#14: Trust Yourself ("No Bare Feet and Other Lessons From the Caddie Yard")

Feb 27, 2024 by Mike Magluilo
Lesson #14: Trust Yourself

The caddie master assigned me the best loop at the club. It was my second summer as a caddie. The golfer had a single-digit handicap, tipped generously, and was well-liked. An Honor Caddie loop for sure, and I had no right carrying his bag as a middling A Caddie.

It was the first time in my life I felt that sense of fear when a big opportunity presented itself. I’m not ready. I might make a mistake. If I blow it, I’m ruined.

This sort of thing happens to all of us in other situations in life. 
  • The big game
  • The important presentation
  • The final interview
  • The blue-chip client
  • The strategic project
  • The new job
We question our right to be there. We need more time. We want it to be over. We consider faking an injury.

Freak out, and you’ll blow it. Rush it, and you’ll fail to persuade. Pretend to be someone you’re not, and the audience will smell a phony.

It’s okay to recognize the significance of the opportunity. Take a breath, organize your thoughts, take the first step, and stick with it—even if you stumble. 

If you’re working on creating a big break for yourself, respect the importance of practice, of learning from mistakes. Choose uncomfortable paths along the way. Seek out the good people—coaches, mentors, colleagues and friends who want to see you succeed. They'll stick with you when you make mistakes and love you for dedicating yourself to your dream. 

Opportunities might appear out of nowhere, but they don’t convert into breakthroughs by accident. They result from consistency and persistence and discomfort and sacrifice and mistakes. Trust your training, your experience, your ability to work through the challenges that got you to this position. The best-prepared candidate is going to feel a certain degree of self-doubt when presented with the big-break opportunity. 

Reflect on the steps you’ve taken to get here and, ultimately, trust yourself.