Why All Luck is Bad Luck
When it comes to chasing your dreams, there are many voices that you inadvertantly invite into your dreams. You have undoubtedly read many posts that talk about how to push past those voices. Additionally you have heard the now cliche’d saying that “you are your own biggest critic.” What happens when your biggest critic (you) starts masquerading your criticism as what many may consider positivity?
Hear me out.
My company creates personal care and grooming products for men, so we are regularly developing new products and scents for those products. The first time we seemed to nail our first scent, we got lucky and hit it on the first try. From that moment on that is how we described what was happening to us. We were lucky. We were lucky when we landed a potentially huge retail deal. We were lucky when people were telling us how our soap was affecting their lives for the better. We were just lucky.
When Good Luck Became Bad Luck
It took me a good month of explaining away our success with this intangible, mysterious word before I realized what luck was doing to my work ethic, and overall attitude towards my role in the company.
I found myself starting to rely on luck to get me through. I started feeling like I wasn’t good at what I was doing, because I was just “lucky.”
This was a problem because luck has ZERO to do with anything that you are capable of doing. Luck is finding 20$ on the street. Luck is when you hit all green lights on your drive. What was happening to me when I explained our “luck” is that I was stripping away not only the confidence in how people viewed me, but also how I viewed myself. Was all of this happening without any talent or skill on my part? If so, what the heck have I been doing this whole time? As you can see this spiral only gets worse. Before you know it, you are explaining what you think is a positive thing but is subconciously eating you alive. If you talk positively about eating poison, you are still eating posion. Even if it looks and tastes good, it will still kill you.
Why am I talking about luck?
Well we are now into developing our 15th product (I think), and so far what we have consistently made is great and without compromise. We are making products that people want, and continue to want. We are chasing down a dream that improves people’s lives, and doing it well. There is no room for luck in this journey. Not anymore.
Give Yourself Some Credit
At some point you (and I’m also talking to myself here) have to give yourself some credit that maybe… JUST MAYBE you are good at what you do. Assigning the credit to this coincidential, seemingly innocuous thing we call luck is not doing your dream justice. The first time it may be luck. The fifth time it’s talent. Don’t blame something intangible for your success.
It’s easy to want to appear humble and in the midst of that becoming self depricating. I do this to myself all the time. I finally had to come to the point where I had to believe I am good at what I am doing. Not because I think I might be, but because I have a developing track record for making great things. For me this sounds prideful for me to tell myself. I don’t like sounding prideful, so I don’t naturally accept this self pep-talk. Nevertheless, it is the objective observation that I have to first believe. My business partners and I are good at making great products for men. I have to give myself permission to be proud of myself, and stop passing our success off to just mere luck.
You may be in the same boat. You may be chasing a dream and have a hard time accepting that you may actually be good at what you are chasing. It’s a crazy feeling because most dream chasers spend a long time in jobs that they don’t feel naturally good at so they apply the same logic to their dreams. Is it possible that the reason that you are having these dreams is to prepare you for what you are really good at doing?
We have to stop giving luck all of the credit for why we are succeeding in the area of our dreams. Take ownership of your gifts, it’s ok to believe that you can achieve your dreams.
“…Because the people who are crazy enough to think they
can change the world, are the ones who do.” -Steve Jobs