Exactly 5 years ago today I handed in my resignation to my last corporate job. I can remember the day as vividly as if it happened yesterday.

I woke up feeling full of energy and excitement. A giddiness bubbled up inside of me that I could hardly contain. I had been holding in my secret plans for weeks and I was anxious to finally share them.

That’s not to say there wasn’t a bittersweet feeling as well – I knew that in two weeks I’d be saying goodbye to some incredibly talented co-workers, many of whom felt like family. But despite my admiration for my team, it was now impossible to ignore that the time had come for me to take on a new challenge – building my own business. And I was excited for this new adventure into the unknown.

I cranked the radio on my drive to work, singing along at full volume. I practically skipped into the Starbucks en route to grab my daily latte and then pulled into the office parking lot. And then it hit me.

This shit was about to become REAL. All the planning, all the excitement, all fizzled out for a moment as I put the car into park. I stared blankly into the rear view mirror ahead of me with a sudden sense of doubt. Was I really doing this? Was I making a huge mistake? Was I going to let my family down?

And then I pumped my internal brakes and reminded myself that those thoughts were FEAR staring me down, not reality. Self-doubt had crept in at the last second. Thankfully, it didn’t last more than few seconds. As quickly as I acknowledged what it truly was, it was gone.

I’ve learned a lot in 5 years, but the self-doubt creeps in every once in a while. Just this week I was asked to quantify a business goal I wanted to achieve. I immediately knew the answer. And then, before saying it out loud, I paused. I was about to take the number and reduce it by half. That is, to lower my goal by 50%. What if the original number seems
too high and unachievable in their mind? What if I’m completely out to lunch?

And then like that I once again recognized those questions were nothing more than self-doubt creeping in again. I KNEW my answer was high AND achievable. So I said the full number. And their response validated what I knew.

We all have these moments from time to time where our overthinking clouds our perspective of the truth. Sometimes we let other people’s limited views or perceived views fog our reflection of our self in the mirror.

In the last 5 years I’ve had the enormous privilege of meeting some very inspiring entrepreneurs and business leaders along my journey. Their passion, determination and dedication continue to leave me wowed. And yet, there isn’t one that I’ve talked
to that doesn’t from time to time suffer from self-doubt. The seemingly most confident among us, have those moments too.

So whether you’re still in the job you’ve outgrown and thinking about leaving or already taken the leap into entrepreneurship, you too are not immune to self-doubt. It will creep in from time to time and fog the image you see of yourself in the mirror.

Recognize that it’s a normal part of the process. A built in evolutionary mechanism to ensure self-preservation. An internal check-point you can clear if you stay focused on the facts.

You’ve got this.

Now wipe the fog off that mirror.

Nikki Lamb Tudico
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