Derek Sivers

from the book “”:

You don’t need confidence, just contribution.


Years ago, I was so confident, and so naive. I was so sure that I was right and everyone else was wrong.

Unfortunately I was lucky and got successful, so that kept me ignorant of my shortcomings.

I sold my company, felt ready to do something new, and started to learn. 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 start to make things, 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:

So I’m glad my old confidence is gone, because it thought I was right, and maybe even great. But I quit that contest.

Now I aim to make my work — my little contribution to the world — just unique and useful.