No, I am not revisiting the (in)famous question posed in Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy where the answer is obviously 42.
I am talking about another answer to the world, the universe and everything.
Ok, I may be exaggerating. (I nearly wrote over exaggerating but I am never sure if that phrase actually makes sense).
It is with some embarrassment that I will reveal my source.
I clicked on an article in the entertainment section of an on-line news website. I was drawn to the article because it referenced a program I used to watch in the early years of this century.
The article involved an interview with the principal actor* of the series about her latest book.
During the interview, she referenced the challenges of being an author and how much harder the art of writing is compared to being an actor.
In particular, a comment she made took my attention because it so simply summarised the one thing that holds so many of us back from doing the thing and things we want to do, want to excel at, or stop us making the change we want to make with our career or employer.
On a number of occasions, I have written about the things that hold us back from doing what we really want to do.
These include image, status, peer pressures and fear of failure.
It also can be a concern about our “other” skills holding up to market scrutiny. For example, what would happen of my antique restoration skills as a hobbyist do not hold up to market pressures.
How different would our life be if Henry Ford had been concerned about his skills to establish a production line to manufacture motor vehicles.
The world would be very different if Steve Jobs allowed his insecurities to get in the way of Imagineering better, more expansive and mobile computing concepts.
The actor I read about today referenced their own challenge to be an author, including the following comments:
“Almost nothing I’ve ever done did I ever have the confidence to do,”
“I didn’t have confidence, I just had drive. If you wait for your self-esteem to catch up, you’ll never get anything done.”
It is the fear that we may “suck” when pursuing a new endeavour that holds us back from ever trying that makes the final quote so powerful and profound.
Equally powerful is the reference to waiting for our self esteem to catch up.
The strength of both quotes lies in the simplicity of each.
*The actor referenced/quoted is Lauren Graham