Avoiding the slippery slope of self-doubt
Do you always feel totally on top of the world, ready to slay the demons of doubt as the drop of a hat, with no shadows of concern or worry daring to cross your path?
I thought not!
This entrepreneurial adventure can be daunting at times.
There can be hours, days, even weeks when there is that catch in your throat, that drop in your stomach, that heavy heart…. A sinking feeling when you may begin to wonder “am I really cut out for this?”.
I’m not even talking about your Inner Critic at the moment.
This is different.
This is a deeper, insidiously creeping feeling and it can often strike in the wee small hours of the morning. Or sometimes when you’re sitting at your desk or computer in planning mode, contemplating “all that needs to be done”. Or when you’re contemplating a new project that requires a new set of skills or a new way of being…..
It feels kind of heavy. Like a nagging pain, but one that doesn’t shout for your attention (like your Inner Critic tends to) rather it just sits and waits for you to take notice.
This is the seed of self-doubt, and it can send you careening down a slippery slope to major procrastination and staying small if you don’t recognise it, acknowledge it and make a wholehearted decision to move through it.
So how do you do that?
There are a few distinct actions I have learned to take when I feel that shadow of self-doubt begin to lengthen.….
I get off self
The spiral of self-doubt seems to be strongest when I am all about me, me, me. When I’m feeling sorry for myself, when things aren’t going exactly as I’d like them to be, when I’m concerned that my plans might not come to fruition, when I’m not being the perfect entrepreneur I’d like to be (whatever THAT is!)
Yep. All about me, me, me.
When I see this pattern come up my immediate antidote to apply is to pull up quick and remind myself WHY I am doing what I’m doing.
- Who am I here to help with my work?
- What difference can I make for them?
- Who can I help right now, in some small way?
That refocuses me pretty quickly.
I make contact with my Belief-Buddy
We all need one of these.
Someone who knows you well, believes in you, someone who you have shared your big vision with and knows you just need to take the consistent small steps, one after the other, to get you there.
Your belief buddy knows that the ups and downs of this entrepreneurial adventure are just that, perfectly normal ups and downs. Because she experiences them too.
She or he knows that it is their job to remind you that “this too will pass”.
And of course, you are available to do just the same for them when the self-belief slippery slope beckons them to take a ride…..
I go to my positivity affirmations
These are the positive beliefs that I am laying down and repeating consistently to overlay the old misbeliefs that have told me in the past I’m not enough.
I’ve created them when I’ve been buoyant and focused and they remind me of where I am going, not where I have been.
When I’m reading them I really lean into them. I ground myself, breathe deeply and feel them coursing through me.
I clearly see wonderful new wholehearted clients actively looking for me and I get refocused on what I can do to open my arms and welcome them to me.
And then I tend to play some loud music and dance around a bit!
Works for me
What can you do to avoid the slippery slope?
Dips are inevitable in business. Even Pollyanna would have felt challenged at times by being an entrepreneur.
But the rewards can be life-changing.
I’ve found that to keep myself travelling well, to avoid the really significant slippery slopes that can lead to serious procrastination and shelving of dreams (and therefore by association, denying the help to those who need you) there are just a few things I need to do. Regularly.
Listen to and/or read positive material every day.
You don’t have to spend hours on this. My aim is 10 minutes of meditation in the morning and 10 minutes of journaling and setting my intention for the day. I start my day feeling happier just from that.
I also always have an inspirational or personal development book on the go. I just finished The Untethered Soul and it was awesome. I used an entire highlighter up all through it!
BTW, I eat books. Literally. At the same time, I was reading Book Yourself Solid by Michael Port. I tend to have a business book, a spiritual or personal development book AND a novel on the go simultaneously. Some say madness, I say heaven
But I digress!
Express Gratitude every night.
I’ve mentioned in previous posts the fact that I’ve been keeping a gratitude journal for almost eight years now. I absolutely swear that this simple practice of listing 5 things I’m grateful for each day has turned my neurons around. Positivity is my default mindset more often than not as a direct result.
Remind yourself that elephants are best eaten one bite at a time.
No matter how big your goal, no matter how high your mountain, when you commit to taking even just one step towards your goals each and every day you’ll get be moving closer to your Wholehearted Business Vision
And when you practice these principles I’ve shared today those self-doubt demons will get smaller and lighter, and visit less often.