I face self-doubt often.

Sometimes it happens so many times in a day I lose count.

When you’re an entrepreneur it’s unavoidable. You’re relying on yourself to remain persistent, adapt, take repeated actions toward results, stick to plans, and bring home a paycheck. So, of course self doubt will show itself.

I’m sure you can relate…whether it’s around building your practice, or not knowing when to leave that job you complain about everyday, or about the relationship that you’ve felt trapped in for weeks, months or years. I hope not years, but I know some of you are out there.

We’ve all been there.

On one hand self-doubt sucks. Going down that rabbit hole leads to drowning in a cesspool.

I can’t think of anyone that would say, “please let me drown in a cesspool…that sounds nice.”

But whenever you doubt yourself, feelings of insecurity, fragility, fear and a loss of control flood your system and the cesspool is right there and it’s like quicksand.

Without a clear way to blast out of it, you can get stuck in it for hours, days, weeks, months, or even years.

But I learned an important lesson about self-doubt a while ago…with the right techniques it’s possible to breakthrough self-doubt within minutes.

You actually don’t need stay in it for weeks, months or years to overcome it!

And there is a major cost at inching along rather than making a quantum leap.

Whenever I allowed self-doubt to rule the show in my career, I had to wait to way too long to get what I wanted.

I had years where I felt underpaid, undervalued and unfulfilled.

During the initial period of growing my practice, I struggled most when I allowed self-doubt to distract me from developing a plan and taking action. Sometimes, it derailed me for months.

When I had a nearly full practice, it was self-doubt that stopped me from raising my rates and earning more money to hit the six-figure mark.

When I earned six-figures, it was self-doubt that stopped me from having a waitlist to the point where I could turn away clients that weren’t the best fit.

And when I filled my practice, it was self doubt that kept me hesitant to move on to creating the next evolution in my career that was in my heart.

However, during this process of doubting myself over and over I discovered a method that changed everything. So, I don’t regret any of it.

When I created Higher Practice, self-doubt showed it’s face again about a thousand times over, because I was building an online company with a major audience, which I had never done before. It meant staff to manage, new technology to learn, big investments, and crazy long days.

With doubt showing up so often it would have literally sunk the ship on day one if I wasn’t prepared.

But from my past experiences with self-doubt, I knew exactly what to do when it reared it’s ugly face. And those thousand moments of doubt turned into moments of opportunity.

So, here’s my “secret recipe” for you to bust the myth that overcoming self-doubt takes weeks, months, or even years. That’s just the doubter talking inside of you.

  1. When you’re doubting yourself, tell that voice to shut its trap. Yeah that’s right. The moment you catch yourself doubting yourself, don’t analyze, get distracted, indulge in the sadness, poor me, I can’t, etc. Just shut up the voice inside of you. The reason you haven’t shut up that voice inside of you, is that you still believe a riddle will be solved by going down that rabbit hole of doubt. Well, I can tell what’s at the bottom of that rabbit hole and it’s just a wasteland. Trust me on this one, I tested it a thousand times over and always came up with the same answer.
  2. Ask yourself the question, “What’s truly most important to me in this moment?” Doubt will sabotage you fulfilling your potential in your career if you let it. However, when doubt creeps in it can actually help you reach your potential if you turn it against itself. Since you’re doubting yourself simply use it as a reminder to ask yourself, “What is truly the most important thing to me?” Is it to help as many people as you can overcome suffering? Are you devoted primarily to being a parent? Do you want to be a race car driver. Who cares what the answer is. But if you are being really honest with yourself you will usually come up with the same answer repeatedly. Doubt just allows you to ask the question so you can remember who you are.
  3. Take action. Once you’ve done steps one and two go take action. If it’s during the work day, you gotta get back to work. Do the task that will most likely give you the results you want. For instance, do you want a new client in the door. Then pick up the phone and call a referral source. If it’s your weekend, get a massage or whatever is going to actually help you rejuvenate since that’s no easy task. Action leads to results.
  4. Don’t create a fantasy that you will always be confident. Many people swing in a manic depressive state of an inflated sense of self and a deflated sense of their ego. This creates a fragmented experience of the world. Acknowledge you will feel confident and you will feel doubt. But you need to know what to do when doubt arrives. Not pushing doubt away, but rather using it against itself, puts you in charge as a sovereign being.
  5. Live your life to the fullest as if it’s the only life you’ll ever have. So this one is kind of common sense since nobody can really tell you what’s on the other side of the rainbow. But are you living your life as fully as you can in all areas such as career, family, finances, community, etc.? I’ve found that the more fully I step into my life everyday the faster and faster I can eradicate self-doubt in any given moment.

I highly encourage you to try this process. I know it works from extensive experimentation with overcoming my own self-doubt.

I also want to challenge you to stop hesitating around what you truly want out of this life that you’ve been given. Go after it today. You can’t rely on changing tomorrow.

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Keith Kurlander

Keith Kurlander is the founder of Higher Practice, a company dedicated to helping therapists achieve their highest potential in private practice. He has two decades of combined experience in business administration, group facilitation, teaching at the undergraduate and graduate level, yoga instruction and as a licensed professional counselor in private practice.

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