Too many people are hurting, disappointed and crushed because they are betting on other people or situations. Some people start businesses betting on governments or economic situations, startups bets on investors, people go to college betting on governments and private sectors to provide them jobs as soon as they graduate, lovers start a relationship betting on their partners, some people start out in life betting on their parents, their uncles, their aunties, or their friends.
And so, the reason some of us keep making the same mistakes in business, in love, in friendships and life in general is because we keep betting on other people. We say to ourselves, Oh! He’s going to change. She’s going to come around. The government is promising to create 1million jobs this year and so am definitely going to be employed. Uncle Sam promised to give me money to start a business…mmmhh, really?
How long have you been waiting on your auntie and uncle Sam, how long have you been waiting on that man or that woman to see your value? How long has the government has been promising jobs? Your family members who graduated long before you are still jobless, yet you think this year is going to be different and the government is going to give you a job, huh? The big question is when are you going to bet on yourself? Why you are putting your future in someone else’s hands?
In this article, I’ll be sharing seven practical tips to bet on yourself. The last one is the most important one by far in my opinion, so make sure you read till the end.
If there was ever a time to bet on yourself, It is now! Nothing is guaranteed. Life is volatile, technology is changing the world, Covid-19 pandemic is wreaking havoc across the world, the economy is unpredictable, and people can be really fickle.
More than ever, I am now more aware that things can go downhill at the blink of an eye, you can lose your job or your business, people can leave you in the middle of the road, a pandemic can cast a terrifying shadow, love can turn to hate, and so on.
No one has control over the behavior of another human being or the economic situation. You have no control whether or not the next person will come through with their promises. You have no control over climate change. You have no control over people or economic circumstances. And so, in whatever you are embarking on, betting on someone or something outside yourself is a recipe for pain and anxiety.
Before we go any further…
What does betting on yourself really mean?
In simple terms, betting on yourself means having the mindset that says, “I’m gonna do this and I’ll be okay no matter the outcome”
Betting on yourself is opening yourself up to playing a bigger game. Betting on yourself is about choosing yourself and having an unbreakable belief in your own self.
Sure, you are going to have strong doubts from time to time. I certainly do. But you still choose to believe in your own potential. Betting on yourself allows you to push through economic downturns, disappointment, failures, rejections and many other unpleasant things life will throw at you.
This isn’t to suggest that you should be an island, absolutely not. This isn’t to suggest you should never reach out to someone or ask for help when you need it, not at all — that’s not what am saying. What am is saying is that if you’re going to do anything, do it betting on yourself. Say to yourself, I can do this but whatever happens, am going to be okay.
Here are 7 practical tips to betting on yourself:
1. Predict Your Own Reaction.
Some people are too afraid to step out because they are always trying to predict how other people will react to whatever it is that they are doing. They are trying to predict how the market or the economy will react, they are trying to predict how their friends/family will react, they are trying to predict how the weather or climate will react and so on.
This isn’t to say you should just blindly get into things without some form of forecasting, no, this is about having the courage to move ahead inspite of the result of your predictions.
A business plan is good but no business ever fails on paper. The most important part of forecasting isn’t about predicting how accurate others will react but predicting how you will handle a negative outcome — as well as a positive outcome I suppose.
It all starts with a simple bet on yourself — a commitment to your future, a willingness to pursue what you love inspite of unfavorable circumstances and the discipline to stay focused and follow through no matter what.
You’ve known YOU your entire life. You know your strengths and weaknesses, your likes and dislikes, and what you’re passionate about. Who else is better qualified to do what you are passionate about? who else do you trust more than yourself?
Only you know how far you can go in life, because only you know how much you are willing to sacrifice or give up in order to claim the prize of success. Only you understand how much the dream means to you. So, stop holding back, and go all out!
2. Become Your Own Biggest Fan
Just like you would cheer for your favorite sports team, you need to cheer for yourself as well! Not everyone will clap when you win. Not everyone will complement you on something great you achieved. Not everyone will give you a tap on the back when you’re finally stepping up your game. Not everyone will leave a positive comment on your content.
