By Anthony Vengrove
‘Tis the season to believe. I’m a big believer — and not just during the holiday season.
Since leaving my corporate career in January 2012, I started Miles Finch Innovation, have almost completed a masters in Leading Innovation and Change, reveled in the birth of our adorable twins (and survived the subsequent sleep deprivation), moved both my business and family from Virginia to Connecticut, worked on many interesting client projects, spoke at some fantastic events — and that’s just naming a few things!
Whenever I tell my friends about all the projects I’m chasing, I usually get the same reaction: “Wow, how do you manage to get all that done?” My answer is simple, “I believe in what I’m doing.”
Belief has the power to increase bandwidth. It can turn a job into a calling. I’ve found both my productivity and ability to generate ideas have increased since I’ve ventured into entrepreneurism. I don’t seem to mind a busy schedule or putting in extra hours. I welcome tough problems for they provide an opportunity to deliver great solutions. My capacity and energy always seem to be in abundance when belief is present.
As a small business owner, my belief is ultimately centered on one thing — myself. I’m a loyal advocate of the mantra, “If you believe it, you will see it.” And I believe I’m building something great. The moment I don’t believe in myself is when I’m most vulnerable. It’s when my ego tries to convince me that I’m not good enough, that there are others out there better than I, or that someone else has already pursued my ideas. Belief is the beacon that allows me to re-align with my goals; guiding me through the foggy sections of the journey when vision isn’t always clear. Or, when the path seems particularly treacherous.
Belief is a catalyst. It has magical ability to invite extraordinary amounts of creative thinking and problem solving out of our minds and into the open. Suddenly, everything seems like it is a possibility. That’s why belief is the most important variable in our Idea Climate Equation® for its presence is sure to catalyze creativity exponentially.
What is belief exactly? It is simply the absence of doubt. Believing is about acceptance and appreciation of what we deem to be true. When an idea is shared among believers — people look for opportunity and potential. When doubt reigns, ideas are skeptically judged with little regard for their fragile, not-fully-formed nature. Nothing amputates creative thinking faster than a modest dose of doubt.
Believers value faith. Disbelievers value proof. It’s a conflict that often favors the doubters for they can dust off history’s data and experiences to craft a conveniently logical argument why something won’t work. That is much easier to do than to defend a seemingly absurd idea and transform it into zeitgeist.
That’s why I find Henry Ford’s quote about belief to be so provoking: “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t — you’re right.” Or, Theodore Roosevelt’s take, “Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” If uncertainty always scared people away from their beliefs and dreams, great successes would often just be the byproduct of luck.
For uncertainty requires courage; and belief begets courage.
So as we say goodbye to 2013, let’s use our holiday break to pause and reflect upon what’s been learned over the past twelve months. Set big audacious goals for 2014. Dream big. Build up the courage to start something new.
Believe you can do it. I know you can.
Miles Finch Innovation helps companies navigate the messy territory of corporate innovation. We’re strategic thinking partners who can help you get unstuck and identify creative solutions to your toughest challenges. We also love to train and speak on the subject of Creative Leadership. Email us or call us at 860-799-7505 to learn how we can help you unlock the creative potential of your employees.