Self-employment is one of the most exciting and rewarding journeys someone can go on – but at the same time, it’s terrifying. Between tiptoeing to figure out the legalities, financials, and technicalities that come with being your own boss, trying to make ends meet and come out at a profit each month, and dealing with people who just don’t get it – self-employment can be enough to drive you crazy.
The biggest problem I face with self employment is self doubt. Sleepless nights feeling like a fraud as I stress over every last detail of my site are the norm during high stress periods, and I have lost count of how many times I’ve asked myself ‘What the heck am I doing?’
But that is normal – and as frustrating as it can be, it’s actually a good thing. A bit of fear keeps us working hard and striving for progress; but when it becomes all encompassing we have a problem.
If your fear of failure is overpowering your will to succeed – you might begin to feel a little hopeless and your business will suffer. I’ve come up with a few different (and exciting!) ways to deal with self doubt as an entrepreneur, and I know that I’m not alone in my struggles so I wanted to share my methods with you.
So many people find affirmations to be a bit silly (I was one of them!) but ever since I’ve been using affirmations to change my mindset about myself and my business I’ve had a much better attitude since I started implementing affirmations into my daily routine.
You can find affirmations by using the hashtag #AffirmationOfTheDay and there are a lot on Pinterest! Here are a few of my favorites to use for business:
- My dreams are greater than my fears.
- I am creating a life of passion and purpose.
- I love myself. I believe in myself. I support myself.
- I give up freely what is no longer serving me. I release it to make space for what inspires me.
- I am now free from all fear and worry.
There are affirmations for everyone – no matter what you are going through or what your goals are. When you start to feel stressed or overwhelmed you repeat your affirmation until you believe it. I’ve been using ‘My dreams are greater than my fears’ everyday and I’m starting to believe it. Your mind is so much more powerful than a lot of people give it credit for!
If you haven’t found a tribe yet, now is the time. Whether it is a dedicated tribe of like minded entrepreneurial girl bosses, or just one other blogger or business maven who can relate – we all need someone to tell you that it’s going to be OK.
Your tribe has been where you are, and they’ve overcome it just like you will. And eventually when you’re past it you’re going to need to pass your wisdom on to other members of your tribe who need your advice.
When you’re feeling down, one of your first moves should be to reach out to other people who get it. People who aren’t part of this crazy world can reassure you the best they can, but people who have lived it can offer real life anecdotes and encouragement.
Sometimes I feel like the work I put into my blogs is getting me nowhere but then I look back to where I was a year ago (or even six months!) and instantly feel better. When you are monitoring your growth every single day it’s often difficult to look at the big picture and see how far that you’ve come.
Comparing where you are to where you were last week might leave you feeling discouraged – but comparing where are you are now to where you were last year can be really motivating.
Take a break.
When you feel overwhelmed, the last thing you feel like you should do is stop working. Deadlines and clients might be putting the pressure on, but taking an hour to yourself will do you good. Relaxing and unwinding can boost your creativity, productivity, and give you a fresh start.
Whether you need a bubble bath or a Netflix binge – taking a small break isn’t the end of the world. The self-employment mindset has us hustling 24/7 and there seems to be a stigma that comes with taking a mental day for yourself. Ignore the stigma and listen to your mind and your body.
Refresh your goals.
Your goals now might be very different than they were 6 months ago. Reevaluating your goals is a great way to get re-motivated. You may be working towards something that you don’t even really want anymore. If that’s the case there is no shame in changing your goals.
I am nowhere near where I wanted to be a year ago – and that’s a good thing. I realized I was striving to replicate somebody else’s success and a few months ago I decided to shake everything up and that really lit a fire under me.
Realize that this isn’t for forever.
When you are in a growing stage when every day has the potential to make or break you it’s easy to feel like this will be your life for forever. Remember that you’re working to create a life full of freedom and potential and while it’s hard now it’s going to make everything so much easier five, ten, and twenty years down the road.
I love to look at entrepreneurs in my niche who have ‘made it.’ More specifically I like to look at where they were a year ago and see how much they have grown. Knowing that people have done what you want to do is super inspiring!
Remember: you are awesome for doing what you’re doing! Self-employment is a journey that so many people can’t handle, and the fact that you’re doing it shows how amazing your are!