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What to Do When You Doubt You Have What It Takes

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I'm Jordan!
...and I wear a lot of hats. I have an obsession with helping other ambitious women achieve their dreams while ditching hustle and prioritizing their well-being. Around here, you'll find tips and tools to help you do just that!
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Have you ever dreamed of doing something only to stop yourself because you can think of ten other women who are doing the same thing – seemingly better than you could do it?

Yeah, me too. I felt this way about before I opened my Etsy shop, before launching a clothing line, when writing my first book, and more. 

This, my dear, is called Imposter Syndrome. It’s essentially doubting you have what it takes to do what you dream of doing. 

Sadly, it’s holding so many incredibly talented women back from making the unique impact they were designed to have on the world. 

And I’m so over it.

Now, I’d love to just tell you the generic stuff you hear everybody say like, “You’re unique and no one can do it like you can!”

While that is 100% true, I know it can be SO hard to believe when you’re straight up doubting yourself and swimming in impostor syndrome.

So I’d rather give you some actionable things you can DO when you begin to have these feelings. 

They all begin with P so you remember them (and because I’m cheesy) but mostly so you remember them. 

1. Practice in Private 

Let’s say, for example, you really want to start a podcast about marriage. But you listen to three great podcasts on marriage already and have no idea how you could possibly measure up. You’ve never recorded your own voice before. You’re only five years into marriage yourself. You don’t think you’re very funny. And tech is so not your strength. 

I get it. It’s all normal to think. But I’m going to let you in on an age old secret that you MUST know before jumping into anything. 

You ready for it? 

The only way you become great at anything is by practicing it.

 Mind blowing, I know. 

Okay, I’ll stop with the sass but I’m emphasizing this because I think it’s something SO many of us forget! 

You are allowed to practice as much as you need to before you ever hit publish. Practice setting up the equipment. Practice recording several episodes without ever publishing them. Allow yourself to create episodes solely as practice episodes. Perhaps allow your closest circle of friends to listen to them and offer their feedback. Then, practice some more.

And guess what? You don’t have to promote or air these practice episodes! You are allowed to practice and get comfortable before the big reveal. 

Think about it. How many basketballs did Michael Jordan shoot in practice before ever becoming Michael Jordan as we knew him? Alone in a gym with no fans or crowds watching him? 

Probably a lot. A lot more than we can even imagine.

He didn’t just wake up one day and become the best basketball player of all time during his first game.

He practiced day in and day out, by himself before ever making a big debut.  

Why wouldn’t you do the same with the dream you want to pursue?

They say practice makes perfect. I don’t know about that. But I do know that practice makes progress.

2. Progress Track

Speaking of progress, I highly recommend that as you’re practicing, whether it’s photography or podcasting or something else, that you track your progress and improvement. 

To take the basketball analogy a little further, let’s say Michael Jordan shot 100 basketballs a day for an entire summer. Perhaps at the beginning of the summer, he was actually making about 30 out of the 100 shots he took. 

If he tracked his progress, he might find that halfway through the summer, he improved his shooting percentage to 37% (meaning he was averaging about 37 makes out of 100 shots). 

By the end of the summer, he might be making half of the shots he took, meaning his shooting percentage went all the way up to 50% – a 20% improvement from all that practice.

Obviously this is a completely made up scenario and the numbers I pulled out of thin air. 

Regardless, I want you to think about your practice this way. If you’re rolling with the marriage podcast example, I want you to set an amount of time that you’re going to practice. 

Let’s say this is 30 days.

In that 30 day window, I want you to plan and record a practice episode.

Edit it and get it ready to listen. Send them to three couples you know and ask them to listen. Then, ask them to give it a grade out of 100 with a brief reason for that score (with the promise that you won’t be offended and that all you will say is, “Thank You” – you want them to be honest so you can improve!).

If one couple gave it a score of 75%, another couple gave it a grade of a 79%, and another couple gave it score of 82%, that means you’re averaging C.

Not bad for starting out, honestly!

Then, set a goal for what you want to be scored before going live. Be realistic. You don’t have to hit 100% A+ as a beginner, but getting that grade up to a 90% or 94% would be pretty solid, wouldn’t you say? 

Take their feedback, record another practice, and make adjustments based on their reasoning for the score they gave. 

Ask them to score that second practice and see if you get closer to your goal. 

