Confidence. "The best way to gain self-confidence is to do what you are afraid to do." (unknown) I am always shocked when people comment on my confidence. Recently, I've had interactions with friends and family where my confidence was referenced, and quite honestly, it puzzles me. Yes, in some areas of my life I feel fairly confident. I know I am an awesome wife, caring mother, good friend, and pretty comfortable in the kitchen. But when it comes to my business ventures, trying new things, and my personal style, my confidence waxes and wanes with the moon!! It's such a roller-coaster!
Speaking specifically about business, some days I feel that I am exactly where I need to be and I love the future that I imagine before me, and other days I question if I will ever be "successful." I spend a lot of time thinking about my 90 year old self and wonder if, while I'm in my rocking chair, if I will be glad that I spent so much time and energy on my current endeavors. If they will have MATTERED.
Being an entrepreneur is a TRIP, you guys!! One of my favorite resources is the "Entrepreneur Roller-coaster" by Darren Hardy. I love listening to him read it on Audible. He discusses how entrepreneurship is just that: a roller coaster and boy oh boy do I agree. The ups and downs, sideways flips, exhilaration, feeling that you might throw up...and that's just one ride!!
So for those of you who share my thoughts and feelings on feeling unknown about the current path you're on, let me share some strategies I use to work through it:
- Personal Development.
This has to be the #1 way I pull myself out of self-doubt. I personally love listening to books or podcasts on Audible because it's so easy to listen while I'm driving or doing housework. I have to be careful which kind of pd I choose, though. If I am feeling doubtful, listening to a podcast about business strategies I should be using will only make my anxiety worse. But over and over again, personal development has been one of the most important things for keeping my spirits up when I get down on myself. When you're an entrepreneur, YOU are the boss. YOU have to give yourself pats on the back and encouragement, because it's not going to come from your boss :) Put good in, get good out.
2. Fake it until you make it.
I must use this one a lot, and I think this must be what my friends are referring to when they tell me that I appear super confident. When that self-doubt begins to rear its ugly head, I stand a little taller and pretend that I have it all together. Many times that is enough to get me over the hump of doubt and then I can work through the problem/material/etc. with real confidence that isn't manufactured. But until that time comes, I fake it.
3. Take a step back.
If you are an entrepreneur, you know that sometimes you just need to pull back a bit. Unlike a 9-5 job, your job as an entrepreneur follows you everywhere. There is always something that needs tended to and you can easily become overwhelmed from being "in it" 24/7. When you're the boss/owner/operator/etc. it is difficult to shut work "off" for the day-ESPECIALLY for us online entrepreneurs. I have found that building mandatory off-hours into my schedule helps immensely with burn out. For example, I typically only work for about 30 minutes total on Saturdays. I do the bare minimum on that day so I can unplug and spend the time with my family. And at least one Friday a month I take completely off!
4. Talk it out.
Without having my husband around to talk through my insecurities, problems, questions, etc. I would be even more of a hot mess than I already am! He is my barometer. He keeps me grounded. And he helps me work things out. Sometimes I find that just vocalizing my problems (rather than keeping them in my head) is immensely helpful. So find someone with a willing ear and don't be afraid to talk it out. BUT, make sure you repay the favor when he or she needs someone to listen to them. Chris, if you're reading this, thank you. You are vital to any success I have. XO
To my fellow entrepreneurs, exude confidence in your abilities, in your business, and in your services. Be brave, stand tall, and fake it until you make it :)
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