Self-doubt. It’s a horrible feeling, isn’t it? I’m sure it’s something all business owners (or anyone) has felt before. I don’t think you would be human if you didn’t! Unfortunately, we’ll most likely feel it again in the future too.
I think self-doubt is one of those things that is never 100% cured (because it certainly acts like a disease) but it’s something that we have to learn how to manage.
This is hard for me to admit, but even after 5 years of running our shop as a full-time business, I still have self-doubt when we release a new product.
Thoughts that stream through my head include:
“Will people like it?
Am I doing enough?
What happens if nobody purchases?”
As you can see, I’m certainly not perfect and nobody else is either. It’s natural for self-doubt to pop up, but we can’t let it run our lives.
What matters is how you overcome self-doubt.
How you move forward instead of being paralyzed by the self-doubt.
How you push through, even when it’s scary, uncomfortable, and downright terrifying.
I share my tips on overcoming self-doubt and how you can do the same. Remember, we’re all in this together!
P.S. We share more vulnerability of our struggles and successes within the business in our email newsletter. We would love to have you join us!
How To Overcome Self Doubt As A Girl Boss
1 | Feel your feelings
First things first, you need to actually feel the feelings you’re having while you’re having a moment of self-doubt.
What I mean by this is to not ignore your feelings of self-doubt by pushing through and acting like everything is okay, but to sit down and be honest with yourself about how you’re feeling.
I often answer questions like,“Why am I doubting myself? What is the absolute worst that could happen? Would the worst happening be that bad?”
Often, the answers to these questions make me realize that the worst that can happen actually isn’t as bad as I imagined in my head.
So what if a new WordPress theme doesn’t sell? We can edit and pivot in a different direction. We can remove it completely from the site. We can try to market it a different way. The options are endless because we make our own rules.
The worst is almost always far greater in our minds than what is the reality. Acknowledge your feelings of self-doubt and move on with your day.
2 | Stop comparing yourself
Ugh, comparison. It’s the worst, isn’t it? It’s natural to compare yourself to others in your same industry or even to other small business owners but in the end, it is a waste of time.
You are doing the best you can, to the best of your ability, with the situation you’ve been dealt in your life and that’s okay.
Some business owners are parents (ahem, us!) and we don’t have the time (nor the desire really) to focus on our business at all times.
Sometimes, life happens and your focus needs to be elsewhere than being a #girlboss 24/7.
Some business owners are making more than you and they’ve been doing this for a shorter amount of time. Some are making less than you and have been doing it for longer.
And all of this is okay!
This isn’t some race to the finish line. Business ownership ebbs and flows, just like life. Spending your days worrying about what everyone else is doing isn’t going to help you grow your business.
Keeping your eyes on your own business is what will help you move forward and have true success.
3 | Work through it
This may seem counterintuitive to my feel your feelings tip listed above, but hear me out.
Once you’ve felt your feelings, it can be easy to succumb to those and give up. That’s when you need to work through the self-doubt.
Sometimes you need to put your head down and get the work done. It might not be pretty, and the work might not be completely finished, but every little accomplishment will add up.
As you continue to take little steps toward your goals, your self-doubt will begin to melt away. There won’t be time for self-doubt, you have other important things going on!
We’ve found that working through the tough moments, when we’re feeling low and unmotivated, helps us have breakthroughs in our business. It’s at those times that our business grows the most.
Related post: Where To Find Inspiration (When You Aren’t Feeling Inspired)
4 | Remember your why and trust your values
When everyone else is zagging right, and you want to zag left, it can be difficult to stick to your guns.
What’s most important during those times of self-doubt is to remember your why and trust your values.
Maybe everyone else in your industry is doing something one way, but you don’t want to do that particular thing.
Look at your values and figure out what you will and won’t do. In those hardest of times when you’re experiencing self-doubt and feel like you should give up and do what everyone else is doing, remembering your values is what will keep you pushing through.Self-doubt is the worst. Learn how to overcome self-doubt as a #girlboss with these tips from @bluchicClick To Tweet
5 | Practice self-compassion
This is a tip that can be so easy to overlook, but self-compassion can do wonders for your mindset and confidence.
We keep a happy folder of emails from heartwarming emails from friends and happy customers to look at on our lowest days. These always cheer me up because I know what we’re doing matters and that there are so many people out there who have used our products to grow something amazing.
Another idea is to have a self-care box. Having a small box filled with things you can do that relaxes you (adult coloring books, nice smelling candles, motivation books to read, bubble bath items, etc.) that you can go to when you’re feeling low can immediately boost your mood and make you feel better.
6 | Talk about it
Sometimes we just need to talk it out. I know some people can be stubborn and not want to verbally express their vulnerabilities but I can almost guarantee you that you will feel so much better after talking it out with someone.
Share your worries with your significant other, your family or friends, or even an online business bestie. A lot of times we’re all going through the same difficulties and you can learn how other people overcome their own self-doubt.
Related post: A Huge Business Mistake We Made + How You Can Help
7 | Make a decision and move forward
As self-doubt begins to take over, sometimes you just need to make the decision and move forward.
I know how it feels to have decision paralysis because I want everything to be “perfect” but here’s the truth: there is no one perfect choice.
There is always another way to do something and you can always course correct, make changes, or change your mind completely in the future.
Nothing is set in stone, especially since you’re a business owner. You’re the boss, remember? You can always change paths and nothing is concrete.
8 | Listen or read inspirational
I briefly mentioned this as a part of your self-care box, but I wanted to dive a little deeper into this topic.
Listening or reading something inspirational isn’t a monumental tip or one that you haven’t heard before, however, my advice may be a little different than what you’ve always heard.
The key to listening or reading something inspirational and it actually helps you get out of your self-doubt funk is that it needs to be inspirational to you.
Let me repeat this, it needs to be inspirational to you.
Person A is inspired by going to an art museum. Person B hates art museums and views them as pointless.
You see how Person B would not be inspired by going to an art museum? In fact, they would probably be annoyed and even less inspired than if they hadn’t even visited a museum in the first place.
You need to find what works for you. Here are some ideas to get you brainstorming:
– Reading nonfiction OR fiction books
– Listening to a podcast
– Listening to a certain type of music
– Visiting an art museum
– Watching inspiring YouTube videos or TEDtalks
Related post: Where To Find Inspiration (When You’re Not Feeling Inspired)
I hope me revealing my (and our) struggles with self-doubt helps you feel less alone and more comfortable. Self-doubt is inevitable to feel, but how you manage it is what matters most.