12 tips to combat self doubt in the fashion industry
Self doubt has got to be one of the biggest things that hold us back as creatives.
It can block all your creative flow as these thoughts have the ability to take over and override any positive ones
Your brain is wired to look out for danger and keep you safe, so to try something new or pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone feels really scary!
Therefore to reach those ‘scary’ places in life, you have to go against that primal instinct in order to succeed
When I left my job to work independently, it went against every single logical thought in my brain, these were a few of my thoughts…
You should count yourself lucky to have a well paid job that you enjoy, why are you giving it all up?
People would love to have your job and you’re not grateful for what you have
You won’t make any money on your own
Nobody will know who you are
You’re too young to be starting out on your own
Who do you think you are giving people advice
I mean… how horrible is that?
After going to the ‘How to Crush the Can’t in your Head’ workshop with Sophie French, I learnt to abandon all those thoughts and show myself some respect.
I trusted my gut instinct (which has never let me down in the past) that it was the right time to leave the job as I was in because it was no longer challenging me.
I’ve been in the industry for over 10 years & I have a wealth of experience that I want to start sharing with independent brands and designers just like you!
Last week I met up with Sophie again & it inspired me to write this piece about how to combat self doubt in the cut - throat world of fashion
The fashion industry can be an intimidating world that is very fast paced and competitive.
With this competition comes bitchy behaviour and a drive to succeed that can turn ugly - trust me, I’ve been on the receiving end!
If you’ve had your confidence knocked by someone, it has probably led to a negative thought process in your mind
The good news is that with dedicated practice, you can replace negative thinking patterns with thoughts that actually help you achieve your goals, whilst making a huge difference in your confidence & overall happiness.
So here are some tips I have used in the past that I hope you find helpful too!
Write down the thoughts and then read them out loud
Your internal dialogue is way more mean than the ‘real’ you so get the thoughts out of your head and into reality
When you read them out loud, you’ll be shocked at how mean they are!
Then think to yourself … ->
Would you say these things to a child?
If the answer is ‘absolutely not because they would cry & have a melt down’ then you probably shouldn’t be saying them to yourself
Treat yourself with some respect and compassion & also… be patient!
If you have failed to achieve something once, give yourself the permission to try again
A child doesn’t miraculously learn to walk the first time, they fall over & try again. We then congratulate them once they achieve their goal - I want you to do the same for yourself.
If you’re learning to do something new, appreciate that it can take time & practise but keep going
Be kind to yourself & persevere
Write down the facts & evidence that support this theory
Now I’m not talking about how you feel or why you think these things are true; it is physical evidence that proves 100% that your thoughts are correct
The likelihood is that you’ve made it up and trained yourself over the years to think that specific thought
The good news is that if you can make yourself think negatively, you can also train yourself to replace those thoughts with more positive ones!
If you have some evidence that you have failed at something in the past, this doesn’t mean that you can’t succeed at it in the future
Say ‘stop’ each time you hear it coming back & acknowledge what is being said
Instead of pushing your negative thoughts out, you need to acknowledge them and then release them
This is a much calmer process than having a battle inside your mind
When they come back (which they will, out of habit), acknowledge that they are still coming and release them again
Be strong and tell them what they need to do – keep moving along
You don’t need to try to wrestle them out of your mind, you simply let them go on their way
Write down the total opposite of your negative thoughts from ‘tip no.1’ & make that your goal
Using one of mine as an example: Nobody will know who you are
The opposite: Everyone will know who you are
The goal: Be known as the friendly face of fashion that helps people in the industry thrive & grow with their independent clothing business
What smaller steps can you take to break it down & start achieving today?
Put myself out there by emailing some fashion podcast hosts
Interact on social media with my followers for 30 mins a day
Post helpful tips on my website regularly
Grow my newsletter email subscriber list
Now visualise the experience you want to reach in regards to that goal/situation
Create a mental visual film of how you picture that goal/situation ideally turning out in the future
Notice the sounds, conversations, visuals, smells and details of that mental movie & replay it over and over again in your head & you will start noticing opportunities arising to bring yourself closer to that goal
Get out and surround yourself with people who make you feel good
Sometimes it is simply a case of spending too much time alone and over- thinking a certain situation
Be mindful of who you choose to follow on social media and how certain friends make you feel
Make positive choices about how you spend your time and with who!
