Do you ever wake up feeling this way?
I have. I think it’s safe to say that it comes with the territory of working for yourself, which I have been doing since my junior year of college, roughly six years ago.
For me, it usually happens about once a month. For that one day, everything I’m working towards feels pointless. During this time, my choice to create my own path seems batshit crazy and futile.
Some call this an existentialist crisis. Others call it your inner critic. Whatever it is, it happens to all of us, whether we work for ourselves or someone else.
It’s OK to have days like these. In some ways, they remind us that we’re all human. We all doubt why we’re doing what we’re doing.
The most important thing to remember during these moments is that they will pass. When these feelings of doubt creep into your consciousness, just keep working. I’ll repeat:
Just. Keep. Working.
Others may say the exact opposite. They suggest taking time off or switching modes to avoid burnout.
I’m sure this works for some people, but personally, momentum can make or break me. I am self aware enough to know that if I take time off, I will become complacent and less likely to work through the problem at hand.
Either way, the worst possible result is to let self doubt turn into fear. Once it does, it will paralyze and stop you from taking action. This is the perfect time to turn your work into a productive distraction.
Whenever this “time of the month” rolls around, I tend to save work that is less ambiguous and has more of a direct result.
Instead of working on long term work (market research, financials, finding a cofounder), I use short term work (social media engagement, branding assets, app screens) as a way to work through this self doubt.
These may not be the most urgent tasks, but they have short term results that will give me the boost I need to overcome my self doubt. Once I’m out of the woods, I can refocus on the tasks that will make more of a long term difference.
In the end, momentum makes a difference. Use it to your advantage.
How do you work through self doubt? I’d love to discuss different ways to help others. Leave a comment below, reach out to me on Twitter at @williamfrazr, or shoot me a message. You can also find out more about Metamo and our first product, Collide.
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