I saw this quote on self doubt that organisational psychologist Adam Grant posted recently:
“Questioning your abilities doesn’t mean you have imposter syndrome. It’s a normal response to a challenging or difficult task. The absence of doubt breeds arrogance. Feeling unsure maintains humility”
Now, he can be a polarising guy but he does have a point here. It is perfectly normal for us to question our abilities.
Running a business is challenging every day. If it was easy everyone would be doing it, right?
It takes courage to show up day in and day out, most of the time without a clue what you are doing (What? You thought you were the only one who felt that way? You are not!)
You second guess everything, start comparing yourself to others. That negative internal dialogue takes over. The wheels spin, panic sets in and this is often when you make some not-so-great decisions that feed this cycle of overwhelm.
Those feelings of uncertainty never vanish completely, you just get better at managing it.
Here are some of the tools you can use when self doubt strikes:
- Focus on what is true – is what you feel your thoughts or the truth? When my clients are freaking out and telling me “Business is terrible this quarter”, we stop and take a look at the reality. We run their numbers and see things aren’t as bad as they feel, they are doing better than the last quarter or better than this time last year. Look for the facts.
- Create a Feedback file – and keep it where you can see it. This is where you store all those emails from satisfied customers or testimonials to remind you of what a great service you provide.
- Lean on your cheer squad – surround yourself with good people who want the best for you and understands what it is like to be in the trenches building your business. Talking your doubts through with someone who gets it can make all the difference.
- Seek predictability – stick to rituals and routines that calm you and lift you up.
- Success tracking – keep your eye on the key metrics that matter in your business and aim to improve on where you were yesterday, last month, last year. And celebrate your wins! This will boost your feelings of self worth, even if they are the small things – lots of small wins are what results in moving your business forward.
What do you do when you are questioning yourself??
For more insights into dealing with uncertainty, listen to Episode 68 of Your Business Boost podcast – Smashing Self Doubt