THE BLOG
10/28/2016 03:52 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Are You Empowering Doubt?

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I used to run away when life got tough, which only confirmed and empowered my own doubt of myself and all I could accomplish.

For a big part of my life, I looked at things all wrong. I fled tasks I had unilaterally decided I wasn't good at--even before I tried them. I framed my own mind and limitations when I told myself I couldn't achieve goals--from sports to certain academic subjects to being a leader.

I decided for myself I was bound for mediocrity, that I would have to work extra hard to obtain anything, and that I wasn't naturally smart or naturally talented at anything.

And I was bitter about it.

It seemed like I was always working harder than my peers and I couldn't understand people who skipped classes but made better grades than I did, or who seemed to attain victories effortlessly that I really struggled with.

So, I went down a path I thought I was supposed to follow.

I worked hard, made good grades and finally "made it" when I became a lawyer, but even then I gave into my own preset limitations, questioned everything I did and never thought I was "good enough."

Still bound for mediocrity.

Because the thought of not being good enough dominated my persona, I wasn't happy. I felt like I couldn't live up to the standards I'd artificially set for myself and I constantly compared myself to others, fearing I would be "exposed" at any given time if some sort of challenging issue I couldn't solve presented itself.

Unsure and full of self-doubt, it was all because I'd decided to hold myself to some make-believe standard that scored me as a failure.

It took me a few years to figure out I was looking at it all wrong, and then I realized the secret of leading a happy and successful life.

I started over. Abandoned my course and left the law practice to become an entrepreneur dedicated to creating incredible products for women. I walked into this career at ground zero, having no experience running a business and having worked through the lens of a lawyer for many years.

Best. Decision. Ever.

Through the course of a couple of years and currently two businesses, and at the expense of the emotional roller coaster of being an entrepreneur, I experienced great successes and life-changing failures. Starting a business is tough enough; couple that with the incredibly risk-adverse mindset of the legal world and it's easy to look at everything as a series of liabilities rather than a step ladder of setbacks propelling you to where you need to go. What could go wrong next was the first thing I thought when I rolled out of bed every morning.

But all at once, everything changed.

I began to realize when one door shut, another door with a better opportunity, opened. I stopped thinking every setback and failure was the end of the world and somehow a reflection of my ineptitude and started recognizing challenges ultimately resulted in my growth, better decision making and more success.

Rather than avoiding things I was afraid of and refraining from an endeavor because it "might" be problematic, I began to welcome challenges and eagerly embrace them head on.
In doing so, I disabled my self-doubt and I liberated the belief in myself I could accomplish what I set my mind to, that I was strong enough, smart enough and just plain ENOUGH.

Simply changing your self-talk can set you on an entirely different path. Why not give it a try?

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Original post appeared at EM+PACT Bars' blog, Musings. Reprinted with permission.