“I’m not good enough.“
“I can’t do this.”
“They’re so much better.”
“I’m not worth it.”
Have you ever told yourself these words? Of course, you have. We all have.
Self-doubt is common and natural to every single person on this planet. In fact, I think self-doubt is necessary to keep us in check, make us pause and be rational about our decision.
But too much self-doubt can be really destructive and sabotage your success. And I’m definitely a victim of that too.
I like to call it – the Self-Doubt Dragon. It’s that beast that lives inside our heads that, when awake, blasts fire and destroys everything around us. Sounds familiar?
So that’s what I wanna talk to you about – how you can control your Self-Doubt Dragon so you can stop selling yourself short and stop sabotaging your success.
Apparently, Van Gogh once said:
“If you hear a voice within you say ‘You cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.”
Now, remember that this comes from a man who has been considered as a madman and failure throughout his whole life. In fact, he only started gaining recognition and fame after his lifetime. But he still believed in himself and continued sharing his craft with the world.
Imagine the gap in our history if Van Gogh gave in to his inner self-doubt voice and gave up? But how often do we do that to ourselves?
We are our own worst enemy when it comes to self-doubt. Inner voice, angry dragon, little demon… you can use any metaphor you want here but in reality, the only thing standing in your way is yourself.
Not so long ago, I was talking to a friend of mine and she said something that was a revelation to me:
“My dad never actually told me “I want you to make me proud” but I was constantly trying to prove my worth to him.”
That hit home so hard, you have no idea. And it’s so true! We set some unrealistic expectations for ourselves based on the stories we tell ourselves and the things we want ourselves to believe in.
We compare ourselves to other people knowing “for sure” that we will never be as good as them.
We tell ourselves “I can’t do this” without even making an effort to prove ourselves otherwise.
So how can we change this pattern? How can we tame our Self-Doubt Dragon and stop sabotaging our own success?
When things get hard, it’s easy to forget about the impact we make in other people’s lives. But I know for a fact that you started your business to do good and to help other people. Isn’t that so?
As business owners, we are problem solvers. We help our clients solve problems that they can’t solve on their own. We enable them to overcome obstacles so that, then, they can go and make an impact on their own clients. Are you starting to see the difference you’re making in this world?
Newsflash! We all make mistakes.
Every. Single. Person. On. This. Planet.
In fact, 2019 was my “Year of Mistakes”. It was the most challenging year by far and I wanted to give everything up. But guess what? It was also my most profitable year and I came out so much stronger and more knowledgeable from it.
I’m a big believer that every mistake is an opportunity for growth. So instead of beating yourself up for it, think about what this setback can teach you so you don’t make the same mistake again. And don’t let a setback define your purpose. We’re here to learn and get better; if it were easy then everyone would be doing it!
You’re probably like “uggggh, Gigi I knooooow this”, but I think it’s important for you to hear this anyway.
If you’re going through a difficult time right now, I want you to know that this too shall pass. Maybe it seems impossible right now, but this period that you’re going through will not define you. It may make an impact on your life but don’t let it take control of your life.
Use this opportunity to reflect back on it and don’t forget to be kind to yourself. Accept the fact that you’re not 100% right now and think about how you can learn from it and move on.
When things get particularly tough, this is my go-to strategy.
Sometimes, that annoying and awfully persuasive little voice inside my head gets a bit too loud and I just know that I can’t brush this feeling away. So in such situations, I like to take a piece of paper and a pen and write a letter to myself.
I write about the struggles I’m currently going through and how this all feels impossible. But then I also tell myself that I know I can overcome this and, in fact, I should remind myself of all the impact I’ve created lately, all the people I’ve helped, everything I’m grateful for (list it out).
Then, I write down: “Ok, what do we need to do to overcome this?” and I brainstorm all the possible solutions to move on. And it works! By putting words down on paper and having this internal monologue with yourself, you’re suddenly able to tackle things one at a time and see a glimpse of clarity in the fiasco.
Self-Doubt is like getting hit with a paralyzing dart. Sometimes it takes control of your whole body and it feels like there’s nothing you can do about it. Well, there is…
Just simply do it.
Do whatever it is you need to be doing. Don’t stand in one place. Move! Progress is the strongest weapon against self-doubt. By being in constant movement, you simply won’t allow the self-doubt dragon to catch up with you. So don’t get stuck in your doubt paralysis for too long. Accept this feeling and keep on following your passion and purpose. I believe in you!