Is Self Doubt Is Killing Your Business?

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Dear BDC,

I am looking to change my career and start my own business but I am paralyzed with fear. Every time I begin to really consider this as a viable option, I just panic and put it away. Everyone says I am talented (I make jewelry) but I find myself thinking I am too old and too inexperienced to just start over and I will fail. I then feel terrible when I see others moving forward and know that I am falling more and more behind. Do you have any advice?

Dear Margaret,

Repeat after me: Feelings are not facts, and worse, they are notoriously misleading. If I had a dollar/pound for every inaccurate conclusion I had about my own abilities, future, and the way others were perceiving me, I would be set for life. Fortunately, that didn’t happen and I have had to do the work (both figuratively and literally) to move closer to my goals.

Though self-doubt loves to bully us into believing that we are not good enough/smart enough/rich enough/whatever enough to achieve our dreams, the truth is we are being lied to. We are as capable and deserving as we work to be (at any age and stage).

If there is one thing life has taught me it is that there are very few things we cannot achieve if we figure out the right ingredients, the right portions, and then break the process down into manageable steps. My Education, Inspiration and Aspiration formula was born out of my own insecurities, miscalculations, realizations and growth, and the great news is that it works for everyone.

Sitting in a corner believing old stories about yourself is easy and addictive (I get it), but so is getting out there and trying new things once you get over the initial hurdle a change of routine and outlook always brings.

Sign up for events attended by other entrepreneurs, ask for informational interviews with people who are doing what you want to do and build your confidence by pushing yourself to take risks. This will help you in a number of ways:


  1. You will meet new people who will teach you new ways of doing things.
  2. You will realize that you are more capable than you thought you were.
  3. You will see that most of your fears never come to fruition.
  4. You will be taking proactive steps to achieve your goals.


Now, in terms of starting your business, here’s my best advice: Start exploring. That could be anything from looking up how to start an LLC, researching competitors or creating a vision board. Just do something that focuses on this particular goal in a way that will fulfil and inspire you to do more exploring tomorrow. Most people don’t allow themselves time for a creative and fun research phase and instead, write down a task list of basic business “to-do’s” but then feel overwhelmed or board and burn out. By allowing yourself some space to explore options, ask questions, research and even have some fun, you will have a much clearer understanding of who you are, what you want and how to move from one point to another without exhausting yourself.

Best of luck!



Have a question for the blog? Email, leave a comment or tweet @BrendaDellaCasa

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