If you struggled with negative self-talk before the pandemic, it’s probably only exacerbated now. Maybe you’ve had to make a huge shift in your business (I can relate), or the lockdown has made you a little crazy at times.
You’re not alone.
According to the Weill Institute for Neurosciences, we’ve all been experiencing trauma since COVID-19 took over the world last spring. From financial uncertainty to the fear of loved ones getting sick, the pandemic has affected us all in profoundly difficult ways. The result? We all have more feelings of worry, frustration, and doubt than ever before. I’ll never forget staring down my resume in April 2020 when things were feeling particularly bleak.
I was a side-hustling mama of two under 3 with a third baby on the way. I’d spent several years in the digital space learning how to generate passive income with funnels and Facebook ads. I loved the work I was doing and the time it allowed me to spend with my family (much more than a corporate job would). Despite the fact that things were generally moving in a positive direction, nagging whispers of self-doubt were loud in my ears, telling me I should update my resume.
Pulling out that little piece of paper was my breaking point.
The thought of going back to the corporate world and giving up everything I had worked so hard for was nauseating, to say the least. I realized I had to make this work–and fast. With a baby due in the summer and the world losing itself in the chaos of COVID-19, I decided to go all-in on my business. More importantly, I shifted away from negative self-talk and learned to become my own best friend. This shift was fundamental to the success that would follow including gaining massive leads through automation and growing my six figure business.
Yes, the world can be unpredictable, and sometimes we need to make sacrifices for the sake of security. But there’s a difference between being realistic and simply not believing in yourself. Here’s how I’ve learned to tell the difference and stop negative self-talk from holding me back.
SAY “YES!” TO FAILURE
That big “F” word sounds so scary, but it’s only because of the meaning we attach to it. Of course we want to succeed in our endeavors as much as possible, but we only acquire the skills to do so when we fall short and learn from our mistakes. So many people never even take that first step toward their dream because they are afraid of not being good enough.
Here’s the truth: NO ONE always knows exactly what they are doing. Even those who are naturally gifted won’t get very far without discipline and resilience–two things that are only gained from repeated failure. If you learn to embrace it, you won’t be so bothered by thoughts of “I have no idea what I’m doing” or “I don’t know if I’m good enough.” Acknowledge the uncertainty and forge ahead anyway knowing that there is ALWAYS more to learn. Those negative voices will eventually fade away…
CULTIVATE MENTAL STRENGTH
It can be easy to have negative thoughts about yourself when you don’t work on cultivating a strong mindset. Do you fear failure or embrace it? Do you worry about pleasing everyone or let go of things you know you can’t control? Do you expect immediate results or are you patient as you work toward your goals? Research shows that success in any field isn’t predicted by innate talent alone. In fact, you can have zero talent and go farther than those who are naturally gifted if you are disciplined and mentally tough enough to push through obstacles. We are not born with these qualities, but we can create them in ourselves over time. There’s an amazing Ted Talk that inspired a book by bestselling author and psychotherapist Amy Morin called “13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do.” If you want to learn easy, practical ways to strengthen your mind and start drowning out those negative voices, Morin’s work is a great place to start.
CHALLENGE YOUR NEGATIVE VOICES
The first time I gained hundreds of leads with a single ad campaign, I totally ghosted them.
I remember when I first began to pursue automated leads I would often downplay my progress, thinking of my late nights crafting irresistible funnels and building email lists as more of a side-hustle or hobby than actual work. It was a pretty glaring case of imposter syndrome. I would see other entrepreneurs killing it with leveraged income streams and tell myself I didn’t deserve what they had. I’m not good enough, I’d think, I’m just not there yet…
What causes us to feel like we don’t deserve success?
There are many internal and external factors that influence our self-confidence. The important thing to remember is that it’s always possible to defeat the inner critic. Sometimes you just have to work at it! One way to begin that work is to simply challenge your negative thoughts as they arise by asking powerful questions.
For example, if I ever start to experience thoughts of “I’m not good enough,” or “I don’t deserve this success,” I pause and take a breath. I focus on the critical voice and ask it things like:
- Is this true?
- Can you know indisputably that it’s true?
- What’s one way that it might NOT be true?
- What if (insert the opposite of the negative thought)?
- What would I say to a friend who was telling themself this?
- What’s the worst that could really happen?
It’s amazing how quickly the inner critic shuts up when you ask the right questions. Instead of doubting yourself, you learn to doubt any negative beliefs you might have about who you are and what you are capable of. The more you chip away at them, the less power they will have over you, and the more confidence you will feel.
SHOW UP & BET ON YOURSELF
Whether you want to turn a side hustle into a full-scale business, master a hobby, or simply become a happier and more confident YOU, showing up is the first step. That means knowing your “why” and putting in the work every day to stop negative self-talk. Mindset shifts aren’t necessarily easy, but they are the key to your every success in business and in life. Trust me: if I could overcome my insecurities to grow a six-figure business while pregnant in the middle of a pandemic, anything is possible! Just go for it.