It’s no doubt that running your own business is hard work. Amongst the many hats you have to wear, you also need to be confident and have a lot of faith in yourself in order to succeed.
But what happens if self-doubt starts to creep in?
Perhaps you start triple checking everything you do. Maybe you struggle to make simple decisions and procrastinate so much that nothing ever gets done. Or maybe you create a product or service that you want to sell but then don’t, because you start to believe it’s not good enough.
Self-doubt can creep in for all sorts of reasons. Knowing how you developed it can sometimes help lead you to rebuilding your self-esteem, by getting to the bottom of how it happened.
Some people may have had self-esteem at one point, then lost it. Some never had it in the first place.
No matter how you determine what causes your self-doubt, you’ll be able to overcome it. It doesn’t matter if it’s something that developed over time or something you learned in childhood. You can work toward building your belief in yourself so that you can overcome it and live a happier, more fulfilling life.
Limiting Beliefs Learned in Childhood
Unfortunately, many people learn to put off their dreams and limit their ideas due to well-meaning parents, who are also stuck in their own self-doubting lives and cannot ever envision anything different.
It’s not usually the fact that parents want to keep their kids from dreaming; they’re just trying to be realistic. When their child tells them about their big dream to travel the world and become a writer, they react in fear and make statements that may be statistically true but that limit their child.
For example, they might discourage their child from becoming a writer by telling them no one makes money writing, or they might discourage their child from becoming anything that is above what they’re used to due to the fear of the costs and the fear that their child really can’t do it even if they try. But this is only due to their own lack of success and understanding of life.
This rubs off on the kids. The exciting thing to remember, though, is that some people are able to see and envision the possibilities and then take the action to see it through.
Past Experiences from Bad Relationships
If you used to have a good self-image and didn’t suffer from much self-doubt but then suddenly or over time started to develop it, it’s possible that you allowed your past experiences and bad relationships to get into your head and create this self-doubting experience.
It can be a parent relationship, a friendship, a love interest, a spouse, even a child who is dragging you down and creating the self-doubt in your life. These relationships are sometimes defined as toxic relationships. Unfortunately, a toxic relationship can involve any type of relationship, both relatives to non-relatives.
If you’ve been in a relationship where a person criticises and cuts down your ideas and tells you that it’s impossible, or tells you about all that can go wrong, you may have learned your self-doubt from past relationships. If you are still in any of these relationships, it may be time to end them, if you cannot explain to the people involved that you are going to do what you’re going to do regardless of their opinion.
Bad Work Environments and Experiences
At some point in your life, if you had a job of any kind that turned into a bad experience (especially if it started with your first job), this can stunt you for a lifetime if you let it.
Even some people who have higher paying jobs can allow criticism to affect them so badly that they develop a fear of failure, which causes them to not take risks. This in turn ends up causing them to get bad job reviews. Then after a bad job review, the person may react badly to that and end up more stuck.
As you can see, this path can end up affecting a person badly at the time and in their future if they are unable to understand that sometimes things happen to good people. They can’t accept that they’re a good person and a bad thing happened to them. Or they can’t learn from their mistakes and realise that they can do better next time. This is a dangerous pattern that can grow and become more than it should.
Lack of Life Experiences
Sometimes a person can suffer from self-doubt simply due to a lack of experience. If you were overly sheltered in childhood, were sick, or had issues that caused you to not have a lot of experiences in life, that can turn into fear, anxiety, and even other problems such as agoraphobia, that prevent you from stepping out of your comfort zone. If you have no successful experiences to look back on, it can be hard to imagine success. If you have only experienced failure, it can be doubly hard to envision success later.
Whatever the reason for these experiences: overprotective parents, an illness, , being super-shy... whatever is causing it needs to be addressed so that you can start experiencing small successes and know what if feels like. If you don’t know what that feels like, it’s going to be hard to move forward.
Often people experience self-doubt simply due to patterns they’ve established since childhood, or in some place in adulthood that sent them down a bad path of experiencing failure or even something traumatic.
The process requires that you are introspective enough to be able to see the truth about yourself, your choices, your relationships, and more about your life. Then you’ll need to be able to take decisive action that will help you start to experience success in your life that you can build on as you overcome your self-doubt and start believing in yourself. Even now, there are so many reasons that you should believe in yourself. Once you start realising that, this part should be simple.
Reasons to Believe in Yourself
Let’s go over some reasons that you should believe in yourself so that you can combat and rid your life of self-doubt. The fact is, this something that must come from within and not from other people. The idea that if you don’t believe in yourself no one else will, is very true. That might seem harsh, but it’s a fact that you’ll need to deal with in your quest to develop your new belief in yourself.
Read the information below, take it in, and really believe it. It’s true of everyone, and you are included in this. You were born with everything you need to experience success in life. Your success may look different from someone else’s success and that’s okay. You should be the one who is happy living your life because it’s your life to live.
You deserve it – You really do deserve to have a happy, full, and successful life that you enjoy. You can and should wake up each day ready and psyched to continue each day, no matter what it brings. You deserve to feel good about yourself and to rid yourself of self-doubt. You deserve to live a life that invigorates you, regardless of your circumstances. Even if you are experiencing challenges that no one else can relate to, you can still overcome them and live a fulfilling life.
Your current relationships – Look at the relationships you have now that are successful. The ones that make you happy. The ones that are supportive. The ones where you are supportive and helpful and make you feel needed. They likely believe in you, and you believe in them. Imagine if you told those people how you feel inside about yourself; wouldn’t they support you and try to talk you out of your self-doubt?
Where you are now – Even if you’re struggling now, you’ve survived this long, right? That means you’re doing something right. You’re alive and you’re able to get this and read it. That’s a positive that you should focus on right now. Focus on what you have right this moment that is good.
Prior success – If you’ve been successful at something, revel in that. Did you manage to get up this morning? That’s a success. Did you do well in school? That’s a success. Did you get a driver’s license? That’s a success. If you need to get down to the very smallest success, that’s okay. You don’t have to have huge successes to draw on to know what it feels like to be successful doing something.
You’re just as good as others – Remember that you are just as good as someone else and deserve the life that you want to live. No one deserves it more than you do. No one is more special and for that fact neither are you. But, even though everyone is basically the same, we all have different ideas of what constitutes success, and that too is just as good as the next person’s idea of success.
The truth is, if you look from a distance at your problems and put them into relation to the world, how important are they really? If you’ve made some bad choices that have resulted in going through a rough patch emotionally, financially, or spiritually, that’s okay - this is how you grow in life. You grow in life through experiences. It really is how you react to these struggles that make up who you are.
In the next post we’ll look at how to overcome negative thoughts.
Create a more beautiful world for yourself 💖