Struggling With Self-Confidence

Did I make the right decision? Should I have thought longer and harder and made a better one? It doesn't matter if it's making a smaller choice or resolving a big problem, I keep second-guessing myself... worried, feeling small, insignificant, and insecure.

I struggle to figure out if I'm good enough. Struggling with doing the right thing, always second guessing myself, filled with self-doubt.

Perhaps, it has a lot to do with running a service business. I am always required to be on my toes, having to please everyone, having to always be at my best. I'm not worried so much about the competition as I am worried about doing something stupid or inadequate.

Dealing with issues of self-confidence is a common problem among entrepreneurs I've dealt with over the years, especially those of us in the service sector. If left unchecked, this nagging self-doubt can keep gnawing away at you.

Embrace your insecurity

I believe that insecurity can be a positive. You can embrace it and use it as your driving force.

You don't have to spend a second trying to overcome it, if you simply wrap your arms around it and make it your best friend. When you leverage your insecurity and use it to your advantage, it can actually help you excel.

Sometimes a little self-deprecating humor can break the ice. Making a joke about yourself helps you and others laugh about any insecurity, before it becomes a negative. Try "Ugh! I always do that," instead of freaking out over a small mistake or oversight. You'll be surprised how everyone (especially you) becomes less tense and up-tight.

8 tips to help you get through rough patches

If embracing the insecurity doesn't work for you, here are a few of my tips that can help you accentuate the positive and work through your self-doubt:

    1. Fill your mind with positive thoughts. It helps to stay away from grumpy colleagues and clients, and turn off negative news reports.
    2. Let go of small mistakes. Try not to dwell on small errors. Don't sweat the small stuff. Instead, take responsibility, apologize, fix the mistake as soon as possible and move forward.
    3. Continue to grow and improve. A small accomplishment can help boost your confidence, even if it's not entirely related to your business. Learn a new skill, take a class at a local university or read a book on a subject that interests you.
    4. Take baby steps. It's easy to face self-doubt when you try little steps before you commit to major ones.
    5. Relax. Take some time off and schedule time to play. Get away from your challenges.
    6. Ask for advice. Call a trusted friend, advisor or colleague and get his or her best advice. Often an objective opinion will help you look at life differently, overcome your challenges, and transform your attitude.
    7. Stop seeking reassurance. Commit to your decisions and go with them.
    8. Stop trying to be too perfect. Try adjusting your standards from perfect to good enough. That is usually all that people expect from you. Admit it...you can never know everything, but neither can anyone else.

The simple truth

Whenever you have trouble making a decision, remember that few decisions are irreversible or catastrophic. Even a tattoo can be removed, right?

So there are no wrong decisions, because each one gives you an opportunity to learn and adjust your path in the future. A bad decision can rattle your self-confidence, but you will soon be able to get back on track.

Over time your will realize, as I did, that indecisiveness is worse than being wrong. It's a difficult lesson to learn...one that took me a long time to realize (and one that I sometimes forget). Any decision-maker needs to lead and not be wishy-washy.

When we find and speak our voices, we feel better connected to ourselves and others, and we have an important tool for navigating daily tasks and decisions, big and small. And our self-confidence soars!