I paced the floor…teeth clenched.
I was wrestling with a HUGE decision.
For the first time in many years, I was working as an employee. Decent salary. Benefits. 401K. Stock options.
But, looming in front of me was an opportunity to make the leap from “secure” employee to running my own business.
I had done my homework on this new venture, and the numbers all made sense. It was a lucrative opportunity.
But, I couldn’t stop thinking the same thoughts, over and over:
- What if it doesn’t work out?
- What if my clients don’t pay on time and we fall behind on our bills?
- What if I SUCK at this new business and my clients cancel my contracts?
Those questions were just different versions of the BIG question:
What if I’m not good enough to do this?
It was a risk.
But, I saw a problem in the market that I was excited about solving.
I took the risk and launched out on my own as a consultant.
I didn’t fail. We never fell behind on our bills. In fact, I earned more money than I had ever earned before.
In retrospect, I see that the time I spent wondering if I was “good enough” was a waste of time.
Those feelings didn’t help me make a decision. They only caused me to get stuck in “analysis paralysis.”
In my case, I took the risk. But, many people miss out on incredible opportunities because they’re too preoccupied feeling “not good enough.”
Most of my business coaching clients have fantastic new ideas, products or scalable strategies they want to try…but they’re stuck.
The questions I hear these already-successful entrepreneurs struggling with are:
- What if I can’t do it?
- What if this new idea is a flop?
- What if I let everybody down?
Again, those questions are just different versions of the BIG question:
What if I’m not good enough to do this?
If you’re wrestling with this, too, here are 5 steps to help you change gears and focus on what matters:
#1) Be objective about the work
It’s an easy detail to overlook, but when you say YES to a new opportunity…that means you’re saying YES to the work associated with that opportunity! If you say YES to becoming a self-employed plumber, you’re going to be…doing a lot of plumbing, talking to customers and dealing with messes! Hit pause on the self-doubt and ask yourself if you want to do that kind of work…full time. It’s easy to get enticed by the idea of a big payday, but ask yourself honestly: Am I excited about solving this problem or helping this type of client? Is it in my “wheelhouse”?
#2) Do your homework (including the math!)
Do some objective research before you spend too much time worrying about whether or not you can do it. For me, it was an out-of-state consulting opportunity. Homework looked like: interviewing the client, looking for short-term apartments, considering if I would travel or if we would move. The most important homework is the math: calculating costs and revenue to answer the question, “Is this opportunity financially beneficial?” The process of research may help you see that this definitely IS (or is NOT) the right path to take.
#3) Pros and Cons
We all want the flashy, cutting edge answer. But, sometimes making a simple PRO and CON list helps us get serious clarity. Instead of looking at your inadequacies, look at the objective pros and cons of making the decision. Don’t overcomplicate it – here’s an example:
#4) Talk with your central support system
Don’t talk with everyone under the sun, but reach out to your mentor and 1 or 2 trusted advisors who you know will be honest you (including your spouse if you’re married). Don’t just talk to people who will reassure you – ask people who are farther down the road you want to travel and who will give you their honest perspective.
#5) Take Action Anyway
Many successful people struggle with feelings of inadequacy. Stewing about it will not lead to productivity. Take some kind of action toward your new idea – get on the phone with your potential new client, put that book proposal together – see if that action feels right or not. The people who find success are the ones who push past feelings of self-doubt and take action. This is a habit successful people have already mastered:
“Do it, and then you will feel motivated to do it.” ~Zig Ziglar
“If you hear a voice within you say you cannot paint, then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.” ~Vincent van Gogh
“The secret to getting ahead is getting started.” ~Mark Twain
“The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.” ~Sylvia Plath
Through this experience, I learned that “Am I good enough?” is a really unproductive question.
- This question is never satisfied by facts.
- It’s not a question seeking truth; it’s a question seeking reassurance.
- But, reassurance always wears off. Doubt always creeps back.
I also learned that this question is a terrible indicator of whether or not I should do something.
- In every case, I can do more than my doubt tells me I can.
- I never really know what I am of capable of until I’m done.
- Doubt paints a picture of my future by reminding me of the mistakes in my past. (Not cool, doubt!)
The 5-steps above can help you make a decision.
But can you ever really overcome those feelings of inadequacy?
The answer is yes.
By learning how to shift your mindset.
If you’re feeling stuck and can’t seem to overcome those feelings of inadequacy on your own, you’re not alone.
Click the yellow button below, and I’ll send you a free video with the EXACT steps I use to shift my mindset when feelings of inadequacy start to creep in.
I want to hear your success stories! Let me know how you made the shift from “stuck” to taking massive action!
Cheering You On,