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<title>You don’t need confidence, just contribution. | Derek Sivers</title>
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<h1><a href="/" title="Derek Sivers">Derek Sivers</a></h1>
<div class="blogparent">from the book “<a href="/n">Hell Yeah or No</a>”:</div>
<h1>You don’t need confidence, just contribution.</h1>
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Years ago, I was so confident and so naive.
I was sure I was right and everyone else was wrong.
After I <a href="/done">sold my company</a>, I felt ready to do something new, so I started to <a href="/book">learn</a>.
But the more I learned, the more I realized how little I knew and how dumb-lucky I had been.
I continued learning until I felt like an absolute idiot.
By then I was paralyzed, unable to create anything new.
I’d <a href="/projects">start to make new things</a>, but then see how stupid they revealed me to be, so I’d stop.
I lost all confidence.
I spent a few years completely stuck.
Eventually, some new thoughts helped:
Learning without doing is wasted.
If I don’t use what I learn, then it was pointless!
How horrible to waste those hundreds of hours I spent learning, and not turn it into action.
Like throwing good food in the trash, it’s morally wrong.
This isn’t about me.
How I feel in this moment doesn’t matter — it will pass.
Nobody’s judging me because nobody’s thinking of me.
They’re just looking for ways to improve their own lives.
<a href="/publicu">The public me is not the real me</a> anyway, so if they judge my public persona, that’s fine.
The work is the point, and my work is unique.
If I can do something that people find useful, then I should.
It doesn’t matter if it’s a masterpiece or not, as long as I enjoy it.
I’ve got my own weird angle on things that’s <a href="/counter">a useful counter-melody</a> in the big orchestra of life.
I’m glad my old confidence is gone because it thought I was right, and maybe even great, but not anymore.
Now I aim to make my work — my little contribution to the world — just unique and useful.
© 2018 <a href="https://sive.rs/">Derek Sivers</a>.
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