Experimenting is an essential part of escaping self-doubt… but when you’re full of self-doubt already, doesn’t experimenting sound a bit scary?
Let me share with you just why it works, and how to try it for yourself…
How does self-doubt actually work?
Self-doubt works like this…
That’s right, your self-doubt is simply trying to protect you, just like a very well meaning dog protecting you from the postie. It’s on high alert for any sign of danger or risk, and then it lets you know, in no uncertain terms, that you should definitely NOT go ahead with whatever it was that caused the alarm signal.
So you would think, with all that yapping, that it’s easy to spot, right? Nope, self-doubt is also pretty sneaky, so you don’t always notice it right away…
How you can spot self-doubt…
Self-doubt shows up differently for all of us, in different circumstances and at different times.
But here are a few of the common ways it can get in the way…
Do you find there’s always something else to do? Something safer than the new thing you really need to move forward with? Of course, it’s often something useful, so it looks like you’re nice and busy “oh look how much filing I got done today! Plus I hoovered the whole house, go me!” And all of that busyness keeps you safe from having to do that new thing, just in case you fail.
Maybe you’ve finished that proposal and about to press send… and then you realise it could just do with one more tweak. And then one more. And what if you changed the font colour? Maybe sent it a different time of day? Of course, since “perfect” doesn’t exist, you’ll never get there and never have to send the proposal, which keeps you safe from rejection!
Stuckness / paralysis
Have you found yourself just staring at the keyboard, unable to start a sentence, your mind blank? Staying still, unnoticed, stuck where you are is uncomfortable… but your self-doubt is telling you that it’s safer than being noticed, so it’s the preferred option (for now)
And you’ll notice that none of those tactics will help you to grow your work, or your confidence…
Here’s where I’m going to get you thinking about experimenting.
So, how does experimenting help build confidence?
Let’s say you’re picturing self-doubt as that over-protective (but well-meaning) pup…
And imagine that she’s dozing right now, you’ve got nothing risky* on the horizon.
(*and by risky, I’m talking about anything from going to a network meeting, to phoning a potential client, to sharing a new product on social media… anything that is very new or outside of your current comfort zone can get flagged up by self-doubt)
So, if you can keep everything feeling calm and easeful, she’ll stay where she is, dozing.
And when you experiment, with an energy of “oh hey I just wonder what will happen if I try this…” you massively reduce the element risk. Because it’s no big deal. You’re just going to “see what happens if…”
What if your experiment goes wrong?
“There is no such thing as a failed experiment. Only an experiment with unexpected outcomes.”R Buckminster Fuller, inventor & futurist.
The great thing about taking this no-big-deal approach is that you cannot fail, because your goal is information gathering, and you’ll always do that when you try something new!
And each time you try something new, you’ll stand a little taller, it’ll feel a little easier… and you’ll want to try something bigger, a little more risky..
Your confidence builds each time you do this; you become more trusting of your own abilities.
To find out how I can support you to design the right experiments for you, and help you build your confidence, book your free (no-strings) discovery call just here.