A few weeks back I wrote about The Doubt. I think we are all grabbed by an attack of self-doubt from time to time. Often, fear is at the root of it – fear of the unknown, fear of failing, fear of looking a fool.
There were some great comments posted on that article and one that stood out for me was Inge Woudstra‘s. Inge asked how I get through The Doubt.
To be honest I don’t actually do anything, other than grit my teeth and keep going! A lot like in We’re Going On a Bear Hunt…
Uh – uh! A snowstorm! A swirling, whirling snowstorm.
We can’t go over it
We can’t go under it
Oh no! We’ve got to go through it!
(By Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury)
That made me think – maybe it’s time I tried a new approach?
One thing I do know is that The Doubt is made worse by isolation. If you work in an office it’s easy to say “this makes no sense to me, am I being really dense here?”. Within seconds you’ll hear the reply “don’t worry, it confused me too, here’s what it means…’ and you forget all about it. But if you’re working at home alone, that little bit of doubt can grow and grow, chipping away at your confidence.
So last week I did something radical and picked up the phone. Seriously, it was that obvious but I’d forgotten how much of a difference it makes. I spoke to the fabulous and energetic Nicki Cawood and Emma Burford. (Actually, I Skyped Emma because I’ve got a new webcam and I was determined to use it). We didn’t talk about anything in particular, just threw some ideas around, compared notes and helped each other out a bit. But it made such a difference
So my top tip is to step away from the keyboard and talk to someone. There are tons of mums working at home who haven’t spoken about anything more stimulating than Peppa Pig and Mr Tumble all day and would leap at the chance of a chat about business.
I bet you’re an independent kind of person who doesn’t like to ask for help? Well people do like to help others and anyway, the solution to a problem that’s been keeping you awake at night could be blindingly obvious to someone else. Just talking things through can get your mind working in ways it can’t when you’re sitting in silence. (Or listening to screaming toddlers?) There’s nothing like extended periods in front of a computer to get you going around in mental circles and a conversation can often break through it.
Go on, pick up the phone!
By the way, do check out Inge’s website mumandcareer.co.uk. It’s a new online resource that aims to support working mums with ambition – definitely one to watch. And you can read Inge’s experience of Doubt on her blog, too.