It creeps up on you when you are alone. It sneaks behind you when you aren’t looking. It shows up at the most inconvenient times. Self-doubt.
If you know me, you know that I am a big believer in going after you dreams. I enjoy motivating others to take risks and take action for what they want. My handles on both Instagram and Twitter are @ashleymotivates for Heaven's sake. However, the same motivating that give others I recently had to give myself.
You see I work for a wonderful company. I wake up every morning excited about going to work. My time with this company has been filled with exciting moves across the country, dynamic challenges, a variety of positions and a salary that is hard to beat. I thank God for blessing me with this opportunity.
As fate would have it my company laid people off for the first time in over a decade this year. Not having experienced a lay off before I wanted to make sure that I was prepared. I began slinging my resume and cover letter to as many companies as I could. I had a few bites but nothing stood out to me. In pure Ashley fashion, I had to take matters into my own hands.
I have always had a penchant for helping others. Whether they come to me for advice or it happens that we talk and I end up giving them advice, I have a natural propensity for this type of work. In addition to enjoying helping others with life’s problems, I also enjoy speaking. Put those two together and you have an opportunity.
In the age of social media becoming a coach and speaker is easier than ever: build a website, start talking on a few platforms, add value and bam. That is absolutely an oversimplification and it is not that easy but that is the gist of it and that is what I did.
I churned it out hard and heavy. I built my website, learned about SEO, taught myself how to create a Google Analytics footer, explored all of the latest social media platforms, got savvy with web advertising and became well versed with the lingo and the players in the realm of coaching and speaking. When it was all said and done I was working my regular job at previously stated AWESOME company while also working over 40 hours a week on building my own company.
My friends were concerned that I could be violating the company policy on secondary employment. Knowing that I was a single mother and given the current environment of the company they did not want me to risk being walked off of the property because of Code of Conduct violations (integrity at this company is HUGE). So at the advice of my friends I reported my activity.
As a child is called into the principal’s office, I was called into the lawyer’s office (actually it was a meeting room but I really like the parallel of the two). I was in violation. Not because I had started a company but because the number of hours I reported to be spending on my company was quite a lot and they were concerned that it would interfere with what they were paying me good money to do. I could continue my business but had to reduce the amount of time I was working on it to under 10 hours a week.
Wind out. Sail down.
I was devastated. How could something I had been working so diligently on be toppled so quickly. Maybe I wasn’t cut out for it. Maybe it was a sign that it was wrong. Maybe I just needed to stop.
Now the company never said I had to stop altogether, they just said I needed to reduce the hours I spent working on it from 40+ to under 10. I could still pursue my other passion, I just needed to manage it better.
Unfortunately, that is not what my mind focused on. My mind kept going back to “maybe I wasn’t cut out for it.” Self-doubt attempted to sabotage me.
Self-doubt is a crazy minion. It is the ploy the devil uses all of the time to crush dreams and stop Kingdom Building. I am qualified. My experiences make me qualified. My heart makes me qualified. My desire makes me qualified. My ability to communicate makes me qualified. It took me a while to get back to believing these things but I am back and the devil can try to tell me I’m not capable if he wants to, but I know otherwise.
How many times has self-doubt creeped on you? How many dreams have been put to the side because of it? You are capable. You are qualified. You can do it. Tell the devil who you are – a child of God who can do anything.
Ephesians 3:20-21 Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.