How Doubt is Undermining Your Business + Parenting (+ 3 Ways to Put it in its Place) - by Emily Souder for MotherHustle
“Have you ever heard the doubt voice, realized it made a good point, and decided to slip back into familiarity so you didn’t have to hear it again? I know I have.”

I believe you know her well, as I do.

She can be sneaky, dipping in and out, then swinging out from her hiding place when we least expect her, surprising the heck out of us. She’s the voice questioning launching a business versus remaining at a job that makes us feel inauthentic and empty. She’s the one asking if we can be really certain that our actions are a good idea. Essentially, she always says, “Oh I don’t know if you should do that. That seems…risky.”

Do you know her name? We don’t always speak it. It’s DOUBT.

As a therapist and coach, I often hear women and moms question their actions even before they’ve taken action. It’s no secret (although sometimes it feels like one) that we all have doubts. We second-guess ourselves and have an inner part tugging at us to be safe, secure, and predictable. Because what could happen??? (Cue the image of a terrified woman frantically chewing at her nails, bits spraying out to the sides).

Have you ever heard the doubt voice, realized it made a good point, and decided to slip back into familiarity so you didn’t have to hear it again? I know I have.

Doubt is a function of the part of our minds that wants to keep us safe. And as entrepreneurs, we know that in order to succeed we have to be comfortable with a certain degree of DIScomfort. That doesn’t mean that once we make the decision to build a business and succeed that we’re done with doubt. It’s something that flows as our business does.

Some people have the tendency toward doubt to a greater degree, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be effective and successful business owners. It just means that there is a need for an even stronger commitment to building and practicing insight, awareness, and skills.


We wonder about our parenting decisions — did we choose the right school? Right bedtime? Right snack?? We wonder about how business choices. Is what we’re doing with our career the right choice for our family? Is it responsible to start our own business? Am I capable of meeting my clients’ needs? Will I earn enough money to help support my kids? Will people like what I’m offering?

These thoughts? We can work with them.

I can’t tell you that doubt will magically disappear from your inner dialogue.  Since it serves a function of keeping us safe, it can offer up an important different perspective to consider. Let’s not let her steal the show though!

Here are three ways to put doubt in her place:

1) Talk to her with compassion. Oh hey, doubt. No wonder you’re scared. This is a big step. And you know what? I’ve got this. We’re going to be okay.

2) Make a trust journal. Each day, list 5 reasons you can trust yourself. Things like, I know how to communicate with clients or I have good speaking skills or I am resourceful.

3) Do something that pushes you outside of your safety zone a few times each week. On purpose! Think about writing a blog post that shares a bit more of you, trying a new marketing angle, or even experimenting with a new recipe.

Go out there and get this, mamas! Do the work, even when it scares you, and reap the rewards.

MotherHustle Panelist Emily Souder is a life coach, mama, and author in Maryland. She helps mom entrepreneurs who are feeling lost in the demands of motherhood and out of touch with themselves achieve clarity, focus, and empowerment using intuition-informed guidance and skill building. She is married to her best friend (so cheesy, but so true!), has two littles (ages 1 and 3), and is on her own path of rocking her authenticity. Follow her on Facebook at Nesting Space LLC and on Instagram at Nesting_Space. Make sure to check out her book here


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