all I’ve done some cool stuff before, so the current project (that I’m currently doubting) might end up successfully too. Or the next one. It’s like a breath of fresh air of calm and determination.

Try it out, start recording your big and small successes today, to be able to access and browse them anytime. Actually I find myself getting most happy and confident by reading about my small everyday achievements “Cooked a very nice dinner with friends” or “Taught Annabel to ride a bicycle”. More than from the work related ones.

P.S. Tunaspot was connecting music tracks and location. Like a cross-over between Spotify and Foursquare. We raised €200k, acquired som 100,000+ users and got a nice feature in WIRED magazine. Then 2 years later we shut it down after failing to find a sustainable business model. It was great fun though and many lessons learned.