I Suffer From ‘The Doubt’ – Do You?

Erica Douglas posted an article on the Become a Mumpreneur blog this week about The Doubt. The Doubt is Erica’s name for the fear that you get when you try something new. What if you’re not good enough? What if it all goes wrong? What if you look a fool?

I know what she means because I’ve been battling my own case of The Doubt just lately.

I’ve been working on my e-course Earn What You Deserve as a Mumpreneur for, well, it seems like forever.

I’ve been a trainer for the best part of fifteen years, so I didn’t think it would be this hard. But it’s been a solid learning curve from start to finish. It’s not the content – that was the straightforward bit. It was everything else! Keeping up my momentum when working in little pockets of time when my family was asleep and I was tired. Learning about shopping carts and ways to deliver multimedia content. Recording and editing audio files so the sound quality is good but the file size not too big. How to market a product like this on the internet. Copywriting and sales pages. Should I get a graphic designer? Working with affiliates. The list goes on.

Every time I tried the next step along the path there was something new to learn. And when you learn, you get things wrong the first time. And the second time. And sometimes even the third time too. When you’re pushed for time and you’re knackered and it’s 10pm (yet again) that’s incredibly frustrating.

So the first time The Doubt showed up for me was when I wondered if I was right to even bother trying this stuff. What if nobody buys it? Won’t I have wasted my time and look silly?

I reminded myself that it’s a risk I’m going to have to take if I’m going to make a long-term sustainable income over the internet. Which is my goal. I’m absolutely bloody determined that I’m NOT going back to employment when my kids are older.

Plus there’s all the fab feedback I get about Business Plus Baby keeps me going. So a huge ‘thank you’ to YOU – some days you really DO keep me going.

The next big attack of the Doubt kicked in when marketing my new product was just around the corner. Now I don’t know about you, but I come from a background where it doesn’t feel right to show off. After all, nobody likes a smart-arse, do they?

That is totally the opposite to the way you have to be to sell an information product on the internet. Or anything at all, really. You have to be confident, be the expert and shout from the rooftops.

Although an attack of The Doubt is still uncomfortable, these days I can at least see where it’s coming from. It’s a self-defence mechanism. If you never try anything new you’re less likely to be hurt, or disappointed. Or look a fool.

Logic tells me that I’m a capable person, that I’ve got valuable experience and knowledge to share. I know I can really help people.

I know that the only way is onwards, to acknowledge the doubt but not let it stop me. As Erica says, “just do it.  Leave ‘The Doubt’ and your modesty at the door.”

Because do you know the best thing about The Doubt?

When you get through it, whole new possibilities open up. Your confidence grows because you’ve achieved something new. You meet new people and some will say “I loved what you did there, you know you really should think about working with a friend of mine…” The world is a bigger, brighter place.

The Doubt is a normal part of getting out of your comfort zone. You can’t grow without it. You’ve just got to feel the fear and do it anyway.

How do you deal with The Doubt?

Creative Commons License photo credit: Alex E. Proimos



12 Replies to “I Suffer From ‘The Doubt’ – Do You?”

  1. Fight the fear… I’ve been saying that to myself almost all my life and recently to my son who has school phobia! Doubt and fear of the unknown we all have it and if we acknowlege it and face it we all become much stronger people..thought provoking post Helen fab x

  2. Found this post by chance froma link on another blog and I can’t believe how appropriate it is to me at the moment. The only way I deal with ‘The Doubt’ is head first .. but it’s getting more and more challenging the older I get! Been reading about the blog carnival so may get involved in that, too. Thankyou for sharing xx

    1. You’re welcome and it would be great to have you as part of the blog carnival. Interesting point about getting older…I’m finding it easier to deal with the doubt as I get older (in some ways at least). Maybe it has something to do with realising that we’re all just people and underneath we all have the same kind of fears (getting it wrong, failing, looking a fool..). Or maybe I’ve just got a sense that I’ve got fewer years left than I had and I need to just get on with things!

  3. Ha!
    Thanks Helen, I am glad to read I am not the only one who suffers from The Doubt. And it costs soooo much time and energy too. While I am doubting I am postponing actions. Not sure what The Right Action is I end up not taking much action at all. Very safe, of course. At least I didn’t make a mistake. Phew! However I then end up being really frustrated with lack of progresss..which then drives me on. Imagine how fast I could go without the doubt?! Good luck with the course I am sure you will do fine, you sound like quite a pro. And this is coming from someone else with a training background.

    1. Hi Inge, thanks for the good wishes and it’s always good to meet a fellow trainer 🙂 Sometimes it’s really hard to keep up the momentum isn’t it?

  4. Ah, yes very hard to keep the momentum, and The Doubt isn’t helpful at all. What helps me most is my coach (a fellow trainer, we do peer to peer coaching every 6 weeks). It is fabulous to spot how I am ‘thinking in circles’, and learning ways to step out of them. I send her updates of my past 6 weeks which really helps me to see and celebrate my own achievements. Also I voice my doubts, and after a few coaching questions, such as: So what really is the problem about that, why is it bugging you so much. What fear is behind that? I usually get to the point where instead of feeling I have hundreds of problems, I only have about 3. Two of which I can then instantly solve. The third one usually is a real issue, and I have now learned it is actually my strenghth that I stop and think. Talks with her really are amazing, and now, by thinking about her, I can often ask those questions myself. And you? Would love to hear any more useful insights on The Doubt, and what it tells you.

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