Self doubt can be crippling for entrepreneurs. It’s a mix of ego, perfectionism, fear and lack of confidence that can hold us back from building businesses we love and making our dreams come true. Self doubt robs us of our voice and robs the world of our message. Luckily, there is a way to handle self doubt, to ease it and lessen it so that you can keep on working, living and passionately making things happen. The cure for self doubt involves two key steps.
Step 1: Self Love
In order to cure self doubt, you absolutely have to love yourself. Loving yourself will lead to increased confidence, stronger self esteem and a greater sense of pride in your abilities. Too often, we beat ourselves up over the tiniest mistakes and then we shrug off our biggest accomplishments like they are nothing. What we really need to do is treat ourselves like we would treat our best friends.
You can improve your self love by actually paying attention to your thoughts when you make a mistake, receive a compliment or take any action, really. You’ll know where your self love level is if you start listening to the thoughts running through your head more often. You can build up self love by complimenting yourself, by taking credit for your wins and by forgiving yourself for past mistakes.You need to build yourself up more than you beat yourself up.
When you come from a place of self love, your self doubt automatically becomes less paralyzing. Fear is normal and doing anything outside of your comfort zone will bring you some self doubt but when you’re grounded in self love, then your doubting voice isn’t quite as loud. It’s still there, but it’s more like a whisper.
Step 2: Action
If you really want to cure self doubt, you need to take action. Combined with a healthy sense of self love, action will propel you and your business straight into success. Most people don’t take action because they’re afraid they are not ready, worthy, smart enough or experienced enough. People hold back in taking action because they doubt whether anyone will want to hear what they have to say or that no one will agree with them, or even worse, that people will start insulting them. But action is actually the key to seeing what works and what doesn’t. If you have already been practicing self love with positive self talk and being proud of your work, then none of those other fears about action will matter as much.
It doesn’t matter whether the action is big or small, it just needs to be some type of action. We are flooded with a sense of pride about a completed job that helps builds up our momentum to keep moving forward. Action helps to cure self doubt because self doubt feeds off fear and uncertainty. It wants you to believe you have to wait it out, make more tweaks or that you’re too early or too late. But action is definitive, it is a done deal and it takes away from the uncertainty and the vague belief that it could have been done better. If self love quiets self doubt, then action shuts it up.
The most important thing to remember about these two steps is that they work together. You need both to keep curing self doubt. When you take action, self doubt will try to flare up in regret or beating yourself up and that’s when self love steps in to quiet it. In order to keep practicing self love, you have to keep taking action. As you love yourself more, you’ll share more and as you accomplish more, your confidence grows and your self doubt will shrink. The more you practice both steps, the less self doubt shows up.
Like anything, curing self doubt is a practice. It’s something you must make into a habit because in reality, you can’t really “cure” self doubt for good. Each new level you get to will bring a new and different type of self doubt. But the more you practice self love and the more you commit yourself to taking action, the easier it is to silence that little doubting voice in your head.