I just finished an online marketing course. It’s almost time to apply what I have learned to my own business. However, I am paralyzed by fear. I am terrified that I will be a failure. What if no one signs up? What if people think I’m a fraud? What if the technology fails and no one can see or hear what I’m saying?
I can’t remember doubting myself this much. But then again, I probably have not taken this huge of a leap before. In the past, whenever I’m in doubt, I usually turn to friends and family for affirmation. I’m doing it again now. Have you ever been in a similar situation?
Around this time last year, I remember listening to this uber successful financal advisor. who has built a huge empire with thousands of people in his circle. He asked us, “Are you tired of starting all the time?” When he saw the audience nodding in unison, he said “Then stop doubting yourself. Stop quitting.”
He further stressed his point by by saying there are so many white belts in martial arts, and cub scouts in Boy Scouts, but not a lot of black belts and Eagle Scouts – because people like to start but quit before they can even finish the program.
Here are some proven ways that stopped me from quitting and helped kiss my self-doubt goodbye:
- Turn it into something positive and productive. You have heard of people who are scared of heights, they climb mountains or ride roller coasters. You can attempt something similar. Afraid of public speaking? Join a Toastmasters Club. As a writer, I don’t find myself in many situations where I had to speak. Recently though, I was invited by two different student groups to speak and I did. It was good practice, I told myself, for bigger things.
- Surround yourself with positive people. There’s nothing worse than being in the company of Negative Nelly or Sad Sally. They will aggravate your self-doubt.
- Start small. So you want to finish a marathon? Start training for a 5K or a 10 first.
- Switch your mindset. Easier said than done, right? Books and podcasts have helped me switch my way of thinking. When I hear about other people have been empowered by something or someone, I feel empowered too. I try to channel their positivity. I’m still a work in progress but I’m getting there.
How have you empowered yourself when feelings of self-doubt and negativity try to creep in?