Thursday, 19 October 2017

Confidence vs Self Doubt



We had a much needed break away from our seemingly never ending house renovations last week. Time spent in the glorious, impressive landscape of the Yorkshire Dales. A chance to switch off, walk, talk, recharge and just allow time to wash over us. No pressure, no agenda, just time. 
It got me thinking, if all of us, or just a few of us, struggle with finding/maintaining confidence while running a small business? As I work alone (my husband supports from the sidelines) and have always battled with self doubt it can be difficult not to question yourself, doubt your abilities, compare and worry about failure. I wonder, is this present in all of us who create, market, promote, sell our own products? 
Is this something that women struggle with more than men?





With the rise in social media as a platform for brand promotion, there is an almost addictive need to see others as "Getting it right" all the time, who appear to have "Sell out" products, beautifully shot with professional images on tap which then begs the question, how can one compete with those who have a seemingly large budget to "Do it all"?


We are, I know often guilty (if that is the correct term) of only showing the "Glossy" side of our lives on instagram etc, putting forward positive, attractive images that will engage and attract others. I certainly only post parts of my home that don't resemble the building site which in reality we are living in. There is nothing wrong with this, I have no problem with editing some elements of real life for the purposes of instagram and similar media platforms, after all, promoting your brand is all about positive messages and aspirations, my only concern is that for those of us with a tendency towards self doubt it magnifies our lack of confidence. 




I would love to know if you too struggle with confidence in your business and if so how you have overcome this. 

all images ©Cowparsley at home

Thank you for taking the time to read this, I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

xxx










9 comments:

  1. It's so interesting Alison, as through my own self doubt, I have often admired you as one of the women who has been confident enough to pursue her creative impulses and actually start a business. That takes vision, talent and bravery and you should be commended for having all three of those things in spades. Comparison is the thief of joy, and unfortunately, social media platforms - Instagram in particular - tend to act as the devil on our shoulder encouraging us to compare and doubt ourselves. Remember, you may see other women out there apparently doing very well and being super successful, but for every one of them, there are thousands more watching you and thinking - "Isn't she marvellous" for being one of that same group of successful women. xxx

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    1. Thank you Paula for taking the time to read and comment on my post. I think as women we tend to look inwards on ourselves and let our doubts have a voice, the trick is to learn how to silence them and listen instead to the positive messages trying to be heard. XX

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  2. My sister and I often thought of retail possibilities, but could never come up with a good idea. You have come so far, and have great products .. so to me, have leaped over that first major hurdle. How could any small business owner not have doubts and confidence issues. It’s all on you. But maybe those are good, and keep you always thinking.

    I don’t think I would be concerned about the parts of my home that haven’t been completed yet. Life is a journey.

    Cheers ... I love your Instagram posts

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    1. Thank you Karen. You are so right, concentrate on the positive, not the negative and just go with it. Thank you for your kind comments on my Instagram posts. XX

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  3. I think it's sometimes good to take a break away from things Alison. Paula is totally right comparison is the thief of joy. I think as much as I enjoy Instagram I'm not sure maybe real life is as the pictures appear sometimes. I'm not sure if I ever mentioned but I still work in dentistry two and half days a week as well as the shop webshop and a family. It's certainly hard work and I do look at other businesss sometimes very envious how things work better for others. Your webshop and products are amazing and I love reading your Instagram posts. Jayne Tobias Interiors xx

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    1. Stepping away has been good, not only for me personally but to let thoughts and ideas flow freely. Juggling life is hard isn't it. You do so well to combine all the different elements. Thank you so much for your kind comments XX

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  4. I think you’ve been very brave opening up in this way. I would never have guessed that you were anything other than confident - that’s the power of social media, or the curse. I’m sure there are lots of people who post perfect pictures, but behind the scenes are struggling at times. It’s refreshing that you’ve aired it. It’s great that you have a passion and are able to turn it into your living. That’s something to cherish. It gives you a reason to get up in the morning. I used to run a podcasting business and despite having big clients like American Express, I still didn’t think I was good enough. Like you, I looked around and thought everyone else had it all. I’m very good at getting in my own way! It also surprises me that Paula @hillhousevintage suffers from self doubt. I work full time, have 2 young boys and my house looks like it’s been ransacked, so when I see Paula’s posts, I imagine myself sat in one of the tidy clutter-free rooms daydreaming or reading. I confess to being a tad jealous. The same of your posts - especially your morning walks & the weekend wine shots! I know none of that is helping your business, but you are helping others. I saw a quote the other day which inspired me - “Love the life you have while creating the life of your dreams.” No idea if it’ll work, but I’m going to give it a try. Keep posting your pix so that I can escape when I need to. I hope you get good news on your health. With best wishes, Susan

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    1. I can't tell you how timely your comment is today, thank you! I love the quote and will print that off and keep it close, such a good sentiment. Having the support of others is especially prescious and all the above comments mean a lot. XX

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    2. Such a lovely and honest comment Susan! I am frequently wracked with self doubt - it's just that the optimist in me refuses to hide away for too long. I worked full time in London until my twins were 6 years old - which is when we moved to Norfolk. During all of that time I was wracked with self doubt that my children would suffer because I wasn't at home. For the past seven years I've been mainly at home, and wracked with self doubt that other women are starting profitable businesses left, right and centre, and I am wasting my life...one can never win, particularly when ones fiercest critic is oneself!

      Another interesting thing is that, like everyone else, I only take pictures of the things that i find pretty in my own home - please believe me when I say that with three teenagers and a large dog, there are MANY areas of my home that appear ransacked, it's simply that the camera is usually pointing in the opposite direction - ha!
      Best wishes to you both.
      Paula x

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