I know a thing or two about self doubt...It starts with something small, tingling in the back of your mind.
Maybe you lost a client, a sale fell through or you're struggling to secure that very first order. Or maybe it was something someone said that made you second guess everything that you know you know.
Your mind starts to create every possible scenario of failure and worst possible outcomes. It feels so real that you can feel your heart accelerate & perspiration take over. You try to focus on something else but within minutes you’ve officially jumped on the negative train. There it is, you’ve officially entered complete panic mode.
Worry, doubt and fear are all emotions most consider pretty negative; but for entrepreneurs, worry and fear can be particularly tough because they can have a direct impact on your livelihood.
The good news is fear and worry can also be helpful. Your worries around financial failure, rejection and opportunity costs may be the perfect fuel you need to get moving and take action! So, whenever you feel worry or fear creeping in... call on one of these strategies to keep you in go mode, and the doubts far behind you.
1. Use it to plan accordingly
While fears and worry can certainly feel real, most worries are set in the future. The scenarios you are imagining haven’t even happened yet. Which means you can implement strategies right now & take action to avoid them becoming real. Face what scares you and develop a plan of action to avoid the undesired outcome! Your initial fears that triggered worry can be a great signal that something needs to change. Dig deep, figure out what’s really bothering you, then make some changes.
2. Give worry a deadline.
Even if you find limited value in your worrying, you still need to cut yourself off or you risk becoming unproductive. OR even worse, giving life to fear & worry! Placing a limit on your worries is not about suppressing fearful feelings but about giving them limited space and time in your life. You only have so much time, energy and focus in a day so don't waste those resources on worry. Give yourself permission to work through the emotion, then set a deadline then get off the worry train.
3. Reach for gratitude.
I get it...it can be tough to be grateful when things feel all messed up & you haven't seen the growth you want or the changes you'd like in your life. Let me give you my biggest life hack; practicing gratitude for what you already have. For the fact that you are here and able to pursue this big dream of entrepreneurship at whatever level you're in. It's a gift.
By focusing on the things you are grateful for, you automatically create more space for uplifting thoughts and less room the negativity clouding your mind. Take a moment and think about something -- anything you are grateful for right now. Even if it’s just your health, a good cup of coffee or the fact that you own your own business. And if your business isn't making you tons of money yet, find gratitude in every small step forward. Major shift.
4. Create and repeat a fearless affirmation or habit.
Replace your fear-filled thoughts to break the fear cycle. Try creating an affirmation you tell yourself whenever you begin to worry. Make it simple but meaningful. Something like, "I have unlimited power. I just have to tap into it & give it life." Or "I was given this mountain to show others that it can be moved." If affirmations aren’t your style, create an actual physical habit to shake up your mental state.
One of my favorite things to do is from one of my favorite shows, Grey's Anatomy. The "superhero pose".
I will oftentimes do it when I'm feeling a bit nervous or unsure and I need to choose the best direction. There's something about that pose...It's like giving myself the freedom & courage to believe in myself, my choices, & my ability to make great choices.
I aways feel assured & confident, and ready to take on anything. There's a POWER in this silent, but bold declaration!
Entrepreneurship is far more of a mental battle than most recognize. While most business owners know fear and worry are a natural part of an entrepreneurs' path, it certainly doesn't make it any easier. When you focus on fear & worry, you create self doubt. Self doubt swells in an ungrateful atmosphere. When you tap into your inner superhero, you feel scared, but you do what it takes anyway.
Shift your focus.
This is an ongoing journey. Celebrate your successes, no matter how small.
And remember: We are Superheroes.