Gaining Back Self Confidence — One Victory At A Time

In my previous blog, we’ve mentioned that one small chunk at a time and completing one small task should slowly but surely help increase your self confidence. Today, let’s go about why and how gaining back self confidence is important.

Start Small – One Victory At A Time

Instead of throwing spaghetti on the wall, we’re going to shift gears here and start stacking small victories, one at a time, which eventually will lead us to larger and larger victories. 

David Sacks, an entrepreneur and investor in various Internet technology firms, was the original COO of PayPal and Founder of Yammer, which he sold to Microsoft for $1.2 billion.  When commenting on the importance of small victories David declared: 

“Good strategy = Find an edge, win small victory or foothold, assimilate new resources, level up, repeat. Bad strategy = Attack everything at once. Don’t prioritize. Bleed strength.”  

Did you notice the similarities between David’s version of “Bad Strategy” and the notorious “All or None” and “Spaghetti on the Wall” strategies mentioned earlier?

The real genius behind stacking small victories is that with each small victory there is a compounding effect that allows you to stack larger and larger victories with greater and greater ease. This effect is quite often referred to as “The Domino Strategy.” 

The Domino Strategy

Novelist, poet, journalist, translator and one of the leading writers of the Victorian era George Eliot once declared: “Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together.” 

Similar to the game “Dominos”, the “Domino Strategy” shows how a very small amount of energy can be converted into something 1,000 times or even a billion times larger.

For example, a study published by the American Journal of Physics showed how dominoes could be used to create two billion times amplification in energy. The first domino in the experiment was just five millimeters tall but had the power to knock over the next domino, which was 150% larger. 

With each falling domino, the size increased by 150% and by the 13th Domino, the largest weighed 100 pounds and was more than a meter tall. The Scientists conducting the experiment concluded that by added 16 more dominoes there would’ve been enough force to knock over the Empire State Building.  

As you can imagine, starting small using the domino effect can translate into massive results in every area of your life and it’s responsible for creating some of the most confident and successful people in history including American science fiction author Vernor Vinge who famously declared:  

“Even the largest avalanche is triggered by small things.”

So remember, start small, one chunk at a time and resist the temptation to start at the top or try everything at once, otherwise, you could end up overwhelmed, at home on the couch wondering why things didn’t work out.

The Power of Sequence

Undoubtedly, starting small is crucial to knocking down the first domino, but as powerful as the Domino Strategy may be, it’s considered almost useless without “Sequencing.” 

In a nutshell, sequencing determines the order in which you stack these victories, which then leads to larger and more significant victories and gets you to your goal much quicker.

Verne Harnish, Co-founder of Entrepreneurs’ Organization, the largest association of top entrepreneurs, emphasizes just how important sequencing is when he declares: 

“Your job is to find that front domino, that number one thing that if you could accomplish [that] will knock over the other 98 and get more done than the other 98 combined.”

Confusingly, when taking action towards a goal, a lot of experts will tell you to just “write down your goals,” “think big,” “be patient,” “forge alliances,” “build your social media presence,” “start a podcast,” “take a class,” etc.  Yes, some of these can be important, even essential, but if you’re not doing them in the right order it’s almost as bad as doing nothing.

If you don’t get the sequence of these tasks right, the dominoes may not fall at all and you’ll either take 10 times as long to find your buried treasure, or you may get shot by a pirate and robbed of your confidence along the way.

In his best selling book “The One Thing,” Gary Keller, the founder of one of the largest real estate franchises in the world, Keller Williams, sums up this quandary with one monumental question:

“What’s the one thing I can do such that by doing it, everything else will be easier or unnecessary?”

Make sure you ask yourself this question every morning when you wake up and decide your plan of action (The Bonus Download at the end of this chapter will assist you in this process). It’s one of the most important questions you’ll ever ask yourself and by starting off small and leveling up in the right order, you’ll avoid becoming overwhelmed or lacking in time or money.

For example, Elon Musk may have become a billionaire from his companies Paypal and Tesla, but he started stacking his dominoes in the right order as a teenager by reading hundreds of books, which included studying electric cars and batteries, the precursor to Tesla Motors.

Both Jay Z (Shawn Carter) and P-Diddy (Sean Combs) were rappers in their early days but lined up their dominoes in the right order by learning the business behind the music, which enabled them to control their financial destiny.  As a result, they are two of the wealthiest and most successful artists of all time with clothing lines and multiple businesses in their control.

And how about you, what is the most important domino you need to knock over in order to create real success, which brings with it a healthy dose of confidence?

If you don’t know what your one thing is, don’t sweat it; most people are in your shoes. Juggling family, relationships, school and work responsibilities while attempting to maintain a social life sidetracks most people from ever knocking down the most important dominos. Fortunately, we’ll be using a really simple solution to knock down your dominos called “Stacking Small Victories.”

To continue learning why we choose to celebrate one victory at a time, I suggest checking out the top-selling book Get High On Confidence by Chad Scott here.

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