How overconfidence is key to success

Most people assume overconfidence is a negative character trait that creates failure through hubris and overreach, says inc. Science, however, has long known that entrepreneurs are consistently overconfident. If they weren’t, they wouldn’t launch startups.

Put another way, if entrepreneurs weren’t overconfident, they’d stay put in their salaried jobs like everyone else. Therefore, to be a successful entrepreneur, you must cultivate overconfidence, rather than squelch it. Here’s how:

1. Make success a must-have.

Average folk want to be successful. But wanting something doesn’t cut it. Wanting won’t push you forward against all odds. Wanting won’t buoy you up when big problems flood in.

Entrepreneurs see success as something that they absolutely MUST achieve, no matter what stands in their way. As Yoda said: “Do or do not… there is no try.”

2. Have bright, big goals.

Average folk have wishes. They wish they could pay their bills. They wish they had a better job. They wish they could take an extra day off.

Entrepreneurs don’t have wishes; they have goals that speak to the heart and roil in the gut. They want to make millions, help billions, change the world.

3. Shrug off your failures.

Average folk are crushed when they suffer a setback. They wallow in disappointment. They make excuses. They blame fate.

Entrepreneurs see failures as anomalies, temporary situations that teach them how to execute more effectively the next time. And there always is a next time.

4. Ignore the naysayers.

Average folk base their self-worth upon the opinion of others. They’re afraid of looking stupid. They’re afraid of disapproval. They’re really afraid of hearing “I told you so.”

Entrepreneurs consider the complaints and comments of non-entrepreneurs to be nothing but noise. As the old saying goes: “The dogs bark but the caravan moves on.”

5. Value courage above security.

Average folk are obsessed with security. They want life to be predictable. They want to feel safe. They look at the outside world through the lens of their TV.

Entrepreneurs know that the desire of security keeps you from becoming the best. They’d rather live life on their own terms and die poor than suffer a half-life of living in fear.

So that’s how it’s done. One question remains: How do you know when you’re successfully overconfident?

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