You've Got This!

Banishing self-doubt and fixing your mindset while building your dream.

Launching your business or creative endeavor is not just hard work in the usual sense. It also invovles working on YOU more than you might realize. With that in mind, I have some thoughts for my fellow creative souls on how to overcome doubts and fears, particularly when starting something new.

Everyone’s Struggle

Would you like to know one thing I’ve noticed EVERYONE struggles with? Aligning our thoughts and internal monologue so that we stop doubting ourselves and shooting ourselves in the foot. 

Basically, it means we all struggle with self-doubts. We all self-sabotage in different ways. We all struggle with what Neil Gaiman calls “Imposter Syndrome”. We all feel alone in our struggle too.

My main “job” is serving the web and graphic design needs of my fellow creatives. That means, I usually am interacting with those I love dearly (my fellow creative souls) during a period of change and transition in their lives.

You look me up when you are rebranding or needing a new website or maybe looking to have your marketing materials redesigned.

BIG changes!

I remember one successful businessperson friend of mine chided me for giving out free therapy to my clients. It was a lightbulb moment for me.

I hit a crossroads. Everyone, especially creatives like you, needs lots of love, nurturing, and encouragement when stepping out to do something new, wonderful and a little scary. Heck ya, I give a little bit of free therapy in the form of encouragement and maybe just basic COURAGE.

Hear Me Roar!

There was a time as a busy woman — wife, mom of little ones, and all the thousands of other things that go with that — when I didn’t receive this idea of self-care and mindset well at all. Over the last few years, the concept of the importance of working on my mindset (and myself) really came alive.

My darlin, your mindset is everything.

Mindset isn’t about believing yourself to be a millionaire.

No, mindset as a very holistic concept. It’s about dealing with all of the junk and falsehoods and dysfunction and bad theology you have that holds you back in every area of your life.

Read more about the importance of working on you here.

How you think about yourself is crucial.

I know many people think the topic of mindset is a bunch of baloney. And you know what? I used to scoff about mindset stuff too.

The fact is simple. You are what you think. What you think of yourself and what you think of what you do for others really does affect you. Your mindset affects your success. Your mindset can trip you up.

Hey, even the Bible teaches that…in Proverbs 4:23. You are what you think. All the important stuff in life is rooted in your heart and mind.

Mindset Starts Early – but it can be fixed!

Do you want to know where the mindset’s foundations are really laid? In our earliest years. Think of it this way. As a parent, you’re recording your kids’ inner voice for years to come.

There are some things a parent may not think twice about, but they play over and over again in a child’s mind well into adulthood.

Telling a child their dream or desire is “silly” or “dumb”.

Implying a child isn’t good enough based on your response to them proudly showing you their accomplishment.

I was told, “Nobody is going to want to hold your hand” or “Nobody is going to love you” because I was always struggling with dirt under my nails (hands-on artist from an early age over here) and having wild, frizzy, untamable hair. 

It’s taken years, my friend, to accept how I look. To not feel like I’m only worthy if I have a manicure and perfectly groomed hair. I could force it to happen, but it wasn’t really me, you know? Too much work to put on a facade. A mask.

Working on your mindset is, in many ways, about recording over that weird, wrong tape that has been playing in your head since childhood.

A great mindset involves coming to realize that anyone who judges you “unworthy” based on who you really are doesn’t matter anyway — they aren’t your tribe. So….Ignore ‘em.

Not Everyone Gets Picked for Dodge Ball, and That’s Okay

One big way mindset and insecurities can harm your business is with analytics. If you’re going into business, it’s important to keep track of where you’re at and where you’re going, to see what’s working and what’s not in how you serve your tribe.

This is pretty silly in hindsight. But in my brain, it was similar to waiting to be picked for Dodge Ball in 6th-grade gym class. A feeling of rejection and humiliation. At the time, I’d rather not know how my company and website are performing if it might hurt my feelings.

At some point, I had to face some facts. A huge chunk of serving my tribe is figuring out who my tribe is and what they need — and crafting content that serves them. And then testing that with analytics and insights.

So on the one hand, I had to stop being hung up on being picked last for dodge ball so to speak. Not everyone is going to want me on their team for absolutely everything. Dodgeball isn’t my skill set. Helping creatives take their business online with design services is.

Once you really grasp your mission — your calling — what you’re meant to do, go for it. Plant the seed and start to grow that dream. Then don’t give in to the temptation to dig that seed up in doubt. Stay the course.  If you need help figuring all that out, I have some content that may help you over here.

Take a chance on your dreams.

Having come out on the other side of a season of hard times and even poverty, I feel I understand mindset even better. When you’re in a stressful situation, your mindset really takes a hit.

Not only do you deal with the stress of the situation itself — whether finances, health, relationships, whatever — but you have the added stress of a mindset in freefall, whether you realize it or not.  I’ve written more about this hit our mindsets take in hard times.

For example, some days when you’re just treading water, it’s hard to find the energy and focus to have your head screwed on right, for lack of better word. We can’t feel guilty about taking a moment to embrace whatever form of self-care and therapy helps us cope. For me, it’s usually music or certain movies, or going for a walk, or even hanging out in a little neighborhood coffeehouse. Here are some more thoughts on being overwhelmed you may find helpful. (treading)

In the case of dealing with financial issues, I don’t think many people fully grasp the effect poverty and financial issues have on your brain. I wrote a post a few years ago called, “This is Your Brain on Poverty” that seems to resonate with many readers. (  Poverty and financial stress (as well as any other kind of stress) can mess with your head. Taking the time to care for yourself in the thick of it will help you get out of the hole in the long run.  Easier said than done, right?

Sometimes mindset is a simple as changing how we think of simple things. For a long while, you’d frequently hear me say, “Oh, I can’t afford that.” Maybe you battle that too. It’s frustrating to want something, or know something will help, but then realizing it’s out of reach.

And you know what, it’s true. I couldn’t afford that. Simple facts, right?

But after a while, with the encouragement of a friend who had been there and done that, I changed how I phrased it.

Instead of saying, “I can’t afford that,” I’d switch it around and ask, “Hmm, how can I afford this?”

Sometimes I came to realize that whatever “it” happened to be was just not that important at the time, relative to other expenses and needs. Other times, I figured out a suitable alternative for the time being. And yet other times, putting my mind to work, I came up with a way to make it happen.

In some cases, I have to tell you, it was nothing short of miraculous how things came to be. Would it have still happened if I was whining about not being able to afford things? Maybe, maybe not.

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