You absolutely need to have confidence in your decisions and actions to be successful. You need to believe in what you are doing as it is with that belief, that you overcome the inevitable hurdles.
I have absolutely no confidence in what I am doing most of the time. I often think “I’m shit at this” and stop. This is why none of my business ideas have come to fruition. It is not because they were terrible ideas, in fact most of the ideas that I had, have since been adopted very successfully by others. Others that don’t have self Doubt Syndrome. I am forever telling people to believe in themselves and that they can be anything and do anything that they want to do. But why do I not take this advice myself? And is Self Doubt Syndrome the biggest barrier to success?
If I review the business ideas that I have had there is one common thing that prevented them becoming a reality. Me. The closest I came was with my dog bakery. I had completed the whole process for Environmental Health and DEFRA. I had analysed the market, performed research, tested my products and ordered my labels and packaging. I had almost completed the website and then…nothing. Completely dead in its tracks. I closed my moleskin, let the domain registration expire and the business demise into crumbs. My poor dog loved those bloody biscuits too. Why did this happen? Because I just couldn’t see me pulling it off. Another of my business ideas before this, actually my first ever idea, was Artizam. It was to be a website for amateur artists to advertise and sell their work. The website looked great, I had a few artists interested in joining, I had designed my business cards, I even had a few locations in mind to hold exhibitions and then…nothing. I closed my notebook, let the domain registration expire and the business demise into a little pile of graphite and rubber. Why did this happen? Because I just couldn’t see myself pulling it off.
You see? Both not bad ideas and certainly businesses that could be successful with the right person behind it. Someone with a passion for what they are doing, the knowledge to push it forward, the belief in, well, themselves.
These are only two examples, there are many. Believe me. So yes, Self Doubt Syndrome has been my biggest barrier to success. But, and I am even doubting myself as I type this, all this is about to change. I think.
I do have self belief, it just sort of gets watered down sometimes. I started on my own personal fitness and weight loss journey a few months ago and I am actually pretty successful at that. I am losing the pounds, gaining some great muscle and running distances that I could only ever have dreamed of. So why do I believe I can do that, and not the businesses? I’ll tell you why, results. When I can physically see a change for the better, that backs up my self belief. Yesterday I put on my pair of skinny jeans and was shocked that they are no longer skinny. They are baggy around my thighs and arse and gape at the back. That is a result that I can measure and one that I don’t have to rely on other people liking or encouraging me. I can see that with my own eyes. When people told me my businesses were a great idea, I guess that wasn’t enough to vanquish the demon telling me I was too shit to do it. I thought they were just being nice because they were my friends. I have since learnt that some friends, and family, make negative comments on potential success because they actually feel threatened by you becoming successful. All very confusing I know. So really, the only person you can actually believe is yourself. But if you have Self Doubt Syndrome your already on to a loser there.
So. My advice (for what it is worth) is this. Just do it. Try it out, for a decent length of time. Measure your own success through your own eyes. Physically see your gains. Monitor your results. Accept the nice comments from complete strangers (something which is actually inspirational in itself). Look out for those jealous glances from people you know. Bask in your own self satisfaction. Go to bed dreaming of what you can achieve. Praise the greatness in others because you really do reap what you sew. Stop stressing about the haters because they are always going to be trying to drag you down. And most of all, be proud of what you do. I do believe, with enough positivity in your mind, you can be your own antidote to Self Doubt Syndrome. “Go Get ‘Em Tiger!”