Track your progress and once you get the rating you have in mind, you’ll probably feel much more ready to take the next step. 

This can work with anything. If you’re wanting to get into graphic design or start a graphic design business on the side, follow a similar process. 

Make a few practice designs for friends who fit your ideal customer avatar.

Have them grade it. Write that grade down.

Do it again with their grade and feedback in mind.

Have them grade it / give feedback.

Track that progress.

And continue until you’ve SEEN yourself improve. At that point, it’ll be undeniable that you’ve grown and that you’re ready to start putting what you’ve got out into the world.

3. Prove yourself wrong with a Pilot / Beta Version

Did you know hit TV shows like Fixer Upper began with a Pilot Episode? In other words, before fully committing to the show, the network (HGTV in this case) ran a TEST episode to see if it would work and if people would watch it? 

When the pilot episode performed well, they continued with the show and now we all love Chip and Jo. 

But just like Michael Jordan, they didn’t start off like the Chip and Jo we know. They began as regular people who happened to be pretty good at building houses — not necessarily at being television stars. 

If you read their book, The Magnolia Story, you’ll hear about the years of practice in private (aka not on our television screens) they had when it came to perfecting their craft, and about the pilot episode filming. 

Anyway, I share this because after you’ve practiced and tracked your own improvement, I want you to put a beta, or “pilot,” version of what you want to do out into the world. 

In other words, just take the first step and TRY IT. 

Offer it, share it on social media, book your first client, press publish, or whatever that looks like.

Ask for feedback from anyone who checks out what you have or that you work with. 

I’m not saying you’ll have a perfect score across the board but when you take action and just go for it, you’ll usually end up proving yourself wrong. 

You may have a long way to grow to get to where you ultimately want to be but when you practice, track your progress, and take action, you’ll prove to yourself that you DO have what it takes.

You can grow without starting, and if you’re simply not starting because you don’t think you have what it takes to succeed, the best way to prove yourself wrong by STARTING ANYWAY.

Take a little action, give yourself some grace, and remember: you get to DECIDE if you have what it takes.

What decision will you make?

Tell me in the comments below!

 

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  1. Caroline says:

    Loved reading this! I’m starting a blog that will officially go live in about a week. Every day I’ve been excited, but also filled with major self-doubt. But I’m just gonna try this and see where it takes me!

  2. Super encouraging! I’ve had a blog going for about 4.5 months tracking our infertility journey. Some days I question it and feel embarrassed. Today was one of those days so I needed this reminder that I’ve made progress because I started!

  3. B. Campbell says:

    I had a blog with a decent following a few years back. Went to a writing conference to pitch a book with a prominent Christian publisher and was told I had a great story, that they were extremely interested, but I had too few followers on social media. In fact, they said told me to grow my following, put out myself out there more, market myself, and maybe one day my book would be picked up. Self promotion has never been my thing . I walked away, my writing dried up, and eventually I closed my blog. I’ve lost all direction. My closest friends, family, and even random strangers who read some of my personal Instagram posts share that I am a good writer, but that feeling of not being enough, not feeling good enough because I only had such a small following…so hard. How can I can I market and promote myself when I don’t even believe in the ‘product’ I’m selling? So here I am, feeling that nudge to get back up and try again, but I am scared and overwhelmed to start at the very beginning again. Thanks for this article. It has stirred up some things to mull over with the Lord.

  4. Sydney says:

    This blog post was very encouraging! While I am not really pursuing to start any small business or website right now, I find this inspiring for other aspects of my life. As a senior in college, getting ready for the “real world,” your second point about tracking progress really stuck out to me. I have noticed that when I set goals for myself and then mess up or miss a day, I just give up. This “P” will help me keep up with and track progress over a longer period of time. So, when I mess up, I can just pick up where I left off and not just give up! Thanks for this inspo!

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JESUS FOLLOWER, MULTI-PASSIONATE OVERACHIEVER, MENTOR, BESTSELLING AUTHOR, HAPPY WIFE. 

Hi, I'm Jordan.
& I Wear a lot of Hats.

I have an obsession with helping other ambitious, multi-passionate women succeed while ditching hustle and prioritizing their well-being. My days are spent writing books, hosting the SHE podcast, and creating resources rooted in biblical values to help you do just that. Glad you're here!

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