Ideas are like persnickety houseplants

Lack of confidence kills more dreams than lack of ability. Talent matters- especially at elite levels- but people talk themselves out of giving their best long before talent becomes the limiting factor. You’re capable of more than you know. Don’t be your own bottleneck.” - James Clear


I am often the first person to shut down my own dreams or ideas. I assume that people won’t like what I have to say or assume that they are too difficult to be worth investing in, so I brush them off or shut them down before anybody else has the opportunity to brush them off or shut them down for me.

“You miss 100% of the shots that you don’t take,” (Wayne Gretsky (not Michael Scott)) is a common response to that struggle, and of course it’s true that if you don’t try, you’ll never succeed. But when taken at face value, that statement is an over-simplification, even for hockey; there are conditions that determine whether or not the chances you take will make it to the goal, even before you take the shot.

Ideas are less like hockey shots and more like persnickety houseplants; they need the exact right conditions to grow and thrive, or they will share the sad fate of the orchid on my kitchen windowsill. Belief that they will work is the first step, but from there they need a safe space to be cultivated and the means (financial or otherwise) to bring them to fruition. Lacking the latter two conditions makes it difficult to believe that you have the ability to make things work in the first place.

OOPS has become those latter two conditions for me. I know that if I have an idea, there is a team of people I trust who will examine it from new angles, help me to grow and shape it into something bigger and better than I thought possible, and who will ask, “what can we do to make this work?” It’s incredible to see what can be done with the right idea at the right time in the right conditions to grow and thrive. What’s more, we get to create the conditions and means for other people to take their shots too.

I’ve been limiting myself less and less lately, and it’s been exhilarating.

I might even take another shot at growing an orchid.


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