Five things you need to know if you’re in business and struggling with self-doubt.
Whether you’re an entrepreneur or employed in the corporate world, self-doubt is something most of us struggle with from time to time. Often cropping up when applying for a promotion or taking our business in a new direction. The adage, ‘new level, new devil’ often applies as our fears kick in. Sometimes it’s ‘new level, old devil’ as new layers of a challenge we thought we’d overcome, rise to the surface. Here’s five things you need to know to reign in self-doubt. Then your decisions are guided by your desires, not your fears.
1) Know your value. Your value as a person is inherent and doesn’t change based on the views of others. What you bring to the table in a business setting is a combination of your education, training, life experience, personality, perspective, values, work ethic, enthusiasm, creativity and vision and it’s essential that you recognise your value. In 2007 Joshua Bell, a world -famous violinist was busking in the arcade next to Washington DC’s Union Station. Most people hurried past the Grammy winning musician, unaware that they were missing a free performance. Little did they know that others were paying $100 per ticket at the sold- out shows. Same musician, same music, different perceived value.
2) Other people may change their perception of your value and that’s okay. Once I heard the story of a power plant that had shut down. It was losing hundreds of thousands of dollars every hour. All the company’s engineers were trying to solve the problem but had no luck. Eventually the CEO called a local electrician to take a look. Five minutes later, the electrician tightened a bolt and fixed the problem. Then the electrician handed the CEO an invoice for $10,000. The CEO baulked and said, ‘You expect $10,000 for five minutes work?’ The electrician amended the invoice, ‘$3 for labour, $9997 for knowing what to do.’ This illustrates that your expertise may be more valuable to different people at different stages. It’s vital for you to recognise this. Irrespective of the work you do, everyone is solving someone else’s problem and you need to value you. It can change a conversation with young people if we ask “What problem do you want to solve when you leave school?” rather than “What do you want to do?” as it subtly reframes the subject.
3) Your education and training may get you in the door, but your success depends on all your other attributes. Your education and training may be a prerequisite in your field, but it isn’t what people remember about you. People remember results and how you made them feel. The value of softer skills such as empathy, communication and emotional regulation can’t be underestimated. When others feel that you ‘get them,’ they are more likely to listen to you and respond in a positive way. This is because we are all governed by the law of reciprocity.
4) Although I definitely consider myself an optimist, I know this to be true. Not everyone is going to like you, not everyone is going to hire you, not everyone is going to want to work with you and not everyone is going to buy your product or service. As much as rejection can hurt, it’s important to frame set-backs as an inevitable part of business and look for the learning opportunity. If you speak with experienced entrepreneurs or read autobiographies, the path of progress mapped on a graph would usually look like an up and down ascent over time, not the straight vertical line we desire. To help deal with disappointment, I love to have visual reminders of my previous successes. I use these as an anchor to remind myself that more success is coming. You may like to keep thank you notes and emails somewhere visible. I do this and also have a small ceramic elephant in my clinic as a symbol of success. I use this as a visual anchor to remember my wins.
5) Sometimes when we’re struggling with self-doubt, there are subconscious beliefs running below the surface. These are holding us back. I find this to be particularly relevant when people tell me that they feel stuck in their business or career and feel a lot of doubt about their best way forward. I worked on this issue with a client last week and she discovered that layers of unnecessary guilt and also a fear about being in competition with a friend in business, were causing self-doubt and holding her back. This wasn’t initially apparent and she only experienced these ‘aha’ moments through accessing her subconscious beliefs. Carl Jung sums up the beauty of this work “Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.”
If self- doubt is holding you back and you’d like to know more about working with me, book in a complimentary strategy meeting. Then we can discuss your issues and a plan to move forward.
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Author: Rebekah Ryan
Hypnotherapist, Mindset Coach and Rapid Transformational Therapist.
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