Self-doubt can make progress stagnant and crush dreams. Whether you’re a best-selling author, an experienced doctor, or a world-renowned singer, we all at times doubt our abilities. Therefore, it’s no surprise that as we embark on a new project, the fear of failure and feelings of imposter syndrome are more exaggerated than ever. Am I going to be good enough? Will I be exposed as a fraud? How about if I fail? These are the sort of questions that constantly popped up in my mind when I launched my proofreading and copyediting business.
In addition to this, new projects for most people begin as side hustles. This means that we are trying to build and grow a project, whilst we are either working full-time or often taking care of children. This is how it began for me. I took the first step to become a Muslim editor whilst being the primary carer of my six-month-old baby; therefore, any progress that I made was often done in small bursts. I was never able to dedicate large portions of my day to my new work.
All of these feelings of self-doubt and the reality that progress will not always be noticeably apparent, taught me that my mindset was going to be a make-or-break for me. Thus, I began shifting my expectations of myself and started learning new ways of thinking.
Five Cornerstones Of Mindset That I Have Developed:
1. Prayer: this is by far the most important to me. As I start something new, I try to ask Allah to put blessings in it and grant me openings. I try to continue asking God for assistance and thanking Him when things are going well, but also when a task is challenging for me.
2. Think of the future: this is something that I learnt from my proofreading and copyediting mentor. I like to envision how my life would be if I am to succeed in my goals. I think of the everyday things, like what my daily routine would be like as a Muslim editor and also the more general aspects, such as more financial freedom. I do this regularly as it helps me stay motivated.
3. Remember that progress is in the small but regular efforts: as I’ve already touched on, I know that as a stay-at-home mom (who can only dedicate a small portion of my day to work), I may not be able to see progress straightaway. However, when I look back after a period of time has passed, I realise that the small daily to-do lists that I have completed have equated to, for example, a finished website.
4. Be prepared for roadblocks: it is never plain sailing when starting something new. You are forced to push your limits and learn new skills; some of which may take you days to learn. When starting on my website, I had no knowledge whatsoever on how to build a website. Learning how use the different tools on the website platform took me days, but I am thankful for the time and effort that I took to learn these skills.
5. Remember to take a break when you need one: the unfinished chapter will still be there when you return. Do another activity and then come back with a clear mind. Setting a colour theme for my brand was not an easy task for me. Looking at so many different colour combinations was driving me crazy, so I took a break and when I picked it up the next day, it was easier to approach the task with more clarity.
I hope these cornerstones of my mindset are of some benefit to you; for me they have worked and I still hold true to them today. As I continue building this business, I know that there is plenty still left for me to learn. However, I can now say proudly, that this brings me a whole lot of excitement and a smaller amount of anxiety than it previously did!