I consider myself a positive person and am always thinking optimistically about the future. At the same time, however, I am filled with a constant level of self-doubt.
Recently, I went to the doctor to get a check-up. It was my first check-up in over eight years. My prognosis was perfect, to which the doctor said,
“Of course it is, you exercise every day, do yoga, meditate, eat a vegetarian diet, and all around take really good care of your self. Why would you doubt your health?”
I still pushed him to tell me what more I could do, because something inside me didn’t allow me to believe I’m doing the best I could with my health. I know I could eat a lot more greens than I do, eat more fruits, exercise more…enter my self-doubt.
This self-doubt extends to everything in my life. I don’t think I’m doing enough for my business to grow it as fast as I want, even if I actually am. I don’t think I’m doing enough to keep my marriage healthy and happy, even if I actually am. I don’t think I’m doing enough to connect with close friends and family, even if I actually am…and on and on.
So where does it comes from?
Part of being an entrepreneur is to perpetually be at the beginning stages of new learning curves, and thus I think I’ve trained myself to always think I’m a beginner and there is always room for improvement. In addition, as the leader of a team, verses an employee, I hand out praise to others, but rarely does praise come back to me. It’s just the nature of the dynamic between a boss and employee. But couple the lack of external acknowledgment, with me always thinking I’m a beginner, and now I can start to see why I’m living in a state of self-doubt.
But I differ from many other people who live in the same self-doubt world, because for me, the self-doubt is a motivator, not a limiter. I use my self-doubt to challenge myself to do five extra push-ups and make one extra sales call because, in my mind, that’s what it takes to move past the beginner stage of the learning curve.
When it comes to marketing and selling, I’m happy to be known as an expert, but when it comes to self-growth, I want to constantly feel like I’m an amateur playing in the expert league.