Self Doubt and Low Self Confidence are in my opinion the main reasons most people stay stuck in a rut and never get ahead in life.
To be honest it really saddens me, and sometimes even frustrates me, which in part is why I am writing this post.
You see, it just seems that lately, I’ve spent more time on the phone with coaching clients as well as have been contacted by a few others who “want” to step out and make changes and start a business… yet simply won’t or can’t get past their own self doubt issues and limiting beliefs.
I have found sometimes that no matter how hard I try, or how many suggestions I offer, there’s always a ‘ya – but’ answer.
Usually these ‘ya buts’ are followed by “I really struggle when it comes to technical aspects” or “I’ve never done anything like internet marketing before” or “I’ve never been self employed before” or “I really don’t have a clue what I am doing”…. And on and on the excuses go.
I get tired of trying to explain the fact that we’ve all been there… starting at ground zero without a clue … but with perseverance we always eventually manage to get the wheel turning.
I always try to explain that most often things ‘seem’ more difficult than they are… or the fact that ‘we’ deem things more difficult than they are!
Sadly, most of the time my encouragement this falls on deaf ears or it takes one heck of a lot of convincing before the penny starts to drop.
The truth of the matter is however, that it is normal to doubt yourself occasionally, or feel a little low in the self confidence department when faced with new tasks, but still I cannot get my head around some people who won’t even try!!!
Heck, I face hiccups almost daily.
What I find though without fail is that if I simply focus on one thing at a time… (the task at hand), before too long, the challenge dissipates and I’m off the races. I almost always look back and think… ‘Wow… that wasn’t so bad after all’…. And the next time I’m faced with the same sort of thing, it becomes so much easier.
I also find that many people try to ‘over learn’ and can’t help flitting around the web comparing themselves to others. In other words they can’t help being nosey and analyzing the achievements of others and trying to absorb a multitude of suggestions and excessive “advice”. After a while they are no further ahead and have become victims of analysis paralysis and feel less adequate and more confused!
Now to be blatantly transparent and brutally honest (whether we all want to admit this or not) we’ve all been there. I believe we all suffer from low self confidence or self doubt from time to time, regardless of ‘what’ the issue is at hand.
I really don’t think that anybody can get over feeling a little less than confident entirely… but it’s how we handle it and how we control that pesky mind chatter that solidifies our limiting beliefs
I’m not necessarily talking about starting a business either. Sometimes self doubt can creep in when doing some of the simplest of tasks.
Heck I have a friend who won’t even paint her own living room because she truly believes she would make a mess and the result would be dreadful… and despite my attempts to encourage her and empower her to at least try… or start on one wall… she will have no part of it and refuses to believe that the house won’t implode on her paintbrush!
Because I’ve spent a lot of time over the last while thinking about this topic, I have put together a short list of suggestions to see if I might help you to stop doubting yourself and become open minded so and stop missing out on life the way you likely are if you’re caught in this trap.
Suggestions for squashing self doubt:
Try to determine what might have happened in your past to shake you off your foundations.
Sometimes a thoughtless comment from a peer, spouse or teacher from your earlier days may have had a negative affect on your mindset.
When I think of my own self doubt and low confidence issues, a couple of thoughts come to mind.
This might sound a little daft, but one negative experience… and as silly as it may sound, was when one of my elementary school teachers yelled at me in front of the class for simply dropping a book. (Silly cow). Even though I was only 6 at the time, I have never forgotten how I felt. If I were to see her today, I would likely poke her in the eye with a sharp stick… but I digress…
I also allowed a comment from my ex spouse to knock me down a peg or two a few years ago when he told me that I had always ridden on his shirt tails when building our brick and mortar business.
Thankfully I had the sense analyze the stupidity in both of these comments and recognize I am far more powerful than to let a few mean words keep me curled in a fetal position and prevent me from moving forward.
What’s more is I used these knocks to my advantage and thought ‘to heck with you… (Well… I won’t tell you the ‘real adjectives )… but I thought I’ll show you…”… and I have! Whether ‘they’ know it or not!!
My next suggestion is to pump your own ego!
