I recently received a lovely message from a lady who has been writing a book, inviting me to her closed Facebook Group – all about women over a certain age (called the “The Midlife Movement”). I had a little pause and thought: “Midlife? Is that me?” We exchanged a few messages and had a little chuckle along the way as I really don’t think of myself being midlife.
Taking a pause to reflect
Now normally I don’t really think about myself…just more about my ‘busy life’. But the lady, called Jo, explained the ethos of her movement and spoke about the mutual support the Group gave each other but then also added: “Maybe you don’t need it as you don’t lack confidence Barbara!” My response was “I don’t have time Jo”.
But, between you and I, that’s not strictly true. Recently I surprised a business colleague when I told her, I just lost all my confidence.
Self-doubting does not mean you are not confident
I think we all experience those moments of self-doubt…saying things like:
- Am I doing the right thing?
- Am I good enough to do this?
- Am I right in thinking this is a great idea?
With the work that I do with small business owners, I often see business owners who are suffering from a lack of confidence in what they are doing. Reflecting back on when I first bought into the WIBN franchise – I know now that I went in with a bit of a Gung Ho attitude.
My thought was “Let’s just give it a go” – and that if it didn’t work out, then I’d just walk away. Simples! (As the popular Meerkats on TV would say).
My Dad, a pretty positive guy, lent me the money to buy the Franchise with the words “Yes, not a bad idea – but I doubt it will last longer than say 3 or 4 years”. Needless to say I just dismissed that and carried on, as they say, regardless.
On this occasion, I am pleased to say, he was wrong – as 10 years now down the line and my WIBN business continues to thrive.
Self-belief is a powerful driver to have
I have to say, that through the years, I have seen other fellow WIBN franchisees who have struggled to grow their business – but I think the fundamental thing that kept me on track was I believed. I visualised what I wanted and I pushed all those doubts far away.
I rarely doubt myself. I felt I knew my brand and my customer. My customers were the ones that stayed in the forefront of my mind. I had a clear plan (in my head, I might add) of what would make it a success.
It’s a continuous journey…self-doubt vs self-belief
So then when I launched this business (Your Business Matters), I felt that my wonderful self-belief that had so far served me well – would continue to.
And guess what…surprise, surprise…(to me) when a few months into the launch I had these huge moments of self-doubt. Blimey!
I just lost all my confidence in what I was doing. Within minutes, I reduced myself to a quivering wreck in all aspects of my business life. No longer could I see that I had a fab marketing plan, a fantastic website and the known fact I had only just launched (i.e. I’m a start-up again). Instead I had begun to take more notice of the glossy world of social media and how well “others” were doing. I decided what looked like ‘success’ vs. my potential ‘failure’.
Speaking recently with some relatively new businesses, I started to realise how easy it is to allow those moments of self-doubt to creep into our lives and how damaging it is. It can happen at any stage of business, not necessarily just at start-up. It distracts us from all those positive aspects of our business:
- the fab website that gets amazing comments;
- the great feedback on the brand;
- the growing and very happy circle of customers;
…and how we have gained all of this in a relatively short space of time. The damage that self-doubt does, can be unbelievable. We distract ourselves from our plans and become unproductive, often standing still.
I’m back to ‘Gung Ho’!
Needless to say, thanks partly to a strong team and supportive community, that space of self-doubt is gone. I’m back on track now! Luckily my experience was short-lived. The ‘Can Do’ / ‘Gung Ho’ attitude is back!
How you may ask? Simply by looking back at facts, not feelings. Those very positive foundations we started the business from; a solid marketing foundation; business service suppliers that we trust and share that same belief. But mostly from me…seeing and feeling the same result that I always had with WIBN, supporting business owners and seeing their businesses grow.
Have you had a tingle of self-doubt? How did you overcome it and get to the other side – or haven’t you yet? I’d love to hear your story.