Some people won’t say a word to you about your tenacity or your courage. The people you expect support from sometimes are the ones who’ll go silent on you. In many cases strangers will celebrate you more than your love ones. I know this too well. So, believe me when I say you have to become your own biggest fan. Bet on yourself, say to yourself, whether they congratulate me or not, am gonna keep going….(more on this in Tip #7)
3. Be Consistent On Your Bet. Show Up Everyday!
Those who are into gambling or sports betting know that betting isn’t a one-time event. So, it’s not enough to bet on yourself just once. You have to actively bet on yourself every single day — every single morning you feel like lying in bed for a little longer, get up. Every day you don’t feel like going to the gym, go. Every action you take, every decision you make is a bet for or against yourself.
Betting on yourself is about being willing to do the things you don’t feel like doing. Willing to say the things you don’t feel like saying, willing to send emails you don’t feel like sending, willing to be misunderstood, willing to be rejected, willing to be mocked, willing to fail, willing to try again and again, willing to be called names, willing to learn and unlearn, willing to pay the prize to fulfill your purpose and make an impact in the world. If you are consistent long enough, compounding takes effect and momentum begins to surge.
Those who know me have seen me bet on myself in recent years, through writing regularly online, through building an online community, writing my book (Disrupt Yourself Or Be Disrupted) and publicly declaring my intentions.
This process has allowed me to push myself further than I ever thought possible. This process has given me exposure than I ever thought possible. It has taught me that the safest bet is a bet on myself. If I was waiting for political connections or waiting for someone to introduce me to people that matter, I’ll still be waiting.
So I took it upon myself to build my own network. I built Nicky Verd! With great support from others of course — but first I bet on myself. And if I can do this, you too can do the same and consistency is key.
4. Keep Moving Forward.
Moving is a sign of life. Because of disappointments and traumatic experiences in life, some people have stopped living and are merely existing. It’d take a bet on self for such a person to start living again.
It’d take an understanding that trauma is part of the process, betrayal is part of the process, pain is part of the process. Its impossible to keep moving unless you come to terms with this reality. Life is not a vacation where everything is just a big party and fun-fun.
It’s natural to avoid pain. But pain is often the price we have to pay for growth. Have you seen how much pain children experience when they are growing their teeth? Life isn’t about avoiding heartache or bruises but about collecting scars to proof you showed up for it.
As Khalil Gibran said “Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.”
Even God says “I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born” (says the Lord) Isaiah 66:9)
Keep in mind, an easy life inspires nobody. Betting on yourself is about finding that spark again and turning it into flames, turn the flames into an oven of passion and let that passion drive you to your greatness!
5. Be the Main Character in Your Story
Those who realize that no one is coming to save them are the ones who step out of their comfort zone quicker. Other people can afford to stay in their comfort zones because maybe they’ve got an inheritance waiting for them.
Some have connections in the governments, some have rich husbands or rich wives, some come from wealthy families and so they’ve got the privilege of having different characters to their story. This isn’t a bad thing actually. We can’t blame someone for being born in a rich family.
It’s great to have support, but it’s better to bet on yourself and forge your own path in life. Yes, It’s great to have support, but it’s better to find your own voice. It’s great to have people in your corner, but it’s better to be able to fight when life puts you in a corner.
You can’t just sit there and wait for a savior. You can’t just sit there and wait for people to give you that golden dream. You’ve got to get out there and make it happen for yourself. For the most part, life is a do-it-yourself project.
Success happens when you change, not when other people change!
No matter how much help you may have or may not have, at the end of it — you are responsible for who you become.
6. Take Risk…Take Chances
The very idea of betting entails a tremendous amount of risk. We cannot be talking about betting and risk is out of the equation. Betting means putting a specific amount of money or item on a game regardless of the odds.
Sports betting involves placing your hard-earned cash on the line, and the risk of losing your money is actually the leading and most obvious risk, yet people still embark on it. I am not in any way endorsing gambling but simply making a point.
The point is — you cannot bet on yourself and play it safe at the same time. It is in playing it safe that we create a world of utmost insecurities. If you play it safe in life, you’ve decided that you don’t want to grow anymore.
Risk takers don’t always follow the path that seems logical; sometimes, the scarier a leap of faith is, the bigger the rewards are. Choosing the path of safety comes with the fact that your fate rests squarely in someone else’s hands.
A bet on yourself is ridiculously risky but it opens more doors to success that otherwise wouldn’t be available. On the this path, you will encounter many disappointments and failures, many stops and starts, many tears and uncertainty. But the rewards of such a path will be immeasurable if you keep going.
