Do you ever wake up, check your Facebook news feed, see the beautiful pictures posted by your competitors, and wonder if you will ever be good enough to succeed?
I have felt this way often. I am often too analytical and serious.
You will understand what I mean when you watch my Facebook videos! Life for me is always hectic: from speaking to clients, to writing blogs, to taking care of the kids. But my life seems boring compared to others.
Then, I open up Facebook. I see dozens of beautiful and perfect pictures on others’ walls. This makes me wonder. I wonder whether I’m ever good enough at attracting my clients’ attention.
Self-doubts can be distracting during the entrepreneurial process. They make us question everything we do and negatively affect our progress.
Even worse, self-doubts can force us to give up on our dreams altogether.
Do you want to hear a secret? Feeling that I am too analytical is not the first self-doubting conversation I have had with myself. Over the past 15 years, there has also been:
“No one will take me seriously.”
“I’m too young.”
“I’m not good enough.”
“I don’t know anyone in the industry.”
“There seems to be so much competition out there.”
I learned that self-doubting thoughts will always creep into my mind from time to time. But instead of getting frustrated by these thoughts, I have learned to dance with my self-doubt and turn my negative thoughts into sales motivation.
Here are my 3 simple steps for dealing with self-doubt. Try them out!
Together, we can dance with our self-doubts.
Step #1: Smile and recognize its presence.
Just like other kinds of negative thoughts, self-doubt often happens when you are doing something unfamiliar and challenging. It is simply your mind body trying to protect you. But this does not mean you need protecting.
So instead of getting upset about it, embrace its presence.
Getting upset or frustrated by your self-doubt will only lead to self-sabotaging behaviours.
Here’s my top self-sabotaging behaviour:
I would curl up on the couch, feel sorry for myself, start watching TV, and eat a pint of Häagen-Dazs ice cream in one sitting. Obviously not helpful or healthy at all.
Whenever you start to wonder whether you are good enough, remind yourself:
“I have self-doubt right now. My self-doubt is coming to say hi again. (Smile and imagine waving or dancing with your self-doubt).”
Recognize that your self-doubt there, but not necessary.
Now, let’s move to the next step.
Step #2: Use grounding techniques.
Once you recognize the presence of your self-doubt with peace, it’s time to distract yourself from those negative conversations you might be having with yourself.
Try to shift your mindset by focusing on your physical environment.
Here are some techniques I use to distract myself from self-doubt.
- Focus on breathing: I will shift my attention to my breathing. If I have difficulty focusing on my breathing, I will also count my breaths to help me focus. I also practice yoga breathing techniques, such as pranayama exercises. (Check out Yoga By Adriene’s video on pranayama series.)
- Read passages from my favourite books: Whenever I feel down, I turn on my Kindle and read some of my favourite paragraphs to keep me out of a negative state. Some of my favourite books include:
- The Book of Joy – Dalai Lama
- How to Stop Worrying and Start Living – Dale Carnegie
- Personal History – Katherine Graham
- Go to my support system: My husband has always witnessed my trip on the roller coaster of entrepreneurship. He is always there to listen to me and encourage me when I feel down. Is there someone out there who is always there for you? Go to them and seek support.
- Journaling: Journaling can be an excellent tool for self-discovery. I use “Guided Meditation to Overcoming Anxieties in Sales” for my journaling prompts and redirect my dark thoughts back to the light.
- Physical exercise: Go for a walk, take 10 minutes to do some yoga, or any one of your favourite physical activities.
- Watch a YouTube video: I’m not suggesting you start binge watching. Instead, spend 5 to 10 minutes watching lighthearted videos that make you happy. I like to watch Jimmy Fallon or Ted Talks that make me feel inspired. Avoid anything heavy or episodic.
When you first start to learn how to distract yourself from self-doubt, it might take you a few tries to get better. There is no need to get frustrated if you can’t get out of those self-doubting conversations. Just like any physical exercise, you must practice in order to get better.
Have patience. No judgement.
You will get better.
Step #3: Replenish your mind with positivity and confidence.
Step #2 serves as a short-term distraction to your self-doubt. But to build a healthy mindset, you need to feed your mind positive nutrients.
The more well-nourished your mind is, the less likely you are going to experience self-doubt.
Here are some positive nutrients to build a strong and healthy mindset for your entrepreneurial journey.
- Rest: Sleep is vital for your brain and body. Make sure you plan for having as much sleep as possible each night. I know this can be difficult, especially for new parents. If you can’t seem get a good night’s sleep, taking power naps can be beneficial for your brain. Remember, you are building a business; your mind needs to be alert to help you succeed.
- Strong support system such as family and friends: When I first started my business, I spent all my time working. Before I knew it, I had become isolated. Building a business is not easy, but my isolation made my entrepreneurial journey even more difficult. Soon I became less productive and creative. I started having burnouts. That’s when I realized I needed my friends and family to help me stay positive, hopeful, and creative throughout my entrepreneurial journey. So invest your time building up your support system. Invest your time in people who believe in you, care to see you succeed, and love you. It is a good investment for your business.
- Continuous Learning: What do you feel insecure about when it comes to your business? Do you feel lost without a plan? Do you never know what to say in front of your potential clients?
Whatever your challenge is, learn it, or find help. Collecting more knowledge and tools will give you the confidence and the momentum you need to get out of your own way. Check out my free resources page to get immediate help with some of your challenges.
- Action: Taking action is one of the best cures for overcoming self-doubt. Just like knowledge, taking concrete steps will replenish your hope, create momentum, and shift your mindset from self-doubt to confidence. What small action can you take right now? Write a blog? Design a one page tool for your client?
Here are the 3 steps to help you overcome your self-doubt. Give it a try!
Let me know how it goes by sending me an email or leaving a comment on my Facebook page. I would love to hear how you are doing.
Remember, whatever negative feelings you may be battling with at this moment – you are not alone.
It will pass.
To selling with joy.