Join some Facebook groups
Since starting my business, these have been a game changer in combating those feelings of being ‘alone’ or not good enough
There are plenty of creative people in there who are cheering you on!
It’s a safe environment to speak to people who are in the same boat as you!
Here are a few of my faves!
The Coven by Sapphire Rutter (this is a paid for facebook group but all the below are free)
What can you do to stop that feeling again?
Usually when I get a wave of self doubt, it’s because I’ve never done it before or I have failed at trying something similar in the past
So I challenge you to think about the ways to stop that feeling coming back & tackle it head on!
Eg. If you’re scared of presenting to large crowds, perhaps you could try out a course & you might meet people who also have the same fear?
If you’re worried about money and finances, is it worthwhile speaking an accountant to help you make things things clearer?
This is so easy to say and so hard to do but I’m begging you to try!
Lucy Sheridan is the world’s first comparison coach and I love that she has found a niche service that so many women can benefit from
Check her out if this is something you are struggling with, she’s super positive & will get you focused on your own dreams rather than wasting time worrying about people!
Lean on my confidence in you to get you through the wobbles safe in the knowledge what you are building with me is truly incomparable and will ooze with the cool appeal others could only dream of.
Commit to documenting 3 positive things a day
This is the 1 new year’s resolution I have EVER stuck to & I can honestly say it has only attracted more good things to come my way
Don’t get me wrong, there are some days where I really struggle but then I’ll have a real good think and appreciate the smaller things
Some examples are:
It was sunny when I woke up
I treated myself to a fancy green smoothie
I am well and healthy
I washed my hair
My friend bought me dinner
I had a great chat with my mum over the phone
I received a client enquiry for new work
I drank 2 litres of water
I did 10,000 steps
What could yours be today?
Remind yourself of your previous successes
These can be literally anything!
If you find yourself saying ‘I will never lose weight’ you are acting as if you have no control over your actions
Never say never & put a ban on over-generalised words
A lady I know recently won a competition to attend a workshop and she said ‘I never win anything’
I told her that she won’t be able to say that anymore because she won the spot to be there!
Be mindful of what you’re saying to yourself because a lot of the time it simply isn’t true & your brain doesn’t always know that!
Remind yourself of all the good things that you’re good at no matter how small!
Here’s 3 things I’m good at:
I’m really good at cleaning the sink and I make my boyfriend appreciate it & tell me how shiny it is! Haha
I’m also good at drinking a lot of water (most of the time)
I feel confident speaking to the camera on insta stories
Email me yours & I’ll share them on my stories! Don’t be shy, I really do want to know all the things that you’re good at! :)
Remember that even baby steps are still moving you forwards, no matter how small!
Consistent action will keep you on track towards your goals so whatever you do… don’t do nothing!
Gain some perspective by getting outside
This is similar to number 6 but I’m talking about getting out into nature
Whether you live in a village or a city, try and find a peaceful spot; I love to be by water to relax so I go for a walk around the lakes near me
Leave your phone at home and get some perspective on the problem or issue you’re facing
Sometimes I’ll take a notebook with me as I LOVE notebooks
(I once had a part time job in paperchase for 2 WHOLE weeks and spent every single penny I earned in the shop)
Jot down all the thoughts that pass through your head; I can honestly say my best ideas have come to me when I’m away from my phone!
So that’s all the tips I try out but if you’re still struggling, please get in touch here and book in a free 30 minute discovery call
I started this business as I know a lot of creative women work alone & to be truly creative, you need to bounce ideas around with someone who gets it!
If your boyfriend / girlfriend, mum or dog is sick of listening to you then I’d love for you to drop me a line & we can have a discussion about your ideas / range building / sketches / colour palette / branding / competitors / customers
Look forward to hearing from you soon!