When you are embarking on a new venture to take an idea you have and release it to the world, that can evoke a lot of fear and self-doubt. Starting an online business where you are asking people to believe in you and invest in a solution that you have created to help them solve their problem takes courage and confidence.
These things don’t necessarily come naturally and can be the difference between success and failure for thousands of practitioners and coaches. Afterall, if you are asking people to believe in you and your program but you don’t believe in yourself, how well do you think that is going to work for you?
I know all about self-doubt and second-guessing myself. I am a highly sensitive person who feels deep feelings and interalizes all emotions, whether good or bad. I have learned that negative emotions seem to stick to my body. It is hard for me to let go of criticisms, conflict and all those things that end up in the comments section.
Growing an online brand shines a great big spotlight on all your insecurities and soft-spots. For me to survive, let alone thrive in a corporate, online world that is dominated by less sensitive individuals, I needed to develop some skills around resiliency. I had to learn to continuously affirm my self worth or I wasn’t going to make it. I needed to find ways to be true to who I was as a sensitive, empathic individual, while also navigating the emotional ups and downs of being vulnerable to my audience, and by extension, the rest of the world.
Overtime I have developed several skills and processes that I use daily to help me stay centered on what is true for me. It has taken me decades to overcome being told I was “too much” or being outright bullied by those who made the “rules” about how I was supposed to exist in the world.
Rejecting the “rules” others have made for you…while empowering…can also be a lonely place. I want to share a few of these now in hopes that they will help and inspire you towards greater self-confidence as you pursue your purpose.
Everything I do I run through my personal set of core values.
Some of my core values include:
I alone decide what is right for me – My decisions are not subject to a majority vote.
I treat my body with respect and love and aim to keep it as healthy as possible
I take full responsibility for my actions – good or bad. I put my full effort into something.
I act in a way my future self would be proud of.
I never trash talk anyone. I let them be.
Now granted, these are all a work in progress. I understand that running to the convenience store in the middle of the night to buy a bag of skittles is not aligned with my goal of a healthy body. Knowing that I am a work in progress allows me to offer grace to myself when I am not able to do my very best.
Everyone needs a list of their core values. If you do not have one this is where I highly suggest you begin. Having this list of core values will help reorient you when you start to feel outside pressure from people or circumstances.
I accept the season that I am in.
We are not all in the same season. Our lives are as varied as they can be and nobody understands your own personal circumstances better than you do. For many years I had to acknowledge that, with 100% responsibility for two young children, I was not able to do many of the things some of the others in my industry were able to do. I could not run off to all the seminars and conferences that I wanted to attend every weekend. I needed to make decisions that were best for me and the season I was in.
What I am saying here is you can’t fall into the comparison trap. Another example is your competitor might be getting 100 new leads on facebook a day and you are getting 2. That usually has a lot less to do with how good their ads are or their program is and a lot more to do with how big their Facebook ad spend budget is. Don’t compare the results of your $10/day budget to their $150/ day budget.
I am constantly evaluating myself – personally and professionally
I check in with myself a lot. Every decision I make I run it through my grid of core-values and then evaluate how I am doing. I do this in a kind and gentle way. This is not something that I do to see if I “measure up”. I do this to help me confirm my reality so that when I am bombarded with messages or a situation that is implying I’m not measuring up in some capacity or another, I can quickly check in and know whether or not that is true.
So if something happens that questions whether I am a good mom because maybe my kids just ate kraft dinner in front of the TV because I am on a deadline, I can immediately deflect that and confirm that I am a good mom. If someone suggests that what I offer in my program is not worth the investment I ask for it, I can immediately confirm through the tangible evidence of thousands of success stories that it is.
You can do this for anything and when you make this a part of your regular routine and are honest with yourself about your strengths and weaknesses, you can stand confidently in who you are and who you are becoming.
I create a hype file for myself
A hype file is a collection of positive testimonials and reviews that I read on a regular basis to reconfirm to myself the impact I have made and the impact I am still making. I screenshot social media comments, save emails and collect WINS of my clients and keep them in a folder on my desktop. I do this because EVERYBODY has those days when you wonder if you are truly making a difference or you wonder if it’s all worth it. My hype file is my evidence to myself that it is.
I have a process for everything and it’s my own process.
I have learned the hard way that not every new process that is trending amongst high achievers works for me. There are a lot of books and podcasts talking about “the best way to [do X]”. When I try to implement things like “the miracle morning” or “the best way to write your podcast scripts” it most often doesn’t work for me. I have given myself permission to be me and do what works for me…despite what the experts say. While I remain open to feedback and mentorship, there are some things that I just know work better for me.
Knowing myself this well allows me to once again remain true to myself. I think this, more than anything else, is the goal of all these strategies that I use to secure and grow my self-confidence.
Being true to who I am.
Knowing my core values.
Reconfirming my strengths
Acknowledging my weaknesses.
Accepting my current life circumstances.
In conclusion, I want to share a resource that I use that has helped me tremendously over the years to stay out of my head and keep my facts straight. This is a process by Byron Katie called “The Work” You can look it up online at thework.com.
She has four questions she asks herself when she is presented with thoughts that keep her locked into the disempowering thoughts or the negative side of emotions. She asks:
Is it true?
Can you know for sure that it is true? What happens—when you believe that thought? …
How do you react?
Who would you be without that thought?
I use “the work” alongside all my other strategies. All these things then become a lens by which all other outside information is filtered through. This allows me to evaluate criticism without falling apart and take praise without becoming arrogant.
This keeps me grounded and steadfast, not only in my goals but in my innate understanding of my worth and my accomplishments.
This is what makes me bulletproof.