Squashing self doubt
Self doubt – ah, what two words are more scathing to a small business owner (aside from tax debt or unpaid invoices of course)? It’s something no one likes to admit they battle with, but the truth is that we’ve all dueled with that beast once or twice (sixty thousand times) throughout our entrepreneurial journeys.
If you’re magically unfamiliar with the rubbish phenomenon, Google Dictionary defines it a little like this:
- lack of confidence in oneself and one’s abilities.
We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. Self doubt breeds in a little corner of our brains and decides to inject its opinion into every meaningful task we pursue. It’s like that bitchy frenemy who you only put up with because your mums are besties. She’ll act all innocent in company, but at the end of the night will be picking at your every flaw and telling you those pajamas aren’t your colour.
How do we overcome such a hateful presence? Sadly, there’s no band aid solution, or 15 minute face mask that’ll do the trick. Overcoming self doubt and building self confidence takes a lot of time, hard work and love.
But what about when it’s getting in the way of your business?
We at Rust have had many doses of self doubt over the years, and it doesn’t seem to act any kinder the 15th or 500th time round. You do, however, get stronger. Or at least read a really badass self-help book that teaches you not to give a fuck (more on those lifesavers later).
Believe us when we say that self doubt will be your biggest hurdle when launching or growing your biz. It’s tragic, but true. Sure, money may get in the way, or a global financial crisis could run pockets dry, but ultimately, anything you want to do but hesitate on, is because of you.
You might be thinking ‘who are we to dish out advice on such a deep topic?’. You’re right, who the hell are we for saying we’ve got the answer to a virus that plagues the majority of the earth’s brains?
Well, we’re nobody. Nobody but Rust. But after many months of knowing there was something missing, and a close death in the family, we realised that life is too darn short to keep putting things off. If you believe in yourself and are willing to learn, then it’s at least worth a try.
As we write this, Rust hasn’t launched yet, at least not in a traditional sense. We still don’t have a website, or a contract, or any clients for that matter. We have a humble Instagram account and a domain that leads to a picture of a cactus and a ‘coming soon’ message. We are operating on an extremely low budget, and rely on recommendations from industry articles and interviews on podcasts to learn about the best software and latest business hacks. We don’t have any print collateral, and are still deciding on a logo.
But we’re working on it. And that’s what counts.
We’ve recently read a lot about the ‘doing one thing a day’ method, where you work on, as the name suggests, one small thing for your business each day. And at the end of the working week, you’ll have done 5 things. And at the end of the month, 20 things (at least). And it continues on until you look back a few months later and realise you’ve built a business, all by kicking small goals in manageable chunks.
Sure, there will be days that make hell look like a day spa, and Mercury might go retrograde and fry all your electronics, but making a conscious decision to keep working at it, even if ‘it’ is just learning how to put together a proposal, will get you a hellova lot further than sitting back and crying that it’s all too much.
Working on your biz – particularly in the development stages – bit by bit will squash that self doubt of yours, trust us. Each day, when you’re faced with doing something new, and then you take the steps to learn and action it, you’ll finish the task feeling proud as punch and ignore that text from your shitty frenemy (the one in your head, that is).
So, there you have it. The magical formula to squashing self doubt, is to simply start. And break your dream down into manageable, actionable tasks. A timeframe will never go astray in these circumstances, and if you’re feeling generous, why not create a reward/milestone system for yourself. Go on girl, you deserve that new mousepad.
Have you put up a heroic fight against self doubt and triumphed? We want to know, and would love to chat more about it either in the comments below or via owl (email).
Until the next brew,
Rust Creative helps women in their twenties fast-track finding their purpose. Through 1:1 coaching, group programs and specialised resources, we offer women clarity and direction so that they can ENJOY the most exciting decade of their lives. And tea, always tea.
The Rust Woman
AKA Our Ideal Client.
She's a savvy twenty-something looking for a safe space to he heard and supported. She's confident that she can achieve her goals, but she doesn't know how she'll get there – yet. She KNOWS she has a purpose but needs a helping hand to uncover it.