Holding your self-doubt and fear at bay.

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Holding your self-doubt and fear at bay.

Running a business is not for the faint at heart. Often we question what we are doing and self-doubt seeps in.

“You can come in. But leave your slippers at the door. You are not staying.”

That’s how one woman described her reaction to negative emotions bubbling up inside her. She felt it was important to acknowledge them, recognize how she was feeling, and then move on.

This was part of a discussion we were having at the Durham Chapter of Company of Women. I’d asked the women to write down on post-it notes the challenges they faced.

With a flurry of writing, we had five areas identified –getting customers, confidence, time management, technology and money.

By far the longest list of challenges covered marketing – finding customers, keeping them, social media, digital marketing and so on.

But the topic that took the longest to explore and discuss was confidence and our fear – of failure AND success. This was an issue that everyone in the room seemed to face and reinforces what Amy and I discovered when we were writing our book - Good Enough.

While on the outside we may all look as if we have got our act together, inside could be a different story and so often we are judging and comparing ourselves with others.

We talked about the roots of this self-doubt and then came up with some ways to tackle it: ·

Take a walk in nature

Be grateful – focus on the positive ·

Volunteer – it gives you perspective ·

Pause before you say yes to something which could propel you into overwhelm ·

Build a support network ·

Keep a “proud” box with notes that remind you of how you are valued ·

Drop perfectionism

My goal with the session was to help the women realize that you don’t have to be alone when you own.

No matter what the business is, the issues are often the same. You don’t have to feel isolated and alone. We are on the same journey and can help each other.

And as for the slippers? They can stay at the door.