Notes From Jen- Self-Confidence and Business
I had an amazing conversation with Art Jones (from It's Your Story Lab) today, and we were talking about past experiences and how they have contributed to our present selves. I had a realization today about why many of my previous business adventures didn't succeed- and it was all tied to my self-belief.
You see, I've always been creative, and always had a bit of an entrepreneurial itch- way back from when I started selling beaded earrings to the neighbors when I was around 11 years old.
But I have deeply struggled with self-confidence and seeing what I have to offer as valuable to the world.
I think a lot of creatives feel like that, at least sometimes. I used to get all excited about a design business I was starting, but then would have these struggles, thinking "Oh, anyone can design a pretty picture... this really isn't as valuable as [insert some other skill that someone else has here]."
So I would lose energy and confidence in my business, and would eventually start doing something else that, at least until I convinced myself otherwise, seemed more important. It would usually be something more black-and-white... something less fulfilling... something more "stable."
But none of that stuff made my heart sing. None of it was fun to me. So I would get stuck there too.
It was a vicious cycle of start-a-business / stop-a-business that didn't get me anywhere and was frustrating for people around me to experience, too. I never seemed reliable, and I always seemed to have some new project I was working on.
And a lot of it was because I didn't know who I was, deep down inside. And when I actually did discover a part of me, I would always discount it, thinking that everyone was good at that, or that it wasn't very important in the grand scheme of the world, or that there were so many other people out there who were better at that thing than I was.
It wasn't until recently, in a process that started about 2.5 years ago and continues even now, that I really started to embrace who I was, see that she was valuable, and start standing confidently in what I had to offer and contribute to the world.
You can learn as many skills as you want, you can become the foremost expert in a topic, but until you start loving yourself and being OK with exactly who you are right here, right now, then you will do exactly what I did, and spin your wheels trying to gain traction in a business that your heart and soul just isn't in.
It's just not going to work.
But once you start believing in yourself... once you start accepting yourself (warts and all)... once you start acknowledging the many ways that you do, in fact, make the world a better place- that is where the real magic happens.
And the best part? This is when business starts becoming so much more fun and easy! Instead of a thing that weighs you down and feels like something you are pushing down the world's throat, your business becomes an expression of you truly living, embodying your full and amazing self, and simply sharing that with the world.
You are good enough. You are interesting enough. You are creative enough. You are truly valuable. You do have something amazing to contribute to the world.
Once you just stop and embrace yourself fully, you can start living from your core and not dragging around this "self" that you are trying to hide from.
So be a little quirky, a little nerdy, a little nutty- if that's who you are deep down instead. Crack the "dad jokes," make the stupid puns, sing silly phrases in your videos, have a bad hair day, decide not to wear makeup today, say what you really think, wear what makes you feel good, and go to all those places you were afraid to venture out to.
Live your life, live your business. Your success and your tribe will follow.
To Our Success,