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10 Motivational Tips for The Self-Employed | Read This If You’re Doubting Yourself



Self Employed Motivation

If you’re just embarking into the world of self-employment, you may be filled with self-doubt and concerns on whether you’ve made the right choice and if you can make a success of your new venture etc.

The good news is you’re not alone!

When we think about the most confident and successful people that we have met in our lives. there’s a tendency to assume that these people never have any doubts — that they are decisive about every choice, never have regrets and always know what to do.

But that couldn’t be further from the truth.

The fact is, everyone, even the some of the best leaders, second-guess themselves as they climb their personal success ladder, and almost call have been haunted by indecision at one point or another in their lives.

So, when it comes to the question of ‘how to overcome self-doubt’ we’ll hopefully be able to give you the answers in this blog.


Self-Doubt Psychology 

Numerous studies have found a connection between steady self-doubt and psychological problems such as mood swings, lower self-esteem, anxiety, and depression. In fact, many of the symptoms used to diagnose depression correspond with patterns of self-doubt. When self-doubt causes a loss in motivation or concentration, or feelings of indecisiveness, guilt, shame, or worthlessness, this is when depression can set in. That’s why it’s important to address any self-doubt concerns before they escalate.


What Causes Self Doubt?

Self-doubt and anxiety are part and parcel of the human experience as no-one can be great at everything.  It’s the natural desire to want to always do our best which can cause self-doubt in us.

We don’t have to look too far to see that too little self-doubt can be outright dangerous. Yet left unchecked, the fear that fuels our doubt can drive us to be over cautious and keep us from taking the very actions that would help us and serve others.

Yet while none of us are immune to self-doubt (with the exception of some serial narcissists that come to mind), we all have the ability to keep it from directing our decisions, continuing our silence and shaping our lives. 

So how do we banish the doubt? We don’t. What we do is learn how to reclaim the power it has held over us. 


How to Remove Doubt From Your Mind


  • Know You’re Not Alone.

First, acknowledge that everyone has doubts. It’s isolating to believe that you’re the only one suffering from a lack of confidence. You’ll sabotage your success if you feel like an outsider.


  • Stop Worrying About What Others Think.

When you spend all your time and energy trying to manage other peoples’ perception of you, you’ll get stuck in an inadequacy loop. There will always be someone who appears to be doing better, getting further or having more. Do not benchmark yourself against others’ accomplishments and possessions.


  • Embrace Doubt As Part of Being Human

As you think about the things you’d most love to achieve or change in your life right now, just know that self-doubt is there to protect you from the humiliation of falling flat on your face. Much better than beating up on your inner critic is to befriend it; to acknowledge that it’s just trying to keep you safe and spare you humiliation. Embracing self-doubt as an intrinsic part of the human experience is crucial to reclaiming the power it has held over you… until now.   You are human. You will make mistakes. You will doubt yourself. It’s what you do next that matters.  


  • Call Out Your Critic

Often, we hear our doubts relayed through the voice of our ‘inner critic.’ You know the one… it’s constantly pointing out your faults, questioning your worthiness and urging you to play it safe.  While you can’t permanently silence it, you can dilute its power by giving it a name. Doing so helps you distinguish who you are from the fear and doubt you feel.  

Think up a name the best describes the scared part of you that wants you to live small and stay safe. You may even want to write a short letter to it to tell it you’re no longer going to let it run the show. “Dear Doubting Derek, I’ve had enough of you…”


  • Remind Yourself of Prior Successes.

When the uncertainty inevitably hits, instead of dwelling on negatives, reflect on what went right and recent achievements — with each accomplishment being another step along the path toward reaching bigger goals. Give yourself full credit for your triumphs.  You’ve overcome difficult situations in the past so there’s no reason why you can’t do it again!


  • Make Your Mission Bigger Than Your Fear

Common self-doubt examples;

  • Why would you bother to speak up and risk rocking the boat or being rejected? 
  • Why would you lay your reputation on the line? 
  • Why would you take a chance on that dream?  

Only when you are clear about your big ‘Why’ can you find the courage needed to step through your doubts and risk failing. Doing so will help crystallise why you must take action despite your doubts, knowing that if you let them win, you will run the bigger risk of one day looking back and wondering ‘What if I’d tried?’ 

Letting self-doubt sit in the driver’s seat is a sure-fire recipe for regret and resentment.


  • Surround Yourself With The Right People.

No person is an island, as the saying goes, and that holds true for your business life as well. Keep the people who encourage you close and seek out their feedback on a regular basis. Distance yourself from individuals who are always pessimistic toward you, your business and your future prospects.

The people you hang out with will either fuel your self-doubt or fuel your confidence.  So, if you’re ready to make a change or take a chance, make sure you surround yourself with people who will help you to stay in action despite your doubts. Avoid those who won’t!


  • Look At The Bigger Picture

Always look for alternative interpretations of situations that didn’t turn out the way you wanted. Things happen that are outside of your control, irrespective of your involvement.


  • Be Prepared To Fail Sometimes

It can be hard to separate yourself from bad experiences. You might do everything exactly right and yet sometimes things simply don’t work out. Remind yourself of that when you begin to doubt your abilities.  

And it’s important to take a step back and remember that you’re not the centre of the universe. Other people have their goals and achievements, troubles and interpretations of situations.  


  •  Don’t Be Too Hard On Yourself

A sure way to waste time is by beating yourself up and choosing to feel miserable. Give yourself permission to move on. One enlightening way to measure your self-compassion is to take a short test developed by University of Texas at Austin associate professor Kristen Neff.


Overcoming Self-Doubt Quotes 

Here are 5 of my favourite quotes relating to self-doubt. I refer to them often especially on the days when I feel the signs of self-doubt coming on, and need an extra boost of confidence – hopefully they’ll inspire you too!

  • “The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.”
  • “Don’t let others tell you what you can’t do. Don’t let the limitations of others limit your vision. If you can remove your self-doubt and believe in yourself, you can achieve what you never thought possible.”
  • “The greater the artist, the greater the doubt. Perfect confidence is granted to the less talented as a consolation prize.”
  • “Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will.”
  • “You are so much stronger than you realise. Don’t let anyone ever tell you that you’re not. Not even you.”

If you have a favourite quote or method that you use to overcome self-doubt, we’d love to read them in the comments section

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