I posted a question in our FB Group, called Sustainable Freelancer. Which is free by the way, just search for it on Facebook and get in there if you haven’t done so already.

The question was What do you see as your biggest hurdle in growing your business? and someone PM’d me instead of replying to the post itself saying “My biggest hurdle is me, I’m an introvert and I always seem to have a problem with my confidence. Self-doubt always creeps in and I’m not sure how to get away from that.”

Out of respect, I’ll just refer to this person as “he”. But I did get approval to share the conversation on the show because this is something that I talk about and write and share about my own battles with it pretty frequently.

My initial response to him was that he does outstanding work and from my point of view, you have nothing to lack confidence in.

But we all can get into our own heads a bit from time to time regardless of how well everything else sees us?

“I have written eleven books, but each time I think, ‘uh oh, they’re going to find out now. I’ve run a game on everybody, and they’re going to find me out.’” – Maya Angelou

It’s easy to say get over yourself and stop complaining, isn’t it? But getting that voice out of your head is much harder.

Where does the self-doubt come from?

My friend Mark Asquith, amazing guy, podcast host of the 7 Minute Mentor, and an inspiration for me and this show, broke this topic down recently where he highlighted where does “self-doubt come from first?”

It can come from:
- a lack of skill
- belief
- others saying things to you
- your experience
- fear and worry
- paying attention to others
- your family
- a lack of knowledge

I like Mark’s approach to the topic because he essentially shared this thought “Ultimately, what is it that matters? What is going to go wrong if I fail?”

And yes, this is a better way of saying “get on with it”. But it did spark a thought and tactic that I’ve used for years outside of business and maybe in the past couple of years, closed that loop with the business as well.

Plan out the results

Anticipate what may happen. Both good and bad. What are the roadblocks may occur that you can address now, or at least think about know and plan how you are going to respond to them.

See, when I played baseball as a kid, my coaches would tell me “Before the pitch is thrown, know what you are going to do with the ball before it gets to you.”

We’ve all seen little kid play ball, they run around when they get it like they just found out the meaning of life and haven’t a clue as to what to do next. People are just screaming at them to throw the ball, right?

I became a much better fielder because I would take a look around, I would see the situation at play, figure out if it was a ground ball to me at second base and with a runner on first base, what am I going to do. If it’s to my right, throw to 2B. If it’s slow enough to my left, I may still be able to throw to 2B, but chances are it’s throwing to first.

If it’s a line drive to me, catch and throw immediately to first to catch that runner before he gets back to the bag.

Because I’ve played out all these various types of plays in my head, when it does happen, I’ve taken all the thinking out of my head and just react.

I’ve physically practiced them every day up until that game on the field. I’ve now practiced all the plays out in my head. And then the pitch is thrown.

This year, I’ve obviously doubled down on podcasting. As such I want to become a better interviewer for Live In The Feast, a better podcast host in general and understand the performance of speaking.

I’ve been learning a ton this year about story-telling, how to ask questions as an interviewer, how to craft a better show, etc.

Hopefully, if you listen back to Episode 1 of this or Live In The Feast, you can hear the difference and the competence I’ve gained throughout my learning and practice.

Mark said it best, “Confidence comes from competence.”

When you just start out doing anything, baseball, sales, development, you’ll suck. But break the thing down to the most basic steps. Practice them, then progress further and learn more of that thing.

It’s a progression. You aren’t going to be Babe Ruth the moment you say you want to play baseball. You aren’t going to be Zig Ziglar when you start your own business and have to sell for the first time.

You are going to be that little kid running around with the meaning of life.

Break it down, practice it, anticipate results, both good and bad and how you are going to react when either shows up.

As you progress and as you continue to get better, you’ll become more competent, and as you become more competent you’ll gain that confidence because you’ve been there before.

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