Crushing Self-Doubt: Empowering You to Build a Stronger Business
→ “I’m suffering from imposter syndrome!”
How often have you heard this from a client?
Better yet, how often could this apply to you and your business, maybe without you even knowing it!?
I was enjoying some camaraderie with fellow CCs and RWs recently via a Rising Professionals Call – it really is one of my favorite hours of the month! – when we stumbled upon the realization that many new-to-the-field career services professionals have something in common.
[ Imposter Syndrome ]
Call it what you want – self-doubt, imposter syndrome, lack of confidence – in this particular instance, the realization surfaced while talking about how vulnerable it can feel to put ideas and opinions out to the world via LinkedIn content.
My response to the group: get over it.
How’s that for some coachly compassion?
As I sat down to start this month’s spotlight, it seemed so fitting that I had already determined the topic, the fourth in our series about the disrupters of entrepreneurial success: self-doubt.
In an effort to expound on the recommendation to “get over it,” let’s deep dive into the ugly world of self-doubt, how it negatively impacts our business potential, and what you can do to push past it.
Building a successful career coaching and resume writing business requires more than just expertise and industry knowledge. Confidence, self-assurance, and an unwavering belief in your ability to succeed (and help others do the same) is a foundational mindset required to sustain the ups and downs of any entrepreneurial endeavor.
Unfortunately, as we’ve seen all too often with our clients, self-doubt can creep in and disrupt even the most talented professionals, hindering progress and limiting potential.
→ The Devil Wears Self-Doubt (not Prada).
Picture this: you’re sitting at your desk, ready to help clients transform their careers and lives, yet in the back of your mind, a nagging voice whispers, “Are you really good enough? Can you deliver the results they expect? Who are you to think you can help people advance their careers?”
That, my friends, is the relentless grip of self-doubt. It affects us all, regardless of our experience, accomplishments, or time in business.
Self-doubt can manifest in various ways. It might be as simple as an uneasy feeling when writing a new type of resume or handling a potential client call. It could come into play when questioning your ability to meet a client’s expectations, or it could be a crippling fear of failure that prevents you from taking risks, seizing opportunities, or even launching a new program, product, or service!
Perhaps it’s imposter syndrome, where you constantly worry that others will discover you’re a fraud.
Whatever form it takes, self-doubt has tangible consequences that can negatively affect your business. According to a study conducted by the University of California, Davis, self-doubt can reduce productivity by up to 50% – what solopreneur has time for that!?
Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know how crappy self-doubt and imposter syndrome are, Angie.
→ What do I do about it?
In an effort to build confident career coaches and resume writers, here are some tips on how to knock that little imposter devil off your shoulder for good (well, maybe not for good, but we’ll at least shut her up!)
- Embrace Your Journey: Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle or end. Remember, nobody starts as an expert. Learning and growth are part of the process of becoming, so take each challenge you face as an opportunity to expand your skills and knowledge.
- Celebrate Wins: We know all too well how hard it is to recognize, articulate, and acknowledge our achievements (after all, that’s why we have clients in the first place). Take time to celebrate – even small wins are worth a pat on your own back to reinforce your confidence and remind you of your capabilities.
- Surround Yourself with Support: Build a network of like-minded professionals who understand the challenges you face. Seek mentors, accountability partners, or communities (like PARWCC, Rising Professionals, and Build Your Business) where you can learn, share, support, and be vulnerable.
- Give Yourself Grace: Be kind to yourself. The voice inside our head is the loudest one we hear, so be mindful of what you tell yourself. Ditch negative self-talk and replace it with positive affirmations. Everyone makes mistakes, and that’s how we learn and grow.
- Create a Brag Folder: Keep a collection of positive feedback, testimonials, and success stories from your clients in a folder on your desktop. Take screenshots of all the praise and refer to it regularly as a reminder of the impact you’ve made on others’ lives.
- Keep Calm and Carry On: I didn’t just violate a trademark, did I?
You will not always shave a perfect mindset, a perfect client load, or perfect output.
→ Now is a good time to refer back to April’s article on perfectionism 🙂
The important thing is to have enough faith, trust, and belief in yourself to keep going through the tough days. Just like a job seeker who gets overly invested in a potential role at the time they apply, riding every up and down of the entrepreneurial roller coaster will have you puking faster than a bad oyster.
You’ve got everything you need already inside of you to be as successful as you want to be – and then some.
Go after it with gusto.
Your Friend and Coach,