This post is for you if you…
- are struggling with self-doubt as a new or aspiring coach
- are willing to dig into what really causes your self-doubt
- want actionable steps to overcome your self-doubt
The Purpose of My Post
Starting a business is hard enough without adding in the added pressure of massive self-doubt.
You know the kind I’m talking about, that obnoxiously loud voice in your head that won’t stop talking.
- What will they think?
- What if I fail?
- Who am I to do this?
- I’ll never make it.
- This will never happen for me.
- I’m not good enough.
- Why would anyone want to listen to me?
- I’m still trying to get my crap together.
- I’m not ready.
- Maybe just a little more research.
You get the point.
You hold yourself hostage by all those tiny, unwritten rules you have created for yourself in the midst of doubt. And you do this because you don’t understand why you have doubt in the first place so you don’t know how to overcome it.
Therefore, the purpose of my post is to equip you with the knowledge you need to take self-doubt off of your plate once and for all so you can build your business with confidence.
Let’s Talk the Basics of Self-Doubt
You can call it imposter syndrome, inner critic, shadow self or limiting beliefs. The fact remains that each of these are all fancy words for self- doubt. And self-doubt always boils down to one thing: fear.
When you are scared, you start to create excuses as to why you can’t do something. It is a coping mechanism designed to keep you safe. Which is great if you are being chased by a charging bull because there is an actual chance you can get really hurt or die. But when we are talking about going live on Instagram for the first time, there is a zero percent chance of this happening.
Repeat after me: I’m not going to die.
The Mistake You Make With Your Inner Critic
How often have you found yourself in the midst of a heated battle with your inner voice? The kind where your critic is on high alert and you are trying to reason with it? It might look like this:
You: I’m going to tell someone about my business today
Critic: NO!! NO!! NO!! YOU CAN’T DO THAT!!
You: Oh…okay, maybe I shouldn’t.
Critic: WHAT WILL THEY THINK?
You: I am just so tired of remaining stuck, I really think I need to push myself out of my comfort zone.
Critic: NO!! NO!! NO!! THEY WILL NOT UNDERSTAND AND ASK YOU QUESTIONS YOU CAN’T ANSWER AND TELL YOU THIS IS CRAZY AND THINK YOU LOST YOUR MIND. STAY QUIET AND STAY SAFE.
You: No, I think I can really do this.
Critic: YOU CAN’T, YOU CAN’T, YOU CAN’T, YOU CAN’T, YOU CAN’T
You: You’re right. I can’t.
The mistake you make is trying to reason with that voice in your head who doesn’t possess a shred of common sense. Don’t get me wrong, it’s admirable that you try (and you may feel like you really are growing since you pushed back a bit). But no amount of positive affirmations are going to make a significant dent in silencing that voice.
Instead, what you need is an alternative approach.
Understanding Your Self-Doubt
The first thing to know is your inner critic does not reflect realistic thinking. As we previously discussed, that voice is wired to prevent harm. As was also mentioned, the likelihood of you dying or coming to harm while building your business is extremely unlikely.
Therefore, the key is to understand first and foremost that your doubt has no basis in reality.
Let’s take a look at how your inner critic perceives situations vs how your rational mind does.
Inner Critic: Positive it knows the truth
Rational Mind: Stays curious and open to different perspectives
Inner Critic: Black and white thinking: it either is or it isn’t
Rational Mind: Asks open ended questions: how might this be possible?
Inner Critic: Only sees problems
Rational Mind: Searches for solutions
Inner Critic: Loud, anxious, paranoid, negative
Rational Mind: Calm, quiet, peaceful, optimistic
Inner Critic: Repetitive and Cyclic thoughts
Rational Mind: Looks for ways to move forward
3 Ways to Overcome Your Self-Doubt
Until now, it may have never even crossed your mind how much your Inner Critic controls you. When you begin to pay attention to it, you can make a conscious effort to dig into how it’s holding you back and ways you can stop allowing that.
The key is to practice noticing when your doubts start creeping in and overtaking everything, then knowing how to manage them. You will never stop or silence your inner critic. Therefore, in order to move forward, you must uncover the root of why it is freaking out in the first place.
Call Out Your Critic
When you start paying attention to your thoughts, you will start to see the difference between your critic and your intuition. If you get confused, you can always look to your body and see whether you are feeling tight and restricted or calm and peaceful. Do this once or twice and you will have no problem deciphering between the two.
After you recognize a critical thought, say something like “I hear you, critic”. That’s it. Just call it out. Recognition is the first step forward.
Find Your Triggers
As you get proficient in knowing when your inner critic comes knocking (or rather, breaks down the door), you will start to see what sets it off.
The two biggest indicators of self-doubt are looking for external validation and comparing yourself to others. When you rely on other people to determine your worth, you are basically laying out the welcome mat and opening the door wide open for your critic to enter.
Therefore, your next step in overcoming your self-doubt is to start noticing when you freak out if your partner isn’t showering you with praise or when your Instagram scrolling gets out of control. If you are honest, you know as well as I do that comparing your progress to that of other, more “successful” people is a terrible thing to do.
I challenge you to stay in your own lane and focus on what lights YOU up and give yourself the validation and love you are capable of. When you do this, your inner critic has nothing left to say.
If you read that last part and came away completely clueless as to how in the world you are supposed to validate your own self and find what lights you up, keep reading.
It is essential you know who you are and what you stand for. Too many of our doubts and fears come from years of conditioning. In order to get to the raw and authentic you, it is necessary to dig into all the false beliefs holding you back. These are the beliefs you formed as a child and do nothing but keep you stuck in massive self-doubt.
As soon as you find the root of why you believe what you do, this gives you the keys to the kingdom and will burst your world wide open. Knowing the why allows you to decide whether you want to continue forward as you have been or make change.
To help you with this, I have created 3 free resources:
Final Thoughts on Overcoming Your Self-Doubt
You have a dream to be a business owner for a reason. It never would have crossed your mind if it wasn’t entirely possible for you. When you take the time to work on yourself and your personal growth first, you give yourself the opportunity to be wildly successful in your business.
Self-doubt is a normal roadblock to moving forward on your path. Knowing this will take some of the pressure off to be perfect. It is important to remember that all you need to do is take small, tiny steps forward every day towards your goal. As you do, you will begin to notice that what terrified you yesterday no longer has a hold on you today.
Proud introvert, intuitive entrepreneur, and spiritual activist. On a mission to embolden my fellow introverts to quietly change the world.