There’s really no way around (or over, or under) it: As a businesswoman, you WILL experience moments of (searing) self-doubt.
Many moments of searing self-doubt, more likely.
While there are a TON of things that could conjure up serious self-doubt, there are a few usual suspects, like:
– You’re about to post something provocative or against-the-grain on social media and start worrying, “But what will the neighbors think?” 😉
– You’re about to do something way outside your comfort zone, like invest in a high-end program or coach (“Can I REALLY make this work? Am I insane for paying more than my rent on mentorship?”
– You’re reading a lengthy Facebook update from your competitor about how she totally #crushed her #launchgoals
No matter the trigger – it’ll happen. But since it’s inevitable, the issue here isn’t trying to make sure you never experience doubt again. (You’re not super human!)
Instead,”slaying” the S-word all comes down to how you deal with it after the fact. So today I’m slinging out a few of my fave self-doubt-slayers you can keep in your back pocket for the next time you start questioning yourself:
- Create a “50 reasons why I’m worth it” list.
One of my mentors suggested this to me when I was doubting raising my prices (another common self-doubt producer!). Maybe you don’t need to write your 50 reasons to justify a price uptick, but maybe you do need a list about 50 reasons why what you say matters, for example.
- Start keeping track of your successes–not just your To-Dos.
Truth is, we do a LOT more awesome stuff each day than we give ourselves credit for – from writing our weekly newsletter to dealing with disgruntled clients with total grace to cooking actual meals even though it would be a lot easier to just order Pad Thai (again). What if you took a moment to document these successes, no matter how ‘small’? I personally love using the Grid Diary app to do this. Just like a gratitude journal, this practice can really shift your mindset over time. You’re actually pretty darn awesome!
- Make a (small) promise–and keep it.
According to research, one of the easiest ways to build your confidence is to set–and hit–a small goal. I know most entrepreneurs love to dream big, but if your self doubt is soaring, it might help to dial it back a bit. Instead of promising yourself you’ll re-write your entire website by Friday (when it’s already Wednesday), you set a smaller goal, like outlining your Home and About pages by Friday, instead? When you set smaller goals – and then, of course, smash them because how could you not?! – your self confidence literally grows right on the spot. However, if you had decided to stick to your lofty goal, chances are you 1) wouldn’t make it happen and 2) would feel even worse about yourself and your abilities come 5pm Friday.
- Stay present.
Here’s the deal: Self-doubt often stems from ruminating on the past or tripping into the future (like when you’re freaking out about not being able to pay your contractors on the 1st, and it’s only the 15th). When you make a point to “be here now” (my fave mantra) with a meditation or mindfulness practice, you’ll notice that everything is ALWAYS okay in the present moment. Plus, when you have a clear mind that isn’t filled with dread and anxiety and images of sleeping under bridges, you’ll find that you’re more creative and open to opportunities and unique solutions to whatever doubt you’re dealin’ with.
- Remember what others think about you isn’t the truth.
Fear of what others will think is another MASSIVE source of self-doubt. We worry about what so-and-so will think of the blog we’re writing, or the social media photo we just posted, or even the $500 handbag we bought on a whim last week. But the truth is that what others think about us is none of our business. Most of the time, we won’t ever find out what people truly think–and even if we do, we have to remember that what the think of us has more to do with their own beliefs, life experiences + biases than about us.
- Keep a swipe file to prove that you’re awesome.
Okay, yes, I’m a copywriter, so I have quite the affinity for swipe files. But I’m not talking businesses with these babies. I think it’s just as important to swipe little things that remind you of how truly incredible people think you are.You know all those shining testimonials and gushing Instagram comments that make you blush, but then you move on? Don’t. Save them instead! I file all mine in neat lil’ notebook in Evernote to peek at when the self-doubt creeps in. (It truly does wonders!)
There you have it, Best Kept Self’ers! I truly hope the next time you’ve struggling with some self-doubt(s), you pull a trick from this list to lift you up. And please share any other “self-doubt slaying” tips you might have in the comments!