Betting on yourself means giving yourself permission to chase after your dreams. You may not always catch them. You may not always win when you bet on yourself but at least you can take off your boots at the end of the day knowing you gave it your best.
As Mandy Hale said, “Better to put your heart on the line, risk everything, and walk away with nothing than play it safe”
Risk and patience go together. It takes patience to do things that don’t give immediate returns. Building a website, building a brand, building a sustainable and scalable online business that you are passionate about are examples that will not yield fruits overnight but slowly compound over time as you keep betting on yourself.
7. Trust Yourself and Adopt a Survivor Mentality
This is my favorite tip about betting on yourself. Some people navigate life by putting their bet and trust in other people and when their trust is betrayed and things come crumbling down, they build a wall and hide themselves from the world. These types of people spend the rest of their lives behind the wall, trying to predict the moves of other people so as to minimize any potential for pain or failure.
But trust is not about predicting what someone else is going to do — but about knowing you can handle whatever they are going to do! Trust is about betting on yourself not on people. Trust depends on how strong you are not how strong the economy is or how strong the other person is or how loyal your partner is.
We’ve already established that nothing is guaranteed. Even life has no guarantees but we don’t stop living, right? Fear, chaos, adversity and pain are all part of life but a survivor’s mindset makes use of all these adversities. A survivor is not ruled or imprison by fear.
A survivor says:
- If they respond to my emails or texts or phone calls, fantastic, but if they don’t am gonna be okay.
- If my business partner turns out to be an awesome human being, great but if he/she turns out to be a traitor, I’m gonna be just fine.
- If my business works out, great but if it fails, I’m gonna be just fine and I’ll try again.
- If the one I love reciprocate my love and loyalty then great, but if they don’t, I’m gonna be just fine, someone out there will be so glad they found me.
Adopting this mindset won’t erase or eliminate pain or disappoint from your life but it’d help you to keep moving everytime something goes wrong. It’d motivate you to stay alive when everything seems to be failing apart.
Some people have vowed never to start a business again, never to marry again, never to love again, never to trust again but if only they can learn to bet on themselves, they’ll understand that:
“It’s easier to put on slippers than to carpet the whole world” ~Al Franken
- If you can bet on yourself, you can start that business again.
- If you can bet on yourself, you can open your heart to love again.
- If you can bet on yourself, you can step out of your comfort zone.
- If you can bet on yourself, you can let go of friendships/relationships that are holding you back.
- If you can bet on yourself , you can stop waiting on government or the economy to become better.
- If you can bet on yourself, you can create your own economy and play a bigger game with much wider opportunities.
Personally, I’ve come close to throwing in the towel many times in my journey. I’ve said i’ll never ever help someone again because of how they reciprocated my kindness, I’ve said I’ll never love again because of how someone played football with my heart, I’ve even threatened to delete my social media accounts because of the attacks I sometimes get from people who don’t understand my content.
But hey, I’ve leant to make my nest even in piles of broken glass. If you know me, you know I am no stranger to struggles. I’ve experienced deep pain, loneliness, betrayal, rejection, abuse, shame, etc. I’ve fought battles that some people will only ever watch in movies but I am still standing.
I’ve’ been hurt, disappointed, taken advantage of, etc But I REFUSE to put up a wall because:
The same wall that keeps pain out also keeps happiness out.
The same wall that keeps bad people out also keeps good people out
The same wall that keeps failure and disappointments out also keeps opportunities/blessings out…
Betting on yourself isn’t easy, but it is worth it. Couple of years ago I came across a quote by Andrew Murphy and it changed my life it said:
“You are confined only by the walls you build yourself.” When you learn to bet on yourself, the walls come down.
One of my favorite books of all times is the The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho and he said something really powerful in the book. He said:
“Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second’s encounter with God and with eternity.”
This is the mindset and the language of those who bet on themselves. Five years ago, when I could no longer take the abuse, and decided to walk away from a bad marriage to start life on my own with my two children in a foreign country, I was betting on myself. When I got laidoff from a job I held unto for dear life and decided to no longer seek a job but follow my own path, I was betting on myself.
My question to you today is, are you willing to bet on yourself? What’s that one thing you need to do to bet on yourself?