As you may have gathered, I’m in the thick of prepping for the big release of Fitness Unraveled. And before you tune out, give me the next five minutes to share something important that’s only obliquely related to it and very related to your life.
Doing anything as an entrepreneur is scary, but certainly something new is the scariest. And it’s risky. Potentially a failure, every single time. And when it’s something that you’re deeply passionate about, all of those things feel like they increase tenfold.
Also, doing anything as an entrepreneur takes so much hard work, again – especially something new. Time, energy, money, decisions, stress. Whether you have people taking care of stuff for you, or you’re doing everything yourself, it’s hard work.
And when what you’re doing and all the work you’re putting into doing it are for something totally world-changing but totally intangible, also in a competitive and noisy and distracted world, it can feel a whole lot like what’s the point?
Sure, some days will be galvanizing, and spectacular, and inspiring.
And, some days will bring you to your fucking knees, tears streaming down your face.
Hopefully, more days fall in the first category, fewer in the second, maybe a good portion somewhere in the middle.
But that’s not guaranteed.
(Lord knows. I know. You know.)
What is guaranteed is that at some point, on some days, when what you’re doing is something you believe in, it will inspire doubt.
And now we’re talking about anything, not just entrepreneurship because who cares. If you believe in your work, your relationship, your children, your health, your hobbies – you will feel self-doubt.
You’ll feel like you’re doing it wrong. You’ll feel like you’re not good enough or don’t know enough or don’t look good enough. You might feel like you’re the wrong person for this, you’re not likeable enough, you’re not strong or confident enough. You’ll wonder why you keep working so damn hard when it’s never going to work out. You’ll ask yourself what the point is.
The point is that you care, and you’ll generally circle back to that. Even if it takes a while, humans are resilient, and we figure it out eventually.
Do you know what I’ve figured out though? (Because in case you can’t tell, I’m sharing something genuine and vulnerable that I’ve been going through lately.)
Self-doubt is exhausting.
At the end of the day, it’s the very thing that makes me feel most tired, defeated, and overwhelmed.
It’s not the writing, the networking, the training, the bookkeeping, the emailing, the coaching.
It’s the time and energy spent in doubting myself, what I’m doing, and how I’m doing it.
Self-doubt is the hardest work you’ll ever do, with the least satisfying result.
You feel that?
I hate the days that are filled with self-doubt, and I’m always actively working on strategies for making them much fewer and more far between, and for dealing with them when they come up, sooner, quicker. (Because if you like to grow, you’ll likely always deal with new self-doubt as you stretch into new realms of self and expertise.) Luckily, I’m finding some success. I thought you might like to know what’s helping.
I’ve talked a lot about awareness over the years, and it’s the #1 strategy you need to know about. You can’t do anything to change your situation if you can’t recognize what it is. You can’t move through or out of self-doubt if you can’t see what it’s about.
Once you see it, do something. Two things, in fact:
Take action. (I don’t care what it is, how big or small, or if it’s even related to the self-doubt you’re feeling.)
Trust action. (If you’re willing to take it, be willing to trust it.)
Ultimately, staying self-aware, doing, and trusting in your ability to do are what build confidence over time. Practiced repeatedly, they’re the best way to eradicate as much self-doubt as you can, as swiftly as possible.
Yep, that’s hard work too, but it’s work that produces results far better than the tiring effort of self-doubt.
You might have guessed that this very email is the result of the strategies above in action, in real-time. I had a great morning, and at the same time, one that inspired plenty of self-doubt. I saw it, took two actions – sending messages to my therapist and writing this post, and I immediately trusted that they were the right actions. (I’ll probably also take the afternoon off and trust that to be a right action for me too.)
I believe in personal growth and vulnerability, I believe in sharing experiences, and I believe deeply in the power of those things to make change. There’s self-doubt in those beliefs sometimes, but my passion about them doesn’t change. So if I want to capitalize on that, to do work that matters in ways and spaces that are way bigger than just me and my little world, why not shift the balance of my effort?
If you’re going to work hard, work on what you believe in, not what’ll tear it down.
If you’re struggling with self-doubt, reach out and let’s talk about how you can shift the balance of your hard work to what really matters to you. Email me or schedule a call below anytime. Or, start with this totally free workbook.