Conquering that inner voice.
Published on April 30, 2021
5 min read.
It’s never going to work! You can’t do that! What will everyone think of you?
We all have an inner voice that holds us back. That constant questioning that undermines our confidence and grows this big ball of self-doubt that can crush your efforts before they even start.
When you are a leader or manager in a company, or like me you are running your own business, you have to learn to overcome this.
I am no stranger to taking on a challenge. A father of three, we built our own home from the ground up, have developed several properties and are currently developing a property abroad. And for the last 15 years, I worked my way up the corporate leadership ladder until I was a Director of Organisation Development.
When there was an opportunity to put all that I had learnt into a new venture I jumped at it. Now I can officially introduce myself as CEO and Founder of an Executive Coaching & Strategic Consulting company.
For the last 12 months, like most companies new and old, business has been slow. However, as vaccines are rolled-out and lockdown measures are eased (at least in the UK), there is an ember of optimise for the future.
At a time when we seem to be entering a new era of Life with Covid under control – I know I need to offer something different, but that inner voice and self-doubt is strong and constant.
In the past, the title of Susan Jeffers book Feel the fear and do it anyway was always a mantra I kept repeating in my head when I accepted each new opportunity. But somehow it seemed easier to live by that rule when I was a hidden number in a large company.
Now that I am a Solopreneur, I needed something more than a catchy slogan. Then it hit me, I spend my time helping other people be better Future Leaders, I needed to take some of my own medicine.
So how do I go about silencing the inner voice and overcoming the self-doubt?
Step 1 – Understand the current condition
Although my first instinct is to stick my fingers in my ears, shout nah, nah, ne, nah, nah and pretend that the inner voice is not there. This has never helped anyone in the past so probably not the best approach.
So what is it that is making you doubt yourself?
Listen to your own self-talk. Look for the themes in what you are trying to convince yourself.
The first thing you notice, is how creative your imagination is. You will be creating amazing situations that will have terrifying consequences for you.
What I do is take time to pause and think of each of the outlandish scenarios I am creating in my head. And focus on how they make me feel?
Anxious, sick, excited, terrified, free?
I make a list of what is going on in my head, because sometimes all I need to do is write it down to see it for what it is - fear and anxiety trying to stop me from doing something that makes me uncomfortable.
For half of the dramas I have imagined, writing them down lets me realise how ridiculous they are and I can put them behind me.
For the blockers that are left, you are going to need to do a little more soul searching.
Step 2 – Start with Facts (or as close as you can get)
When you have your list of blockers, look at each one in turn. Now it is time to put each one into perspective.
If you are telling yourself you cant do that! what facts do you have that either support that statement or dismiss it? Maybe you don’t have the right training, or maybe it needs money you don’t have.
If there is something that physically blocks your idea, then great. You now have an action plan to move you forward. Go get some training or find an investor.
Often, there are no real facts holding you back, it is just and elaborate effort your subconscious is making to protect you from an irrational fear.
Again if that is the case, you can overcome that too.
It’s time to get the pen and paper back out. You can’t just dismiss your fears, it doesn’t work that way. If you are telling yourself I will look like an idiot! that is something very real to you. It’s probably not true, but it is a real emotion.
If there is nothing physically blocking you, you just have a limiting belief that you can’t do this, it’s time to gather some outside perspective.
Ask people you trust for their opinion. It is surprising what you are blind to, but your friends and loved ones see in you. The positive opinion of a trusted friend can have a huge impact on your self-belief.
Step 3 – Build Something You Are Proud Of
The art of selling is not something that comes naturally to me. I marvel at people who can stand up and give a sales pitch on seemingly anything. When I try to do that, I project doubt and insecurity. I couldn’t be a poker, I have too many tells and give-aways.
For me to be able to put an offer out to the public, I need to be proud of what I have built. Recently I have seen many articles telling me Done is Better than Perfect but I keep telling myself Not Good Enough is simply not good enough.
I am putting my name on something so I want it to look professional and work how it should. Very quickly, perfection becomes the blocker of progress.
When this happens, I do two things. Firstly I take my time to learn as much as I can on the subject. And secondly I set and write down a realistic target date. It is amazing how much a target motivates you – even if it is just some random date you picked.
When I find myself smiling and nodding my head just because I am thinking about my product, I know I am ready for the last step.
Step 4 – GO FOR IT!
This last step is hard to explain. But if you have done the other steps, it is the easiest decision ever. Whatever it is, put it out there. Be brave, be confident and be proud.
Just like Susan Jeffers said, Feel The Fear and Do It Anyway!
It is like a switch in my head. When I have the product or offer at a point that I am happy with it. I make a list of all the steps needed to make it public. Put it on my website, publish ads on Facebook, write a blog, whatever the steps are make that list.
Then clear my day of distractions, start at the top of the list and work your way down.
When you have no disruptions, you get into a rhythm and you are simply following a check list. All the scary stories you were telling yourself disappear.
The next thing you know, you have launched your offer, or whatever it was you wanted to achieve. And none of the scary, outlandish scenarios have come true.
YOU DID IT!
So, what is the something new I am going to try?
I am building training packages that will not only put my knowledge on the line but will also have me in front of a camera for the world to see.
How am I going to make this happen?
In four easy steps…
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