Kill Self Doubt Dead
I am a part time extreme self doubter. I vary between overwhelming excitement & ambition for my future and almost crippling terror that I am destined to screw everything up and… FAIL. Now the further I come along my little business journey the more important it becomes that I can tackle my self doubt, and, dare I say it, channel it into something positive. So I thought I’d share my process.
This works in most situations (un-productive day, difficult project, overwhelming feeling of doom) but I start out by taking some time out. I feed my happiness.
Once the feeling of self-doubt in your head is big enough to start causing you problems, it is feeding on itself, and multiplying until it becomes a huge part of your thought process. This video The Scared is Scared is awesome and completely right. Scared is scared of the things you love so you need to get some of those things you love in your life right now.
Whether it’s splashing out £3 on a latte and people watching for half an hour or taking a day out to play rounders, whatever, just do it.
This is something we rarely do, but holy cheese in the last year what have you done? I bet at least a couple of things stand out that you are really chuffed with.
Be chuffed! Allow that to happen. Celebrate your recent amazingness and rejoice that actually you are capable of achieving rather terrific stuff.
Now back to the task in hand… are you crippling yourself with ridiculously high pressure goals? What was your goal for the last week? Was it “build my sparkly website, write a press release and enjoy instant fame” or “develop all my product ideas into actual real things”?
Break it down, set yourself a reasonable sized goal for the week and then break it down day by day, even hour by hour if you’re capable of being that organised.
Your website will take a while, but how much more satisfying will it be if you can tick off “write about page” at the end of the morning rather than stare at your computer overwhelmed that you might never make it out of your office?!
I’m afraid of everything. I’m afraid if I go into a new shop that I won’t immediately grasp the layout, and might accidentally queue at the wrong end, and someone will start shouting at me because they think I’m pushing into the queue and I will cry. I’m afraid of meeting most other humans. I’m afraid of talking on the phone because I get tongue-tied and talk over the other person until we both just keep trying to talk at the same time and it descends into acute awkwardness and they never call me again. You get the idea.
It’s really easy to hide behind our stupid (and sometimes actually very valid) fears, but use them. Show them who’s in charge, start a competition with your fears and kick their ass. Listen to them and then smugly tell them they were wrong afterwards. I don’t suggest doing that out loud in public but whatever helps.