How I Overcame Sabotaging Self-Doubt and Found Success as an Entrepreneur

mindset self-doubt Jan 08, 2020

If you’ve ever pushed yourself outside your comfort zone, you know how easy it is for self-doubt to creep in.  It can make you second guess yourself … even to the point that it slows you down. In fact, it can completely derail you. 

Well I figured out a way to get past the self-doubt and limiting beliefs.  It’s how I’ve been able to kiss the corporate world “buh bye” and start living life on my own terms.

It all started in 2015.  But let me be clear.  I didn't bravely push myself out my comfort zone … I got thrown out! 

On December 30th of that year, I got laid off from the company I had been with for 6 years.  It wasn’t the first time I’d been laid off from a job, but I wanted to make it the last. (I wasn’t getting any younger.)

For 29 years, I had the type of career many people envied. I traveled the world working for companies like MTV, Nickelodeon, The Sharper Image, and Pokémon.

I did deals with companies like Disney, DreamWorks, and Rovio (the company that owns Angry Birds). 

I had always thought the corporate world was where I should be.  Because I wanted a good and steady paycheck I could rely on.  But after a few layoffs, I learned that a company paycheck was false security.

Getting laid off would have been bad enough on its own ...

But there was even more going on in my life at the time.

The day before I got laid off … not even 24 hours earlier ... I had signed the papers for a whopping cash-out mortgage refinance.  I also wrote my soon-to-be ex-husband a 6-figure check, taking full ownership of our house and all the bills and responsibilities that go with it. 

Ending our marriage was NOT my idea.  And to me, keeping the house was the right thing to do. I didn’t want my 12-year-old son to go through his parents’ divorce, lose the only home he had ever lived in, get shoved into a new school, and go through puberty all at once.

Even so, taking on the house was a big leap of faith.  It’s the type of house that needs a handy do-it-yourselfer, which definitely isn’t me when it comes to house repairs!  

But I just kept telling myself everything would work out. (That was BEFORE I got laid off). 

And here’s the real kicker  

With 29 years working my way up the corporate ladder, I was making pretty good money.  In fact, I was the primary earner in my marriage. 

So I waived alimony and child support.  


To add insult to injury, I was completely blindsided when the company president called me into the conference room to let me go.  Especially since the company had raked in over $80 million because of deals I negotiated. And the same man who was letting me go had given me a big performance bonus the year before.   

None of this added up. (And yes, he was well aware of what was going on in my personal life.) 

But the “good news” was that if I agreed to stay on for 3 more weeks to train the young man replacing me, I would be given a few months’ severance!  Woo hoo!

As unappealing as that sounded, I had no choice.  With a new mortgage and school tuition, I had to push off the day I would have zero income for as long as possible.

I desperately needed some time to heal.  The previous 2 years of my marriage falling apart had taken a toll on me mentally and emotionally.  But I couldn’t take a break now. I’d have to hit the ground running to find a job, which meant I had to pull myself together.

But I soon realized I just couldn’t stomach it.  Every interview I went on made me nauseous. I wanted out of the corporate grind.

And the Universe listened

Shortly before my life unraveled, I had picked up a copywriting program that somehow landed in my inbox.  I had always loved writing and thought maybe it could be my side hustle. If I got good enough at it, maybe it could be my ticket out of the corporate world someday!

Well “someday” wasn’t what the Universe had in mind!  She wanted me on the fast track. 

As I sat in the conference room listening to the company president, I was waiting for a full blown panic attack to hit.  

I waited … and after a few moments, I realized there wasn’t going to be a panic attack.  Then out of nowhere, these words came to me …

There’s no way God will let me off a cliff without giving me wings to fly.

I’m not a particularly religious person.  But with those words, I suddenly felt both completely calm and excited at the same time.  I remember thinking, “I don’t know what’s coming, but it’s gonna be GOOD.”

And it was ... and it still is.  In fact, every year it gets better.  

The 3 keys to keeping self-doubt from derailing you

Self-doubt is like a child who’s scared of the dark. When the lights are off, they imagine all kinds of scary things lurking in the corners.  But as soon as you turn the lights on, the child is free to play and explore.

Nothing’s changed about the room.  The only difference is that when the lights get turned on, fear and doubt is replaced with courage and excitement. 

One thing I’ve seen over and over again is how fear and the voice of doubt creep in when you can’t clearly see what’s ahead of you.  I see this with the health coaches I work with now. And it used to happen to me, too. Until I started doing this ...

Instead of being that little child afraid of the dark, I replace the idea of “dark and light” with “fog.”

Imagine you’ve described your dream home to someone you trust and who knows you well.  One day she hands you a key and says, “This is the key to the dream home you described to me. And now it’s yours.”

You’re excited to see it and drive to the address.  The only problem is it’s so foggy you can’t see your new home. In fact, you can barely see the stone path to the front door.  The fog is so thick you can only see the first step of the path clearly. And you can just barely make out the second step.  

But you’re so excited to see your new home that you step on the first stone.  When you do, now you can see the next one clearly. You step on that one, and then you see the 3rd stone clearly.  

You’re so excited because you expect to reach your new dream home at the end of the path.  So you make your way along taking one step at a time as each stone in the path becomes clear enough to see.

When you reach the front door.  You put the key in the lock and open it. And it’s even more beautiful than you imagined!

This story describes the 3 keys to how I’ve approached life since December 30, 2015.  And they’ve helped keep fear and self-doubt from getting in the way of building my business.  The 3 keys are: 

  1. You only need to see the next step clearly.  The rest of the path will become clear with each step you take.

    When I started down the path to free myself from the corporate world, the only thing I saw clearly was “copywriting.”  But that evolved with steps I took along the way to where I am now. In addition to being a direct response copywriter for natural health and beauty products, I also help health coaches and practitioners create a marketable business that attracts and engages more clients.  

  2. Expect it “to be GOOD.”  Even though you don’t know exactly what it is or how you’ll get there.

    As I poured myself into my copywriting training, my mantra was, “I don’t know exactly where this is going, but it’s going to be GOOD.”

    About 10 months into my training, I went to a conference for copywriters.  There were about 400 people there. And I meet 2 men who over the next few months became my mentors. 

    One of them helped me see how my 29 years’ experience building brands gave me a unique advantage in the copywriting world.  It’s so obvious to me now, but it wasn’t at all when I started out.

    The other man is one of the top copywriters and direct marketers in alternative health.  He invited me to be his apprentice. I’m now one of about only 20 people who’s had world-class training from him.

    These men were 2 stones in the path I couldn’t have seen, or even imagined earlier.  And because of them, this journey has by far exceeded anything I would have ever dreamed of when I was in the corporate world.  

  3. Every time you feel fear or doubt creeping in, do what it takes to replace it with excitement.  Think of the dream home story. Or imagine you’re holding a wrapped gift that you know you’ll like (you know it’s gonna be GOOD), even though you can’t see what’s inside.

At the end of the day, this is about reframing doubt.  Yes, it takes practice. But it IS possible. And when you do, hang on!  You can’t possibly imagine now the amazing way things can unfold for you.


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