How to Overcome Self Doubt

September 11, 2019

Self-doubt has a way of creeping up and no one’s immune to, not even the most accomplished people out there… it comes when you need it the least and it sure doesn’t leave easily.

If you do a basic Google search on the topic, you’ll find various tips and hacks telling you to fake it until you make it or just ignore it until it goes away.

I’ve personally realized that the more I resist it, the stronger it gets.

To overcome self-doubt, I recommend you first acknowledge it and then take it from there. Your feelings are completely valid – and there’s no shame in admitting you sometimes doubt yourself and your decisions. It’s a normal part of the process.

Here’s what may help you build your confidence.

Stop comparing yourself!

Look to others only to seek inspiration, not to measure your progress.

The entrepreneur life is not a sprint, even though “motivational” gurus want to convince you it is. It’s definitely more of a marathon.

Besides, everyone has a different starting point, a different background, and a different perspective… so trying to measure up to others is just pointless.

For example, a mom of three won’t have the same advantages and disadvantages that a single woman in her mid-20s will. Everyone’s busy fighting their own battle.

Pro tip: To add some much-needed confidence to your business decisions, raise your self-awareness and learn how to listen to your gut – it’s going to make all the difference.

Go over your goals.

Goals that are just *waaaay* too big eat up large chunks of your confidence.

Let’s say you’ve set the goal of making 10,000 sales by the end of the year and you’re just getting started… of course you’ll be freaking out!

Instead of setting impossible goals that do nothing for you but stress you out, set SMART goals.

A SMART goal would be making your first sale by the end of the month! (and even that timeline may vary – you know your business the best)

Make a list of all your past victories.

Need some quick pick-me-up magic? Here’s a very simple but effective exercise for you… list every single win, big or small, you’ve had in the last 5, 10, or 15 years!

Anything counts – include things like getting a degree, switching jobs, starting a family, moving to another city… you know, “the usual”.

However, I’d like to suggest you also include all the things we usually don’t count: every time you’ve shown up for yourself even though you were scared (first time alone in the gym or first time on a networking conference) and getting up at 5 AM to work on your side hustle.

Done? Go over your list now and do it REPEATEDLY.

Work with a mentor.

The best and the fastest way to build your professional confidence is to work with a mentor or a coach.

The thing is, no matter the industry you’re in, there are going to be a few doubts along the way.

That’s usually expected in any line of work but when you’re a solopreneur, it gets so damn hard – you’re on your own most of the time and making even one simple decision can be exhausting.

A good mentor can help you with that. Now, a mentor won’t tell you what you need to do – you do have to make your own decisions – but since they’ve walked in your shoes before, they’ll know in which direction to point you at.

Plus, as we go for more in our lives and business, the more frequently we bump up against our upper limits and subconscious blocks. Mentors and coaches can help us move through these far more quickly.

READ NEXT: Leave the Employee Mindset Behind in 6 Easy Steps

Just do it.

Not trying to quote Nike here but… you know how sometimes you overthink something so much, that you still end up making the wrong decision?

That’s because cortisol, the stress hormone, inhibits your brain and hinders your ability to think coherently. 

I want you to remember that you can’t avoid all mistakes, no matter how hard you try. The important thing to do is to try and learn from your mistakes.

Don’t forget: nothing kills self-doubt faster than proving to yourself you can actuallydo whatever you set your mind to!

How do you deal with self-doubt? What do you do to quiet down that little voice at the back of your head saying you can’t do something?

Leave me a comment and let me know – I’d love to hear from you!

My writing has moved to Substack!

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