Jessie Spielvogel

Kicking doubt to the curb

I recently emailed back and forth with someone who had become frustrated enough to resign from the 9-5 job, began doing graphic design work as his own boss (woo hoo!!!), realized pretty quickly that whatever he was doing was not working out (booo…), and went right back to the corporate world for employment.

When I asked him where he thought he went wrong, he gave me the following sincerely honest answer:

It didn’t work primarily because I don’t think I felt confident enough in myself at the time. I was afraid of getting in over my head.

Wow! Something we can all learn from, right?

While I was so grateful that he gave me such an honest answer, it truly broke my heart to read it, and it made me realize that I, too, have been known to doubt myself every now and again.

We all doubt ourselves more than we should, and we all tend to be overly critical of our own abilities. As it turns out, this self-doubt and insecurity does nothing more than hinder our chances, and definitely gets in the way of our plans!

So how can we change it? How can we change our mentality to go from “I can’t do this” and “this will never happen,” to “I can make this work,” and “hell yes, I’m awesome!” 

The time is now to stop doubting yourself! It won’t be easy, my friend. I struggle with it every single day.

  • What if I fail?
  • What if I run out of money and have to move back in with my parents?
  • What if I have to dwell on someone’s couch for a few months?
  • What if I lose all of my clients at once?
  • What if I spend countless hours working on a product that no one buys?
  • What if I fall flat on my face (figuratively and/or literally)?
  • What if blah, blah, blah…?

All of these fears are completely legitimate. But you know what? Worrying about them constantly isn’t getting you or me any closer to success. They are just more obstacles standing in our way of getting to where we need to be. Even if all of these things DO happen, you’re still alive. You can still find a way to make money. And you can still keep trying if you know that this is what you want to be doing with your life. We just need to remember to get out of our own way and get it done.

Try this:

Whenever you find yourself falling into a black hole of doubt and fear (yup… it will definitely happen), write down three things from each of the following categories:

  1. Things I’m great at
  2. Things I know I need to work on
  3. People in my industry I admire

Once you’ve written down three things from each category (for the math-challenged folks, that’s nine items total), here’s what you need to do:

Reach out to those three people you wrote down, and let them know your story.

Tell them why you admire their work, and how you’d love to talk with them sometime and bounce ideas around. Tell them the three things you’re great at, and tell them the three things you need to work on.

Learn from people who are already doing things correctly. Build relationships with them slowly but surely. Look to them as your mentors (I promise, they will be more flattered than anything, and in all likelihood will be happy to help out and offer guidance).

After you get responses from your three new contacts, send me an email and let me know what insights you gained from them!

Don’t let self-doubt get in the way of accomplishing your goals. There are ways to get around that annoying little voice in your head!

Stay focused, silence your doubtful self, and kick some butt!

– Jessie



I’m on a mission to figure out my next move after Portland! Stay tuned :)

*Send me an email and let me know what you’re currently working on, and what types of articles you’d like to see on the site. I’d love to answer any specific questions you may have when it comes to social media/digital marketing, so don’t hesitate to ask! I’ll either respond to you individually in an email, or I’ll do an in-depth article about your question on the blog. Either way, I’m happy to help, and can’t wait to work with ya!

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