#39 Wrap Up – Squashing self-doubt, hitting download milestone, and making today matter
This week, I was plagued by self-doubt and wracked by insecurity in almost every area of my life (down to something as inconsequential as my baking skills even…). Finally, I had had enough! Let’s be honest, focusing so much energy inward can be draining, and quite frankly I think my husband had had enough taking phone calls at work from a weepy, purposeless wife. It was time for a radical switch in mindset and miraculously I believe I’ve conquered the self-doubt that, for too long, had been granted permission to loom around my every corner, and today I want to share with you how I did it… just in case you’ve got some doubts of your own to sort out!
This week’s stats and updates
5400+ downloads from 88 cities in 38 nations around the world
I’m trying to search for a way to figure out how VPN usage in China affects those numbers so if you have thoughts, definitely shoot them my way. I’ve had more great feedback this week than most others and have connected with more people than probably all other 6 weeks combined. Overall, it’s been fantastic and yet each day, I have a moment (or a long string of moments at worst) when I seriously doubt the Limitless project, it’s impact, my own ability to take it where I see it can go, and whether or not my strategy is on target. I doubt my competency as a wife, mother, friend. I even doubted whether a cake I made last week would rise using a substitute for baking powder because I discovered too late in the game that this crucial ingredient was missing from my cupboard and used a cooking hack for the first time. Yeah! I agree, I think I’ve seriously developed a problem with doubt! If you’re not on your own entrepreneurial journey where this nasty doubt haunts you around every corner, bets are you too struggle with doubt in some areas of your life. You may even be doubting why in the world you’re in China in the first place or why you’re being asked to look at what a move here might mean for the future of your family. Because I’ve spent some time this week digging into why I find myself drowning in my own septic tank of doubt on occasion, I want to address it and share one little secret I believe may help.
The back story
My amazing husband Ron has his own full on job that just got nuts because the date for his biggest event was moved up two weeks; so he’s stressed and focused at the moment. And yet, each day, at some point, I found myself robotically dialing his cell number and the conversation would go a little something like this: “Hey babe, what’s up?” He’d ask, probably hoping it was something quick. “I’m struggling.” I’d admit, “What am I doing with this project?” I’d ask all forlorn. And he’d ask me if I’d been cooped up in the house all day or if I had seen real people. The answer was always yes to the cooping up and no to the real contact. Luckily we’re smart enough to recognize the beginning of a destructive pattern, but I’ll get to that below. So every call, I’d end up basically begging him for validation of the project. I needed to hear that what I’m doing is useful; that it’s impacting people’s lives. And for the record, this is so not me. As an employee I was very confident in my abilities, and in the value that I brought to the table but there’s something about being an entrepreneur that has left me feeling unprotected, without guidance and vulnerable. So to be honest, it’s been a bit disconcerting to feel like my confidence is shot and my life has turned upside down.
Is this you?
Maybe some of you out there feel like this because of a jarring move to China. Maybe you’ve put a career on hold and are grasping to embrace a new ‘title’ you’ve put on yourself or society is putting on you. Well, I for one, am not loving this new insecure Ally and by grace I think I’ve found one way that’s working for me to conquer the swells of self-doubt that arise. It was during the last conversation that finally, my husband, probably out of both wisdom and annoyance said, “Listen, you’ve been live for 6 weeks. We can’t have this conversation again for 6 months.” Even though his words stung a bit, they actually seemed reasonable enough to me and so I’ve fought back any urge to call him this week and have swallowed the uncertainty with this one little truth: We must trust in the process. No matter where you are in your journey, no matter what’s happening in your life, your work, or your family, we must trust in the process.
What is trusting in the process?
Here’s an easy illustration that we all know. You want to lose some weight so you go to the gym and meet with a trainer who gives you an exercise regiment and an eating plan. You follow it for the first few days and you don’t see results (it’s actually at this point that most people give up). But if you trust in the process and see it through for 6 months, say, you’ll definitely have noticed the fruit of all of your hard work and discipline. To reach every goal we set—whether it’s successfully launching a business, improving our parenting skills, or making it through the tough stages of an overseas move—we must put a process in place. For many things in life, there are blueprints forged by those before us that we can grasp onto, edit as we see fit, and in faith, put one foot in front of the other until we’ve arrived. Just as a child learns to walk, I’ve learned this week, that we too will fail, must learn to lean on the support of those that love us, and get up, time and time again, fighting through the doubt and darkness, continuing to put one foot in front of the other, until we are arrive. This week, I mastered my doubt, by setting my focus on the horizon, to 6 months down the line, when Ron and I can reopen that conversation of whether or not the Limitless Project is effectively helping people like we want it to and how we know that it can. In the meantime, I’m going to put my hands to work, bloom where I’m planted today, pour into the lives and work of others, and continue to stand firm in the battle against self doubt.
A few pointers
Get out of your house
Go for a walk (if it’s not stressful for you). Meet someone for lunch or coffee. If you’re brand new, I promise you it’s not awkward to call someone up that you just met to connect. Just do it and you’ll feel 100 times better.
Set 30, 60 & 90-day goals
Consider some of these areas: family, work, finances, faith, friendships, & health. Envision where you want to be in three month’s time, and break down your goal in bite-size chunks. I LOVE helping people work through this so if you want help, email me now!
Find a blueprint
Use the resources around you… the other expats who have walked the road before you. If you’re starting a biz, connect with other entrepreneurs—invite them to coffee and have your list of pointed questions ready. People love to help so utilize that to better prepare yourself!
Revel in the doubt and stand strong
OK this is a hard one but think back to that toddling babe trying to walk. What if she gave up? Do you really think that is even an option? Have you ever met an adult (or a child for that matter) who had resigned to life on their hands and knees? Of course not! Where did our fighting spirit go as adults? I dare you to reclaim it. Fight through whatever battles you’re in, until you come out victorious on the other side. If you have kids, set the example for them of a mom or dad who isn’t afraid of a little adversity, but instead, embraces it and continues to trust in the process until the very end.