5 Practical Ways to Overcome Self-Doubt
Have you ever said to yourself, “I’m not creative enough,” or “I’m not qualified,” or “I don’t have what it takes.” Every entrepreneur on earth has had these same thoughts at one point or another. I can’t tell you how many times I have questioned if I have what it takes to be a successful designer or business owner.
I had these thoughts this week actually, which is what prompted me to write this post. Through a lot of trial and error, I’ve discovered a few ways to silence that little voice in our head telling us we can’t…
1 | Take a break
I am the worst at taking breaks. Sometimes Jordan will come home and ask, “When was the last time you got up from your desk?” My typical answer is, “Umm I don’t know. I guess when I went to the kitchen to get my lunch… you know, 5 hours ago.” I know I’m not the only one who suffers from this.
When I’m stuck in a rut or getting frustrated at my inability to think up a creative idea, I have to leave my desk. If I sit there and try to power through, it never ends well. My friend Autumn reminded me of this quote by Mark Batterson a few weeks ago that says:
change of pace + change of place = change of perspective
Seriously, it’s so true! You can’t sit in the same place doing the same things and expect to get better results. You have to change it up, even if only for a few minutes. Go get some fresh air, regain perspective, and return to the project later.
2 | Have a healthy vent session
When you find yourself swimming in self-doubt, find someone in your life you can vent to and get everything off your chest! It’s ok to vent and sometimes we need to in order to prevent an explosion.
I personally appreciate an honest friend who will tell me when I’m being a complete lunatic and bring me back down to earth. Might I add, these people are usually the first to encourage me and tell me exactly what I need to hear in those moments. So, it’s doubly beneficial.
3 | Give yourself ample time to take several stabs at a project
I often get discouraged when my creativity is lacking. Some days are super productive and the creative juices are flowing, but other days it’s like I’ve never designed a day in my life. I have to remind myself this type of thing happens to everyone, especially everyone in the creative industry. We can’t expect ourselves to be at the top of our game every second of everyday.
It’s important we give ourselves enough time for our own process. This often means we need time to work on the project, put it down, come back to it later or the next day and work on it again. We give ourselves 5 minutes to come up with something super creative and then we get discouraged when we can’t produce. That doesn’t really make sense.
Creativity takes time and it doesn’t always come easily or quickly.
For me, when I’m designing logos I need several work sessions before I think up my best ideas. It’s probably like that with anything in the creative industry. You see things the second or third time around you may not have noticed the first time. It’s OK to allow yourself the extra time. Your client will be grateful you did when you produce an awesome product in the end.
4 | Have a Jam session
I love a good worship music jam session. I know, most of you are probably thinking, “How can you “jam” to worship music?” Well, it’s pretty much impossible to be in a worse mood after listening to songs about love, mercy, grace, and sacrifice.
Worship music speaks truth through its lyrics. It helps me put things in perspective and get outside my head for a few minutes. I often realize my doubts or issues are so small and lame. I mean, they’re not lame, but in the grand scheme of things, they kind of are.
Side-note: Here’s a link to my worship playlist on Spotify, if you’re interested:
Your jam session doesn’t have to be worship music. Listen to whatever music makes your heart happy and helps you to think about the bigger, more important things than your silly doubts.
5 | Remember why people hire you
You are good at what you do—plain and simple. Whether you work in design, photography, writing, marketing, consulting, fashion, education, interior design, real estate, cleaning, farming, music, or anything else service oriented, people would not use you if they didn’t like your work.
They hire you because you possess a set of skills they themselves do not.
If you are doubting yourself, go take a look through your portfolio and remember who created it all. YOU did and YOU are Amazing!
We all have self-doubts and days where we question why on earth we chose this career path. My bad days are far outweighed by good days, and that’s how I know I’m doing exactly what I’m supposed to. I can only hope you feel the same way.
Just remember, you have a talent a lot of others wish they had. Now go use it!
Which tip spoke directly to you? What other tips do you have for overcoming your self-doubt?