She pulled the scarf up to protect against the cold and looked down to make sure her baby daughter was still wrapped in her blankets.
The little one was sleeping, and Joanne made it inside the coffee shop where she sat down by a table near the window.
Warming her hands on a steaming hot cup of coffee, she tried to push away the depressing thoughts that seemed to be controlling her life. With no job and being the sole provider for herself and her daughter, she felt that she was most certainly the biggest failure there ever was.
She pulled out pieces of paper and a pen and continued writing on a story – the one thing besides her daughter she had to hold on to. Today was a productive day, and she managed to finish the third chapter of what was going to be a book.
After having typed up the three chapters on her typewriter, as she couldn’t afford to get copies, she decided to send the beginning of her story to a publisher.
What did she have to lose? She had almost nothing to begin with so when the rejection letter came she sent the three chapter to another publisher.
After getting rejected by 12 publishers, Joanne was starting to lose confidence in her book.
She wanted to give the story yet another chance and sent the pages to a small and rather new publisher. This time the rejection letter didn’t come. Instead, it was a request for more chapters.
The book was published under the name of J.K. Rowling.
She later became one of the few book millionaires in the world as her children’s books and movies based on them became widely popular all over the planet.
The struggles J.K Rowling went through before becoming a famous and loved writer are well known. She has often talked about how being at the absolute lowest was in some ways deliberating, as you simply could not get any lower than that.
For most people the feeling of not being good enough is crippling.
The fear of failure is stopping you from taking action.
As human beings, we don’t appreciate being uncomfortable. In order to move forward we need to address self-doubt and fear or failure, so let us do that right now.
Let today be the day when you start moving away from a habit of not feeling good enough, and of fear.
A word of advice: Changing your mindset does not happen overnight. As with any habit, it takes time. Be patient and put the practices below into your everyday life, and you will start noticing a difference.
Recognize when you are doubting yourself
The first step is to become aware of when these feelings that you are not good enough are creeping up on you. Does it happen on specific days, situations, time of day? When you are with certain people?
For many people, these feelings come at night. We are tired, our brain has been doing all sorts of thinking all day, and it just wants to rest. It isn’t interested in some elaborate plan to take over the world.
Learn to recognize that voice that is telling you you are not good enough, and that you will fail. That voice is not you. That voice is not your friend. That voice is no one you should be taking advice from.
When that voice starts talking to you, say: “Oh there you are, I am not interested in what you have to say”. Turn dismissing the voice that is telling you are not good enough into a powerful habit.
Be aware of both people, places, and circumstances where you more often feel that fear of failure, when you want to give up even before you start.
Can you make changes to that? Can you avoid people who have a negative impact?
I have recognized that light is important to me. Working less in the rather dark home-office and putting a desk near a large window working from there had a huge impact, and it was a simple thing to do.
Sometimes small measures can give big results.
Know your infinite power
There is no one like you. Even on days when you feel discouraged and not good enough, remember that no one has the combination of experience, skill, and personality that you do.
You will not be everyone’s cup of tea. And you do not have to be. Your brand only needs to speak to your target audience, and that’s it. It doesn’t matter how successful person x is, how many followers person y has, and how much money person z is making.
We compare ourselves to others, without understanding their journey and where they are coming from. They may have worked their butt off several years to get where they are, it just appears from the outside that everything they touch turns to gold.
Don’t compare yourself to someone else, because you cannot ever be them. The flip side to that is that they can never be you. Use it.
Your journey is uniquely yours, own it. Embrace it. Live it.
Do you tell yourself: “There are so many amazing coaches, teachers, fitness-experts, webshops, financial advisers, lawyers, [insert your niche here], there is no room or need for me”?
Every year people are graduating, becoming leaders, becoming a mom and searching for products and services, getting divorced and needing a lawyer, wanting to get in shape or whatever you can think of.
Why shouldn’t it be you who is helping them?
Make your bed a safe zone
Twisting and turning in bed, worrying about money, relationships or children, business-problems or practical things you need to fix. Does that sound familiar to you?
You need to stop.
As mentioned earlier, nights are not the time to solve problems – your brain is tired and does not have the capacity. On top of everything else, you need that precious rest.
Your bed should be a problem-free zone, where thinking about problems is strictly forbidden.
When you notice your thoughts are going in the wrong direction, think about the things you are grateful for, or something that makes you happy.
If you just cannot get rid of the negative thoughts, get out of bed and finish the thought-process before going back to bed.
Eventually, this gets easier with training, and you don’t have to struggle with pushing those thoughts away.
Create a brag-wall
What is a brag-wall? It is a collection of things and accomplishments that you are proud of. It does not have to be a wall, of course, it can be a box of items, a board, it can be stored online – and you can have several of them.
The purpose of the brag wall is to have somewhere to turn to when you are not feeling good enough. It reminds you of all the big and little things that you did well.
Nothing is too small to be put on the brag wall. Save those nice cards, those e-mails where someone complimented you, the awards, school grades, projects you did well, items you made yourself, obstacles you overcame. Be kind to yourself, you earned it.
What does being grateful have to do with overcoming self-doubt?
People who make gratitude a part of their everyday life are happier, healthier and stronger. It puts you in a better place to deal with emotions such as fear and not feeling good enough.
It is easy to get started too, make a habit (with a reminder) to think of three things you are grateful for every day.
If you need a bit of help you can try the free Chrome extension Purposetab
It reminds you of the good habits you are trying to learn, helps you beautifully visualize your goals and it even has features such a to-do list, a place to bookmark pages as well as a notepad for things you need to remember.
Do something else
Sometimes all the inspirational quotes and brag-walls in the world aren’t enough to get us to a better place. We simply aren’t able to work our way out of it by reminding ourselves of all the things we have and that we accomplished. To be blunt, we are having a bad day.
In those cases, the best thing you can do for yourself is to now wallow in that misery. Do something that you enjoy, watch funny cat videos on youtube, go for a walk, put on “dirty dancing” for the millionth time, visit a friend or spend time on a hobby you enjoy.
Plan your dream vacation, exercise or listen to music that makes you want to get up and dance. And dance!
There is nothing wrong with you for feeling ups and downs, that is being human. It is when you are letting those downs stand between you and the life you want to live, the goals you want to achieve, that you need to take action.
Life is far too precious to waste it on being scared.
If you set out to fulfill your dream, and in the worst case scenario it fails. How bad is that really? Sometimes we make failure into something it is not. It is not the end of all things, it does not mean you as a person are a failure, and it is merely a starting point for your next venture.
Let us finish this article off with a quote from J. K. Rowling:
It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default. — J.K. Rowling