Yes really!! Pelt a few roses at yourself and pat yourself on the back for all you have accomplished!
Make a list of all the things you have done in your life… including some “first” that you accomplished well. (And there are many!)
These could be simple things like cooking a great dinner or trying a new recipe for the first time.
It might have been decorating a room, or knitting a scarf.
Heavens it could be giving birth and raising great kids! (Goodness knows there is no manual for this!!)
Passing your drivers test is another; let’s face it, we all get behind the wheel for the first time at some point and after a while driving becomes second nature!
What I’m trying to suggest is that you consider the fact that you HAVE achieved many great things in your life and had to face a “first” for all of them. So why would starting your own business, blog or marketing endeavour be any different?
Avoid Negative People
I know this seems contrary to popular belief, but to be honest I have rarely shared any of my goals with my friends of family.
It just seems that if people don’t understand what it is you are trying to achieve … or can’t see the logic or value in your endeavour, those who know tend you feel comfortable expressing their thoughts honestly; what’s worse, in most cases they tend to be over analytical and often without realizing it will say the wrong things which might cause you to doubt yourself even more.
In other words, keep your goals to yourself, particularly where family and friends are concerned! Instead, work towards your goals and surprise them at the end!!
Make a list of pro’s and cons to making changes, trying something new or in this case, starting a business.
Take some time to think things through and consider the positives and negatives associated with your goals.
I.e.: “By starting a business I will have the opportunity to learn and move ahead more than simply thinking about it or doing nothing at all“.
Ask “Would starting a business hurt anyone? Or… would I simply open the doors of opportunity?”
- Use affirmations such as “I have just as much chance of reaching my goals as anybody else”.
- If I don’t try, I will never know… at least if I try I have a chance of creating positive life changes.
Or…”I am capable of learning new things….I might just have to set aside some time to work at it.”
- Or even remind yourself that you are special, capable and deserving of success!
- Ask yourself “How hard can it be?” Heavens, I know some people who are just knocking the ball out of the park… and some of these friends are surely not the brightest bulbs in the box either! (Did I say that with my outside voice?)
The bottom line is, if you really feel a strong desire, ask yourself if you are truly willing to do whatever it takes… this includes taking a deep breath and ignoring your insecurities.
Hook up with a coach.
OK… I’ve already shared that even as a coach… my encouragement often falls on deaf ears…
In fairness however I will admit that occasionally, a few clients will come back to me later and say “you know, I was thinking about what you said and realized “x”
What I’m suggesting is that often soliciting the help from someone unrelated will in fact have a more positive impact based on the fact that hearing something from someone at more of an arms length sticks better than listening to your own thoughts or close counterpart.
Also, it’s worth mentioning that working with someone who actually understands your goals and has experience and knowledge in the industry can see your potential and this will help tremendously to keep your spirits high by merely being on the same page!.
The thing is overcoming self doubt is one of the main aspects self growth and personal development … and in my opinion is an on going project… for life!
To be honest because I have experienced such tremendous change in my own thoughts, feelings, self esteem and attitude since becoming entrenched in my business, I know it’s possible to overcome these pangs of negativity and limiting beliefs if you are just willing to recognize your own personal power and give yourself some credit.
Sometimes we’re up and sometimes we are down but it truly is how we control our “mindset” that will make all the difference in the world.
By forcing yourself to start taking baby steps in the direction of your dreams and goals you will soon find that self doubt and low self confidence will lift and continue to do so as you progress.
If you really want to succeed in life and truly start a business as a way to make positive life changes, it’s time to kick your limiting beliefs to the curb, block out the fear of failure and focus on your personal power.
Life is far too short to miss out on something that could turn out to be the most rewarding experience, and I can guarantee that at the end of it you will not look back and wish you had spent more time doubting yourself and allowing your brain to block your success rather than taking action to create the lifestyle you deserve.
What do you think? Has self doubt prevented you from moving in the direction of your dreams? What happened? Did you look back with regret? Did you ignore it and plough ahead instead?
I’d love for you to leave me your comments and for you to share experiences and / or suggestions that might compliment this post.
If I can be of any assistance, feel free to contact me at any time.