Am I good enough? Will my clients want to keep working with me? Am I charging too much? If you’re a small business owner, you’ll likely be quite familiar with these thoughts. They’re damaging, frustrating and can really cloud our minds, making us second guess ourselves, even when we’re at the height of success. So, here are a few tips for dealing with self-doubt as a small business owner in 2021 and beyond.
Why do we doubt ourselves?
Honestly, I have no idea about the science behind self-doubt, but I can tell you that there are very few human beings on this Earth who have not doubted themselves at one point or another. Whether our doubt stems from a lack of self-confidence, high anxiety or something else, there’s generally something that makes us tick or triggers us to feel like we’re bound to fail.
It’s healthy to have a little self-doubt. Doubting ourselves in the right scenarios can lead us to making better decisions. When it becomes an issue and keeps us from reaching our goals and running our business effectively…that’s when we need to figure out how to train our minds to have confidence in ourselves.
Top tips for dealing with self-doubt as a small business owner
Reduce the amount of time you spend thinking about what other people think of you
This one is tough, for sure. It’s hard to block out the thoughts of how other people think of you. After all, our businesses revolve around our clients and customers. We base a lot of our decisions on what our competitors are doing. We often feel pressure from a range of different individuals and groups of people in the world around us. It’s going to be hard, but reducing the time you spend ruminating on what others think about your business will free up time for you to spend maintaining and improving the amazing business you’ve built!
Don’t let fear overtake your emotions
Running a business is scary work. Seriously! I don’t think a day has gone by in my small business journey where I haven’t felt anxious, stressed or scared about one thing or another. The trick to managing fear though is to try and replace it with excitement (I’ve only recently discovered this and it’s my go-to coping mechanism now).
Take the following thought, for example…
“Oh my god. This client has given me such a huge task. I’m worried that my skills won’t cover all that’s required.”
Instead, think of it like this…
“Hell yeah. This is a big job and I might not have the skills to complete it all right now, but I’m excited to learn more and to broaden my skillset as I work through it.”
Don’t put too much pressure on yourself
Dealing with self-doubt is a very tricky task when you’ve got the weight of the world already resting on your shoulders. Pressure can come from many different avenues, but most of the time it’s the pressure we put on ourselves that gets to us.
Removing some pressure from yourself might mean outsourcing some work, hiring a new staff member or simply blocking out a day in your schedule every once in a while to sit on the couch and watch trashy reality shows on Netflix without touching your computer (*coughohlookitsmecough*).
Either way, pressure leads to stress which leads to self-doubt. It’s a vicious cycle. In my experience anyway.
Let me know how you deal with self-doubt as a small business owner, freelancer, creative or just in day-to-day life!
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