There will come a time when you doubt yourself and all you stand for.
You will think you’re throwing your life away, wonder if you can waltz into that conference room and nail that presentation, and fear losing the client.
If you work for yourself, you will wonder if it’s all for nothing. If you work for someone else, you will fear your boss doesn’t think you can hack it. If you’re a mom, you will ask yourself if you’re a bad mom. If you’re a graduating senior, you will think you just wasted the last four years studying your ass off for the wrong calling.
I can’t predict when these thoughts will surface but I can promise you this: You WILL have them. And there will be someone there to snap you out of it.
Listen to the people who believe you can do it.
Just as you have your family friends, friend-friends, and work friends; I have a mini network of lifelines I refer to as my She-Boss friends. This group is comprised of freelancers, bloggers, photographers, and other entrepreneurs who raised one finger to the corporate lifestyle and tried to make things work.
I phoned two She-Boss friends yesterday asking if I was throwing my life away. This is a regular conversation. The only thing that varies is whose turn it is to talk who off a cliff.
After my friends Nora and Maranie rationalized me out of my micro panic attack, I worked out, ate Indian food, fell asleep while watching TV, and woke up to the following:
I am thinking about the rad people in my life and you are at the top of the fucking list. Do your best to tell the little voice that may speak doubt or fear or say stupid shit to hush. You’re fabulous and you are just where you are supposed to be, doing what you’re supposed to be doing, right in this moment.
I reread Maranie’s texts three times, stopped feeling sorry for myself, and got out of bed.
We do not have the peripheral vision to see our lives the way others see it.
Whatever doubts you have about your life, talents, or ability—no one believes those doubts but you. Everyone around you believes you have your shit together. They know you can walk into any room and OWN it.
When I was in the 8th grade, my track coach told me to listen to my teammates as I ran. His instructions were as follows:
“When the race starts to hurt—and every race hurts—think about each one of your teammates. Think about how badly they want you to pull this off.”
Those words didn’t just change my racing strategy—they changed how I viewed other races. It was visually obvious when a teammate gave up. It was so weird—to sit on the sidelines, with absolutely no control over the race itself, and somehow know better than the girl physically holding the baton that she could have won had she stuck it out.
I carried those words with me for ten years of competing. Every time I doubted myself, I put my trust in the people rooting for me. I remember Drake Relays my senior year of college—one of the last races I ran—thinking about how badly I didn’t want to fuck things up, when my teammate Cambria turned to me and said, “I’m really glad you’re our anchor today.”
I ran the race of my life that day. Because if she believed I could do it, I knew I could.
You might not be in uniform, but there are people in life pulling for you.
These people might be coworkers, friends, or the person spotting you at the gym. They know—better than you, actually—that you can do this. And you need to listen to them.
You need to tell that little voice that may speak doubt or fear or say stupid shit, and tell it to hush. You need to stop listening to that voice, and start listening to everyone out there rooting for you.
When the workout hurts, the proposal is due, the nights are long, or the deal depends on your presentation; which voice will you listen to? The voice whose vision is blurred by confusion and self-doubt, or the multiple voices with a clear picture of your current situation and your ability to overcome it? Those voices know you can do this, as long as you stick it out.
These people are pulling for you. Stop being distracted by your own shit and listen to them for guidance.