A Power Tool To Reign In Your Self-Doubt
Lying on the cold concrete floor of my Mum’s kitchen floor - I cried ~ wailed ~ “Am I really cut out for this? Can I actually make this work? What if I’m just kidding myself?”
Self-doubt had me in its grip, not for the first time and definitely not for the last, and I spiralled into a radiator-hugging meltdown. The wrath of my crippling self-doubt crushed me so many times particularly in my first year or two of business - and it wasn’t until I started applying my back yourself tools that things started to change and I was able to gain some perspective on that little gremlin inside my head, and also take back the reigns on it, too.
So what is self-doubt? It’s that pesky little mouse that tends to creep in whenever things are going too well, or you’ve just come up with a game-changing idea, or you’re making a plan of action to move things forward in your life / business.
Self-doubt can get truly wild, particularly in the first couple of years of business - I know because I experienced it, and of course still do at times - and I want to share with you one of the superpowers that helped me reign in my self-doubt and experience more clients, more money and more freedom in my business.
One of the key power tools was learning that: for everything that happens in our life / business / relationship / everything ever - the way we feel about that thing is dictated by the *meaning* we put on it.
So if you want to change the way you feel about something - change the meaning you’re giving it.
For example - let’s say it's a rainy Saturday (a typical kind of day in the UK) and you’ve got two people. You've got a farmer whose crops have been scorched by the heatwave for months and he’s not been making any money, and you've got a bride who's getting married that day.
The same situation is happening: it's a Saturday and it's raining. But the difference? The farmer is putting the meaning on this situation that it’s a *good* thing. And the bride is putting the meaning on it that it’s not - and this dictates the different ways they feel about it.
And this is how humans are operating all the time.
So how does this apply to your business? Well, let’s say for example you’re experiencing one of the most common near-death experiences in business - you’ve sent a client proposal and have heard nothing. Nada. Not. A. Peep.
If your self-doubt is feeling particularly ragey, here’s how that might go for you as you’re sitting at your laptop refreshing your inbox for 4 hours…
“They think I’m a fraud.”
“They don’t want to work with me.”
“They’ve seen right through me.”
“They think I’m too expensive.”
These are the meanings you’re putting on this situation. You’re literally saying: because they haven’t replied, it must mean this.
And how might that make you feel? Chances are: pretty shitty.
And what might you do? You might decide to sit on the sofa and sob, eating chocolate and find comfort in a Jane The Virgin binge.
And what might the result be? You might decide to give it all up because it’s too stressful and what’s the point anyway?
Phew! Raise your hands if you recognise this exhausting Tuesday afternoon rundown?
So that's the first scenario and the chain of events that happens because of the meaning you’ve put on it.
Now let's just wipe that image away, and now I want you to think about the event again. You send a client proposal and you don't hear back - radio silence - not a peep.
And before your brain starts sprouting all the doom and gloom things this might mean, here’s the power question I want you to ask here… “what could this mean instead?”
And make your way through some of the other things it could mean instead. Create your shopping list of meanings to pick from!
What it could mean is that they:
+ have kids on school holidays and are juggling a million things right now
+ they really want to work with you and are finding a way to make it happen
+ they’ve had something else come up that needs to take priority
+ they're not a good fit and a client who is actually way better suited to your work is on their way to you
+ are getting organised and sorting some things out before they commit
And how might you feel with these meanings? Well, you might feel calm. You might feel like you can carry on with your day. And what might you do as a result? Well you might then just get on with your life, carry on with your day, send more client proposals. And what might the result be? The result might be that you build your business, that you do get clients that say yes and that you continue doing what you do best!
The only difference that changed the chain which changed how you felt and therefore how you behaved was the meaning you put on the situation.
The important thing to remember is that: you’re making the meaning up! So doesn’t it make sense that you choose a meaning from your shopping list of meanings that actually makes you feel good rather than something that makes you feel like shit?
You have the choice and the power here to dictate what you think and therefore how you feel and therefore how you behave and therefore your result! Look at that - you’re basically like a sorceress of your own life! And it starts with the awareness of checking in on the meanings you’re putting on things and asking: what could this mean instead?
As you build your *meaning* muscle, you physically rewire that part of your brain that used to go to the default of ‘it must be because of all these shitty reasons’. You allow your brain the space to provide new options of what it could also mean and that starts to become the natural way your brain works.
Can you imagine how much time, energy and headspace you’d have if you stopped getting caught up in the crappy stories in your head?
I really hope this supports you - I know that it was SUCH a superpower tool for me when I first started out and experienced the dreaded proposal silence. And I now apply it whenever I get stuck in my own way or have that little creeper ‘self-doubt’ try and make an appearance.
Want more where this came from?
1. I love sharing the ways and tools you can change your brain and back yourself instead of attack yourself, and have tons of resources to support you to do just that over in my FREE Facebook community.
2. Head over to IGTV where you’ll find my short videos on backing yourself instead of attacking yourself, taking your business from frazzled to freedom and mini pep-talks, too.
3. Or, if you’re ready to go a little further and dive into the negative stories getting in the way of you moving forward (and you’re having way more meltdowns than you’d like), you can book in for a superpower session. This is an opportunity for you to take the space and time to explore what’s really going on in your mind, what limiting old stories are getting in the way and holding you back, and how you can move forward with clarity, confidence and purpose.