Are You on Your Own Team?

The best RDJ advice on never selling yourself short.

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There are some people who seem to just walk into the room with effortless panache and poise. They radiate that kind of natural flair & rock solid self-confidence that just draws in everybody else in the room.

I’ve always been in awe of these particular people. And it’s probably why Robert Downey Jr., with all his swagger on- and off-screen, has become one of the people I’ve come to really admire. While you can quote him on a lot of inspiring messages (as himself and as Tony Stark), this particular one somehow hits me differently each and every time I come back to it:

“I’ve always felt that if you’re not on your side, why should anyone else be? So I always encourage people to be confident, and sometimes even a little falsely so, just so you can give yourself an opportunity.”

Unfortunately, not everyone has that inherent degree of confidence. For most of us, it doesn’t come as easy, having experienced our fair share of moments of doubt. We look to success — from big wins to baby steps — to build that confidence for us.

But what if confidence did not have to be after-the-fact? What if we change the discussion and look at confidence as something we can start with? What if confidence is simply believing in the prospects of what you can be, what you can do, what you can achieve?

When you allow yourself to succumb to self-doubt, you are basically sinking the ship before it has the chance to leave the harbor.

Too many times we’ve let other people outshine us not because they were significantly better, but only because they were more sure of themselves. If you aren’t able to believe in yourself, in what you can offer, in what you want to sell — don’t be surprised if nobody else buys into it. You can’t rally people behind a team or a vision that you don’t genuinely, wholly believe in.

So when you want to go after something, you always have to be your fiercest fan. Your own cheerleader. Your most supportive coach — no matter the season. You need to see that confidence is also displayed in taking ownership of your disposition and in refusing to entertain the what ifs:

“What if I’m not good enough?”

“What if I’m not ready?”

Being good enough is simply showing up and recognizing your potential. Being ready is simply having the willingness to try and recognizing your efforts.

It’s high time that you stop underestimating yourself. Stop taking yourself out of the game, and give yourself the fighting chance you deserve.

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