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My Experience of Self-Doubt

My experience of Self Doubt……..

So, I moved from a very lovely full-time secure position to working for myself full-time. While I might, as a fully trained psychotherapist, have all of the tools and supports in place to help me through major life transitions, I am still human and I have self-doubt….. this is how it all went for me….

I am not averse to taking risks, I have taken risks all of my life and am glad to say have come out relatively unscathed. I spent three months before taking the actual leap from the security of a full time job into the unknown, telling myself all the way that it would all be ok. I had my family and friends and a great business partner at the ready to help me through the tough times.

I walk into the business on day one filled with excitement and trepidation; I have my ‘to do’ list in my hand. Indeed for the first couple of weeks things were great, I was busy and full of excitement at this new adventure. As time went on it is as if I suddenly started to become aware of my reality.

I might go the whole day without speaking to anyone face to face. In my past job I worked between an office and training room, so isolation was never an issue. And if I needed space away from people I could just walk out of the office. My new role was the complete opposite.

I also had nobody to bounce ideas off in the immediacy. Brainstorming on my own didn’t create the same yield in terms of idea generation.

I also had no structure and there were no set break times, this was something for me to create.

And then the self-doubt started to kick in, What if I don’t do a good enough job? What if me being in the business makes no difference? What if I don’t add value? What if the things I am focusing on don’t bring in additional revenue? What if the business doesn’t work? This is my plan A, B, C, D for the future… this has got to succeed….

This went on for two months….and while that might not seem like a long time, it was really tough.

And so things have settled down, partly due to me pulling on my supports, partly to me using all of the tools I use with clients’ going through major life transitions and partly due to me just getting used to change.

So what do I do now that is different?

I have enrolled myself onto a course that will both add value to my work, will get me out meeting like-minded people and will help me to network.

I structure my day in terms of break times. I always take my lunch and go outside for a walk. I have a specific start and finish time every day. If I work over one day then I will take the time back the next.

I am keeping an eye on certain aspects of the business to see if they are generating revenue. If not then I stop investing my time.

I always remind myself of the reasons why I both came into this work and why I want to work for myself.

When I get the opportunity I speak to other entrepreneurs who have taken that same step and I am always comforted by the fact that they have been through the same experiences as me in terms of self doubt.

The bottom line is, it will be ok …. and I don’t regret it for one moment

Anne Devlin