When I quit my technical recruiting job (well, purposely got myself fired), I journeyed into a world of unknown. I made the decision to create a life for myself where I am the boss; I just wasn’t sure exactly how that would play out in terms of a career.
Therapist. Nutritionist. Wellness Coach. Writer. Speaker. Writer again. Writer AND Speaker. Writer, Podcast Host, AND Speaker.
That’s the path I went down when deciding what career to pursue. It was an unstable path. A path filled with doubts and uncertainties. A path filled with many existential questionings, cups of coffees, cries in my car, and motivational podcasts.
In my moments of greatest doubt, I didn’t find reassurance amongst my friends and family; I found it in myself.
I could ask the people closest to me for their input, but, as you can see from that career trajectory above, it could be a bit overwhelming for them. They would give me words of encouragement or, sometimes, words like “But wait, what happened to wanting to be a therapist?”
Their advice was all much appreciated, but how could I keep going on words of affirmation from other people?
The answer: I couldn’t.
Words from other people were like a momentary high from a sugar-filled candy bar. Their faith in me was great and sometimes made me feel like I was on cloud 9. But after a few hours, I would crash back down into my pit of self-doubt.
I began to realize that the moments of certainty that lasted the longest came from when I truly believed in myself. When I really felt like I was meant to do something more significant than sitting at a desk from 9–5 and work for someone else.
I needed to be my biggest fan.
I know what I’m capable of. My friends and family do to an extent — but only I can fully understand my true potential. I can lie and put on a show for other people, but I can’t lie to myself.
I had a pernicious habit of comparing my chapter one to other’s chapter eighty. I saw people doing what I wanted to do and compared their circumstances to where I’m currently at. I thought, “I will never be like that,” just because I’m not at the same level of success as these people.
That’s, first off, ridiculous to think. These people whom I compared myself to have years on me. What a horrible place to start for comparison.
Second, who’s to say I can’t be like them one day? They did it; why can’t I?
Boom. Right there. That’s what I mean.
Picture yourself having worked hard at your goals and finally achieving them. Whatever success looks like/means to you, you’re there. Can you picture that right? Now, don’t make this too complicated, but cheer yourself on until you get to that point of success. It’s that simple.
I’m always so quick to support my friends. If I hear them speak a word of self-doubt, I quickly reason with them to help them see how talented they are. I can see from an objective standpoint on how much they are capable of.
Why wasn’t I doing that for myself?
Self-doubt is inevitable, but you can choose to dwell in it or feel the feeling and move on. If you believe you are meant to do something, cheer yourself on through all the hard times. Friends and family are great resources, but if you don’t believe in yourself, you’ll end up being the one to hold yourself back.
This form of self-love requires practice and sometimes cultivating self-confidence. But with a bit of practice and patience, you too can be your biggest fan.