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  • Dealing with Self Doubt

    If you are a mum in business you will have probably come across self-doubt at some time or other. It creeps up on us and before we know it, we are questioning the sanity in our life and career choices.

    Starting out on your own, is not a path for the faint-hearted, usually, we are driven by a deep passion that cannot be ignored. It starts as a niggle, then a nudge and before long we feel at odds if we are not pursuing our calling.

    But pursuing a business or career is never all plain sailing, life has a way of throwing a spanner or two, in the works.

    • We may not get the client we wanted,
    • A technical glitch may wipe our database
    • A bout of flu might hit you the day before an important presentation

    And at our lowest point we find ourselves asking ‘Why am I doing this?’ or ‘Maybe I’m not cut out for this after all’ and the self-doubt creeps in.

    I’d like to share some of the common culprits of self-doubt and more importantly how to outsmart them;

    I’m too old

    For this one I use Louise Hay as my inspiration. In the world of self-development books, being published by Hay House is as good as it gets. And yet Louise Hay founded Hay House Publishing at the age of 60. You are never too old to start doing what you love and it’s never too late to become a roaring success. And remember age means wisdom and experience too.

    I don’t know enough/ I need to do one more course

    Often we can be fooled into thinking we are not experienced enough to be of service.

    As an employee, your boss will tell you when you have earned a promotion however as an entrepreneur you have to tell yourself when you’ve progressed or are good enough.

    This can be tough, particularly as women, because we’re not very good at bragging about our achievements.

    In order to beat this feeling of not knowing enough use a school analogy. As someone in Year 5, all the year 3 kids will look up to you, you will have vastly more experience than them.

    You do not have to be an undergraduate to make a difference to a year 3 you only need to be a couple of steps ahead.

    Nobody wants what I’m selling

    If you are offering a service or product that has been created out of your own need, then it’s a fair assumption that someone else will need/want it too.

    However it won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, not everyone will want what you’re selling, but if you find your target audience and give them what they want…they will love you for it.

    She’s doing it better/ Nobody will listen to me

    The idea of competition is a particularly persistent gremlin. You may see other people in the same line of business, doing videos or blogs and think ‘Who am I to compete with her?’ However when we come from a place of competition we are undone.

    I often use the analogy of coffee shops to combat this particular self-doubt. Where I live in Chichester, we have 2 Costas, a Starbucks, a Café Nero, a Bills and a Prêt a Manger. They all thrive in our small city because they each have a different appeal. Some people will prefer the coffee blend at Costa, some may prefer Pret’s snacks, and others may like the décor in Nero’s.

    The reason they all stay busy is because they are all different and so are we. In business, all you have to do is BE YOURSELF, because no one else can do a better job of being you, than you can. The more you can shine your authentic light, the brighter you will shine. Find your USP, your way of doing things, and the people who love you will be able to find you. 

    I’ll never make any money

    Well, this is probably our biggest doubt. There is no certainty when you start up your own business, no career progression or salary point scale. But if you persist success will come. The trick is to keep faith in your own ability and your dream, even when there is no evidence of success. Every success story you read includes a huge amount of dogged determination, resilience and persistence.

    In Napoleon Hill’s classic ‘Think and Grow Rich he tells the story of Darby Harby who went looking for gold and after many months gave up and sold all his equipment to a junk man for a few hundred dollars. He later found out that he had stopped 3 feet short and the junk man he had sold to, had become a millionaire. This story has a happy ending though, because Darby learned the valuable lesson of persistence and not giving up too soon. He went on to become a phenomenally successful insurance salesman.

    Have a plan, take action every day and NEVER give up on your dream. The money will come.

    To conclude, as a business owner myself, I have found that self-doubt is usually the result of stretching ourselves out of our comfort zone, rather like standing on the next highest diving board at the pool and it’s completely normal to ask ‘Can I do this?’

    However, in order to be able to jump, we must recognize it for what it is and have the faith to leap.

    This article was written as a guest blog for the Talented Ladies Club

    Emily xx

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