Let’s talk about self-doubt. We all have it. For me, it’s that little voice inside my head that tells me to worry about everything. Not to bring up the pandemic again, but this has made self-doubt even worse for me. I remember back in college I was fearless. I started businesses, financed computers, rented an expensive office, and never once doubted myself. I still feel that I’m pretty fearless in business, but the state of the world today has a lot of people second guessing decisions, myself included.
I wanted to post this blog for anyone having a hard time right now with self-doubt or fearfulness. We all know deep down that we can do it, but here are some simple exercises and examples from my life that may help you or someone you know. Let’s turn that fear into fuel and create the life we deserve.
Fear is the one thing that holds you back from achieving your goals. Playing it safe is no longer an option. Now, I’m not saying, “Go invest all your money into bitcoin or a new MLM scheme.” I AM saying, “Let’s learn to take calculated risks in life so we can really reach our full potential.” That’s where self-doubt can sometimes creep in. We scare ourselves by imagining the worst case scenario. I often experience this when planning for trips. I’m always like, “Well what if this thing happens and the world shuts down? I’m not losing that vacation money!” Lol.
The thing is, our imaginations are amazing, but they can help us or hinder us. Just because we imagine that we won’t get that job we’re interviewing for, or that next raise, doesn’t mean it’s going to happen. Literally while writing this blog, I am experiencing moments of fearfulness. Let me explain.
This beautiful Sunday morning I woke up and my entire face was swollen. My lips were as big as sausages and my throat was closing up. I told a few friends and posted on Facebook asking, “Is this an allergy?” Then one friend of mine said, “Don’t fall asleep, you might not wake up if you go into shock.” …What?!!! I had to tell myself, “Heather, let’s get this work done and not worry.” So, here I am, taking control of my thoughts and thinking positive thoughts, saying to myself over and over, “Your throat is feeling better. Your lips are not going to explode.” LOL.
Once we take control of our thoughts, we can really start experiencing the benefits. For example, are you thinking about starting your own company? Are you worried about the failure of it? Do you know that most millionaires have failed several times?
Try this exercise:
-Instead of scaring myself out of moving and worrying about affording the rent, I’m going to work hard and do whatever I can to make this move a success.”
-Instead of worrying about not getting clients, I’m going to proactively make a plan to handle all these new clients.”
-Instead of worrying about this bill due on Friday, I am going seek out opportunities that will enable me to pay it.”
Here are some simple steps I use to help change my thinking:
-Become more aware of your negative thoughts and try to change them ASAP.
Over time, you can actually experience physical ailments from negative thought patterns. Some of the ones I’ve personally experienced are severe anxiety, panic attacks (sometimes so bad that I can’t even get out of bed), itching, dandruff (yup), and elevated heart rate. This makes it even more important to prioritize self-awareness for negative thinking and change the cycle.
-Try positive affirmations. Encourage yourself!
One of my best friends, Mariah, puts written affirmations on her bathroom mirror. Stop saying bad things about yourself! I am sooo guilty of that. I used to nitpick my looks 24-7, now I just post whatever, whenever for the world to see. No makeup, nothing!
As you practice your daily affirmations, you may find yourself thinking, “What if this doesn’t work?”
If that happens, I encourage you to ask yourself instead, “What if this does work? What if I actually get all that I deserve? What is that going to feel like?”
Why will this work? It’s going to work because no one believes more than me, and I am going to put in the work to make it happen.
How will it work? Because of the things I am doing every day to make it work. I am unstoppable!
By shifting your focus from “what if” questions to action and solutions, you’ll find it easier to maintain your forward momentum.
Now that you have more control over your thought patterns, let’s get into making more calculated risks. Always be prepared to lose what you can afford to. When we send packages out to celebrity friends, I feel awkward about asking them to post, so I suggest they just send me a video testimonial, or a quick video of them using it. My point is, I only send what I can afford to lose if nothing comes out of it. I have to be comfortable with the possibility of no return, before I take the risk or make the decision.
If you want to start your business, but you need a guaranteed income each month to pay your mortgage and stay out of debt, maybe run your business as a side gig until you have enough clients to quit your job for good. I just had a conversation today with a new client that I couldn’t believe – a brand new skincare company was already paying for shipping services. I suggested that they ship directly until they can afford to lose that business.
If you’re starting your first job in sales, first call the prospects or customers who will be the easiest to sell to. Friends, family and referrals are the best way to start.
If you want to compete in a dance competition, or run a marathon, or really anything, start slowly and take your time. Master the skills you need to learn, move through your fears, and then take on bigger challenges as you go. The journey is the best part of trying new things. I recently thought about competing in a fitness competition but was far too lazy so I decided not to. Make reasonable and realistic goals, lol.
Finally, always celebrate wins, even the small ones. I’m going to celebrate as soon as I hit “send” on this blog! I hope these tips and life experiences help you guys on your journey. Please tag me with some of the ways you are overcoming fear and let me celebrate you!