We often talk about trusting others; however, how often do we examine whether or not we trust ourselves? In my work with women entrepreneurs, one of the most consistent realizations clients have is that in some areas of their life and business, they simply do not trust themselves.
Imagine a woman entrepreneur who has grown her business successfully over the past five years from a kitchen table endeavour to one that serves a multitude of retailers. An expanded product line, new customers, new marketplaces, and new opportunities have come her way as a result of thoughtful business decisions based on her knowledge of what’s happening with company finances, marketing, and sales – as well as her research and intuition about what is needed in the marketplace. She is an engaged and influential leader in her business and in her field.
Until one day, she needs to make a decision she doesn’t want to make: to lay off a staff person temporarily. The finances tell her that while sales are growing, costs are rising. The company is at a crunch point financially. Her intuition is screaming that this is what she needs to do to keep the business afloat.
And she is devastated. She relies heavily on this employee to keep things on track. She is worried that laying off this staff member will end business growth and the company won’t recover. She questions whether she can do it on her own. Can she invest enough time and energy to navigate this tight spot? Can she grow the business on her own?
What she is forgetting is that for the first five years of her business growth she did it on her own with the help of her family. She has the tools, knowledge, and resources to transition through this crunch phase and rehire her valued staff member.
In situations like this, it’s easy to distrust ourselves as we hone in on the small details (the staff member who has been laid off) that make us feel like a failure. In this case, stepping back and seeing it as a bigger picture – the ongoing successes put up next to the temporary setback – can help identify that a new plan is needed to address the factors that led to the layoff and re-jig things to move ahead.
What might be done differently?
What systems and skills are needed to transition effectively to scale for continued growth?
Who can help her navigate the required changes?
Where might temporary financial support be found to transition through this tight spot?
What is interesting about self-trust is that even when our track record shows that we are good at what we do, that we have what it takes, and that we have proven ourselves over and over…. we still doubt ourselves.
We focus in on what is wrong, rather than looking at the bigger picture and seeing what we have done right, the choices we’ve made that have lead to growth and business development, and our history of learning as our company grows and expands.
When you find yourself in this situation of low self-trust, I’d suggest that you take a step back; look objectively at where you were five years ago; tally up the positives (the decisions you’ve made that have led to personal and professional growth); own what you have accomplished; and trust that you have made the best decision you can with the information and resources you have.
After all, you are the expert in your life and business. Don’t you think it is time to trust your own decisions? If that choice feel awkward and like a step backwards, create a plan to revitalize your business and your life. You’ve got the tools to make it happen!
This blog post is part of a series highlighting the kinds of conversations that are held in the Align Lab program - a partnership between HIP Strategic Consulting and Ears Forward Coaching. This program is about becoming #wildlysuccessful on our own terms. The Align Lab is about learning to say NO to what we don't want in order to achieve what we DO want. Let us help you listen deeply to yourself, practice speaking your truth, and more consciously align your values with your ideal life.