As we are nearing the end of the eventful year called 2020, I am sure we realized that there was some level of fear we were exposed to. Maybe it was concerning your job, business, children, relationships or finances. At some point we questioned our ability to achieve the big goals we set for this milestone year. Self-doubt and fear interfere with our ability to achieve or set goals. Self-doubt and fear are the voices in our head telling us, “You’ll never succeed, so why try?” and “who do you think you are?” Self-doubt and fear are also what make us listen to those voices and decide to give up before we get started.
While many mompreneurs experience self-doubt and fear at some point in their lives, they take action anyway. Others remain stuck, or are confident in only one area of their life, such as work. They are too afraid to try new things like going back to school, entering new relationships or learning new skills.
When we let self-doubt and fear rule our lives, we miss opportunities. We predict and believe that nothing good will happen to us, so we don’t try anything new, and refuse to take even low-level risks. This leads us to discount people or situations that could help us reach our goals. While self doubt and fear can come in different forms and from different sources, we can learn to break through them.
The vicious cycle of self-doubt and fear.
I know what it’s like to live with self-doubt and fear. For years my life was ruled by these feelings. I grew up in a lower-income family in South Trinidad. I heard over and over again that people like us could never really be successful.
As early as kindergarten my teacher told my mother that there was something special about me. I did really well in school until I started to let fear of success overtake me. In reality, I was very smart but bored. My next teacher recognized this and moved me from the back of the class to the front of the class. But I still had my voices telling me: “You’ll never make it. You’ll never be popular”. I felt I wasn’t as good as other people because I didn’t have the money and nice clothes that some of the other girls had. I was also shy and tried hard to be in the popular crowd.
I couldn’t understand how people became successful at something. But others saw potential in me. I was encouraged to study music and have been in different girl groups during my teen years. It could have been an incredible opportunity. Instead, I listened to my fears that I’d never make it as a singer, so I didn’t pursue it.
Later, I studied for the SAT’s with hopes of going to the High School of Performing Arts in New York. Singing and performing had always been my dream, despite the fact that people said my “Caribbean” accent would keep me from success. My parents loved me but didn’t know how to give me support. They told me it was good to go to Performing Arts but that going to College was out of reach for me. Rather than focus on the fact that I could have gotten accepted to this wonderful school, I focused on the negative. My perception was that everyone else was wealthier, more experienced and more talented than me. I told myself: “You’re not as good as everyone else. If you try and don’t make it, you’ll look like a fool. But if you don’t try, you can still be cool.” I pretended that I didn’t really want to sing. I didn’t try, and I sabotaged myself. I felt like I had no one to talk to about my ambition. Eventually, I gave up trying and left. I told everyone, including myself, that it didn’t matter. But the truth is, I had been afraid to try.
Making positive changes
I had to learn to change my attitude about myself. I read about and talked to people who had broken through their self-doubts and taken control of their lives. I got support from others and consciously began turning my destructive self-talk into constructive self-talk. I knew that if I took certain actions, my mind and emotions would follow. I let go of people who negatively influenced my life. I told myself that I was important, and began to plan and achieve my goals. I learned to have faith in my ability. The people I spent time with were also making positive changes in their lives. My life began to improve. I no longer saw myself as a victim. I learned to let go of blame and started taking small risks. I stopped comparing myself to other people and began to open up to new opportunities.
Today I have a successful coaching and consulting business. I have close friends, a wonderful husband and children. Learning from my life and others, I’m raising them to believe in themselves, understand their feelings, and not be afraid of their fears. I talk to women all over the world through my online platform about being their best, overcoming their self doubt and setting goals.
If you need help overcoming feelings of self-doubt and fear, please read these ten techniques and processes that have helped me get to this place in my life.
1. Make a list of your fears. Only by admitting that they exist can you seek solutions.
2. Write down how these fears affect your life.
3. Become aware of the voices in your head and write down those negative messages.
4. Start building a support system of friends and eliminate people from your life who foster feelings of negativity.
5. Join a support group of people who have similar concerns.
6. Change each negative message to one that is affirming and constructive.
7. Read books that help you feel better about yourself.
8. Be aware of your past, and be willing to let go of it.
9. List your goals and the actions you need to achieve them.
10. Take one of those actions every day. Each time you do something that brings you closer to achieving your goals you will feel better about yourself.
When fears and self-doubts come back, and they still do, I break through them by using the tools and skills I’ve learned and now teach. They work.
Would you like to talk to me about this topic? I have a few spaces open for 15-minute virtual coffee chats. You can book one HERE.
Leave me a comment to let me know if this Blog Post resonated with you.
P.S: I’m so excited to share that The Ultimate Mompreneur Planner has launched!
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