How to get past self doubt in your business
You must know the feeling – something really exciting, really big (however you define that), really important is about to happen. Maybe you’ve been given an amazing opportunity, been asked to make your first wedding cake, had a really tricky order placed. Half of you feels like dancing around in happiness, the other half feels a sinking feeling in your stomach and starts to panic.
Self-doubt can suck the fun out of the best opportunities for you and your business, but it doesn’t have to. For me, this is a story of two halves, both of them to do with baking, and I’m sharing it with you in the hope that it’ll help you to overcome feelings of self-doubt for your cakes and cake business or baking blog, too.
PART 1: The Fraisier Cake
I spent my youngest years living in France with an amazingly authentic little patisserie just down the road (it’s still there today!) so French baking has always had a special place in my heart. I love the flavours, the designs, the intricacy. After it made an appearance on the Great British Bake Off a few years back, my mind was made up: I was going to make a Fraisier cake.
It was my first time with whisked sponges. My first time with crème patissiere. And I dedicated an entire day to making it. That’s a pretty hefty emotional and time investment and boy, did I feel it.
I had nervous butterflies in my stomach virtually all day, felt myself getting flushed and nervous while whisking the crème pat, and I hadn’t even got to the part where I removed my Fraisier from the tin and crossed all my fingers it was set!
And then… it worked! I quite literally cried (no judgment, please!) I was so happy and so relieved. I shouldn’t have spent the day with my stomach doing knots thinking I would fail, because I could do it and I did. It felt so empowering and was an amazing moment to present my finished Fraisier to my family to share.
The proof, they say, is in the pudding, and this was very delicious and very dainty proof that I shouldn’t doubt my baking abilities – and neither should you.
PART 2: My first national client
This one relates to writing for cakes, rather than making them, but it’s the same principle. Earlier this year, I had a terrifying yet wonderful phone call with my first national cake client. I pitched them my writing services to fill their website with winning content to help convert bakers into members and persuade customers to buy. I gave them my prices.
Even as I was saying it, I questioned whether I had priced myself too highly to be hired or too low to be taken seriously (how I managed to worry about both things at once I’ll never know!), but they said yes. They hired me. It felt amazing. Even then though, I still felt nervous that my words wouldn’t be good enough (pretty silly, considering I’m a journalist working across print and online by profession).
And, just like the Fraisier cake, I shouldn’t have doubted myself. I received feedback I was thrilled with and I gave the cake client what they wanted. I did a good job!
I hope that both these stories will help you to keep your niggling doubts at bay. Whether it’s to do with your cake making and decorating skills or your pricing and business tasks, self-doubt can often unnecessarily creep in, just like it did for me. Push past it, focus on your goals, know what you’re capable of and work hard to achieve. That stomach churning feeling can be a thing of the past sooner than you think.