When we’re starting something new, it’s usually a good idea to do some research. Talking to people is a great way of doing this.

But there’s a problem: a line so fine we can barely see it.

It’s the line between research and reassurance.

We probably don’t think we’re looking for reassurance, but too often we do just that. Reassurance is what we hope will get us over our self-doubt.

But because the self-doubt never really goes away - not completely - we can never get enough reassurance. Ever. Reassurance is futile.

There’s one more devious trick we play on ourselves.

We go and seek reassurance from the people we most want to prove something to. Guess what? They’re typically the people who made us feel the self-doubt in the first place, and they’ll end up making it harder for us - whether they know it or not.

There’s only one time it's worth seeking their reassurance - when our work is done.

I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve crossed this line from research to reassurance. In fact, I think I did it again yesterday.

So, are you going after research or reassurance?