I had a conversation with a friend a few weeks ago who was starting her own business. She was struggling with the people around her telling her it was just a hobby and how she was deluding herself. They caused her to doubt herself. In my videos, she said, I always seem so confident. Her question to me was… have I had these kind of doubts in the past?
Hell yeah! I’ve had those doubts. And I still do.
There is a time when you are starting something new when you realise that you are the only one who believes in it. It’s disconcerting. It causes self-doubt. It makes you wonder if you are just living a pipe dream or really doing something worthwhile. You might blame others for “not getting it” and not supporting you—but ultimately, you realise there is no reason they should. It’s your responsibility to take the risks and prove what’s possible. It ain’t their dream. It’s yours.
I’ve had successes and I’ve had failures. And sometimes, it’s in between, and I have to spin it to be a “success” just to make myself feel better. Momentum is the most important thing in life. When you have it, don’t let it go. When you lose it, try to get it back. I try to look at things in a positive light—I see no benefit to pessimism.
When you start something new, and no one around you has attempted it, you are going to get negative feedback. It could be from jealousy, but most of the time, it’s because your loved ones don’t want to see you fail. They think you don’t see the risks. They think you don’t see how bad things can go.
But sometimes you see the risks, and you decide they are worth it.
For every time I was patting myself on the back for being free from the 9-5, I had moments where I was tossing and turning at night worrying about bills and payroll and the embarrassment of failure.
Self-doubt is always nipping at my heals. Sometimes, it catches me. Sometimes, I slow down and lose momentum. I become a tight-rope walker suddenly struck with vertigo.
In my dark moments, I remember that there is another life I can live. I can be a highly-paid developer in London. I can work at the biggest banks. I can solve all my money problems. I can be well taken care of. All I must do is give up my time and a bit of freedom.
That’s tempting. But… it’s predictable. It’s boring.
In my moments of self-doubt, I must remember why I started this in the first place. I see evidence of avoiding risk all around me. In the end, I might end up in the same place as the risk-avoider—but it won’t be for lack of trying.
Sometimes, this shit is hard. And, if I make it look easy, then that’s amazing.
I’m still a work in progress.