In the last year of my business, I have noticed that the conversation has shifted amongst my clients from, ‘I’m so excited to launch’ to ‘What if people don’t like it?’. It’s not that there weren’t these conversations before, it’s that we now live in a social media-filled world that breeds comparison, insecurity and the feeling that ‘no one will choose me over XYZ’. Breaking news everyone: this happens to all of us! We all have days of feeling less than, we all get self-conscious when we put ourselves or our work out there, we all are afraid to be judged harshly - especially when we put our heart & soul into something. However, it is the people that can manage and then release these feelings that succeed, even on our worst days.
My question back to my clients and anyone else who asks about how to work through self-doubt (because, let’s be honest, there is no fully getting rid of it) is, ‘what if they don’t?’. What are you going to do if people don’t like what you put out there? You’re going to learn. You’re going to adjust, you’re going to get to know your audience better, you’re going to grow and be better for it, there is literally no downside. But what if you fail completely? You move forward, you take what you have learned, and you apply it to something new. I have had three ‘failed’ businesses, all didn’t work for different reasons and they were the best learning experiences of my life. Perhaps Winston Churchill said it best, “Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm”.
Self-doubt is inevitable, shit is always going to happen, it’s up to you how you handle it and how you use it to fuel you rather than hold you back. The next time you hear that little voice in your head that says, ‘Why would anyone choose me over everything else that’s out there?’, quiet it before it gets louder, takes over and actually makes you feel like you’re not good enough to share yourself with the world. The worst that could happen isn’t bad at all and you’ll figure it out along the way. If you’re going to let other people determine whether or not you live out your dream/purpose, that’s on you, but who wants to live life according to other people? Be yourself, keep your head down, get resilient, and never lose your enthusiasm.
SOME THINGS I DO WHEN I FEEL SELF-DOUBT CREEPING IN:
· Remember my accomplishments – It is so important to celebrate the things that you do well and the moments that make you feel in awe of yourself. Sometimes it’s as simple as, ‘wow. I came up with a great idea’.
· Reevaluate – Fear and self-doubt exist for a reason and can sometimes be a good thing, as both feelings make you take a step back. Sometimes it is necessary to edit & it’s never too late to make some changes, do something a different way, etc.
· Meditate – The second I feel overwhelmed or start doubting myself, I get quiet. I use apps like breethe to time my meditation and turn off the rest of the world. Oftentimes I come up with the real reason for my negative feelings and can tackle them head-on rather than let them spiral.
· Give Zero F’s – When you think about the people who are quick to criticize you, they are usually the people doing less than you are, who are less secure than you are and who are looking for reasons to take you down. Who gives a single F about what those people think of you? The real ones will lift you up – find them, they’ll stand out!