Yes. You are.
Allow me to explain.
First, the general description of a wuss is; “a person who is physically weak and ineffectual”. It has been used more recently however, to derogatorily describe a man who is weak, ineffectual, effeminate and wishy-washy, especially when it comes to the ladies.
Some friends and I have a long running joke about wusses, sometimes even dissing ourselves in the process. Don’t sweat it, it’s a guy thing.
So, couple of days back, at the week-long peak of this joke, we’re in an informal meeting discussing a way forward on some project and because someone was being indecisive about a certain action, we jokingly called him a wuss. We laughed it off and eventually forged a way forward.
That night however, those same words came back to torment me during my quiet moment of self-reflection, and the reality hit me hard;
I realised that I was being a (business) wuss in so many ways.
It was a very painful blow to the gut.
Second, a digression.
I believe that if we were to single out the one thing that stops people from achieving their dreams and goals, we would end up with … fear. The fear of pain, the fear of responsibility, the fear of making mistakes, the fear of death, the fear of … many things.
I also believe that if we were to flip the coin and single out the one thing that drives people to achieve their goals, we would again end up with… fear. The fear of failure, the fear of waking up one day and realising you’re screwed, the fear of having only 300/= to your name, the fear of doing dishes at the restaurant because your oh-she’s-so-darn-cute! date’s bills got a little out of hand.
Fear motivates us in so many ways, some into action, some into inaction.
And coming back full circle, fear is a wuss’ best friend.
When you let fear cripple you, you’re basically asking yourself one simple question:
“What is the worst that can happen?”
And the scenarios that come to your mind as so horrendous that your mind freezes, your body refuses to cooperate, you quit before you even start and you are irrevocably doomed to wishful thinking, complaining, sour-graping, and later on, regret. All of which get your nowhere. You look back ten years and think to yourself; man, I could be so loaded by now, I could be so ripped by now, I could sooo own that car by now, I would’ve had the girl by now.
But there are two more questions that are equally critical, and much more important that the first;
“What’s likely to happen?” (the realistic no assumptions question) and
“What’s the best that could happen?” (the optimist’s shining light).
Asking yourself those last two questions more often than the first actually prepares you for success. It psyches you up, and makes you focus more on the positive than the negative.
Of course, as usual asking yourself the first question allows you to be cautious, and caution has never done any harm, has it? But caution to the point of inaction is much more dangerous if left unchecked and unbalanced by the other two questions.
So, back (again) to the main issue;
I realised I was being too cautious on too many business decisions… screw it, I was plain scared. I was being a wuss in certain areas of business, and it was crippling the company(s).
And in any area of life, personal, spiritual, family… if you’re a leader, you lead by example. So if I was being a wuss, then I had no right to call someone else a wuss, even jokingly. I believe in the the principle that states, “Do not hold someone else to standards you yourself cannot achieve or maintain.”
And since I’ve never been one to go easy on myself, or to care what the world thinks:
Yes, I have been a business wuss.
In so many (un-obvious) ways. Essentially it boils down to being complacent in some areas and accepting sub-par performance in others. But it mostly has to do with simply being a little too comfortable with where you are, thinking you’re doing okay, when the truth is much much much much scarier.
We’ve all been wusses in many ways than we care to admit; the obvious, and the not so obvious. But ask yourself what’s holding you back? Is it fear? Comfort? Complacence? An acceptance of mediocrity?
Is it a place you are willing to be? Or will you endeavour to take one small step everyday to change?
Are you ready to stop being a wuss?
Read more from Solomon King on his blog