5 WAYS TO SILENCE YOUR INNER CRITIC.
You know how some women look in the mirror and they hate the reflection they see? I feel the same way every morning I sit down at my computer. Each day I sit down to start working and self-doubt, jealousy and feelings of being overwhelmed encompass me. Some days I am frozen.
My thoughts literally paralyze me and I get nothing accomplished. Which feeds into my cycle of self-doubt and lack of confidence.
“Who am I to teach moms how to blog? Who am I to write blog posts about building traffic and email list building? Sure I’ve had great accomplishments in the last 10 years..but there are people WAY more successful that I am. Why would people want to hear what I have to say?”
Sound familiar? It can be terribly isolating to be self-employed…we are left alone for hours on end tied to our computer, driven by dreams and compelled by hopeful thinking. Yet for some of us, we can’t help but beat ourselves up.
It’s the proverbial negative self-talk that most entrepreneurs have to deal with. It’s a constant loop of fear and doubt manifesting into a conscious stream of thinking that can literally bring down your business and your motivation to keep going. The only way to persevere is to shut that voice down. To learn skills on how to quiet the dream crushing dialogue in our head.
5 Strategies to Deal with Entrepreneurial Self-Doubt
1. Remind yourself of the journey
The first thing to remember is that everyone starts with nothing, except an idea. Large bloggers were once small bloggers. Top Etsy sellers at some point were happy with their first sale and boss babes with hundreds of followers started with one follower. If you remind yourself of this on a daily basis, you will be kinder to yourself, you will learn to appreciate the journey.
2. Celebrate the small wins
Once you learn to appreciate the journey, you should learn to celebrate the small wins. Your first Etsy sale. Your first viral blog post or landing that first client will be the wins that should keep you motivated. I recommend keeping a journal of these wins and looking at the list anytime you start to feel doubt creep in. This is something I started in the last month and it has been incredibly powerful at reminding myself of how far I’ve come.
3. The only way to feel confident about something is to do it over and over again
So many of us are filled with self-doubt because we are always approaching new territory. There is no handbook for becoming an entrepreneur especially for those of us who are blazing our own path. I’ve found that the only way to gain confidence in your skill set is to do the one thing that you are not confident about over and over and over again.
For new entrepreneurs, I recommend offering pro bono work or discounted work. Do this until you’re confident in your skills. Do this until you’ve built a portfolio of work that you are proud of. Do this until you can confidently go out in the world and charge what you are worth.
4. Don’t play the comparison game
Whatever you do, don’t allow yourself to play the comparison game with other entrepreneurs or makers. If you find yourself jealous of someone’s success, or clientele or business…stop following them on social media, don’t spy at the portfolio and don’t wonder how they are doing it. Concentrate on building YOUR business, YOUR way, with YOUR unique perspective.
5. Surround yourself with like-minded & supportive people
One thing I’ve found particularly helpful is to find your tribe. Find people who are driven by the same motivations, share similar goals and will hold you accountable to your goals when you are feeling overwhelmed.
The power of human connection is a great healer for all things. I once heard a quote, “Never worry alone” and this is true in business. If you are worried or struggling reach out to someone and allow them to help you through it. We may be self-employed but that does not mean we have to do it alone.