By its nature, business ownership can be a risky venture. It involves committing time, money, and resources to a business idea in hopes of making a difference.
As we expand our continuum of services to small businesses by opening up a co-working and conference space, stepping into my Contribution in the World becomes more important, especially when there are breakdowns. When things don’t go as planned, destructive doubt can creep in and sidetrack even the most experienced entrepreneur.
Destructive doubt is present when you allow the in-the-moment circumstances to affect your commitment to your contribution in the world. With destructive doubt in your head you start to play the commitment game. Competing commitments might sound like this:
I want more business, but I don’t have time to hire anyone else.
It’s better to have a substandard performing employee than to take the time to hire someone else.
I want to have a bigger business, but I want more freedom in my life.
Maybe I shouldn’t start X because I don’t know if it will be successful.
When you take action consistent with the destructive doubt versus your bigger commitment and contribution to the world you start to make assumptions.
You assume that the employee is unable to do the job so you start telling her what to do rather than clarifying objectives, coaching, and training her. You assume creating something better or bigger will mean a lost somewhere else.
Your struggle on the inside will always cause a a ripple effect on the outside. It will show up in the mismatch of business you attract or don’t attract, misaligned marketing messages, employee disengagement, and delayed results.
If you try to build something from destructive doubt, you’re competing commitments cause you to spend a great deal of energy attempting to satisfy each. Managing your business in this cloud of ambiguity is frustrating for you and confusing to your customers and your team.
As a leader, you have a loss of personal power when you allow yourself to take action on your destructive doubt rather than on your Contribution in the World. These doubts create inner conflict. Inner conflict creates stress. Stress amplifies your biological hardwiring.
So, you can see the ripple effect, yes?
The key is to create awareness on and be clear what you are committed to. So when the going gets rough (and it will at some point), you can stay steady and in action with your contribution versus the circumstance.
What commitment will you make today to cast aside destructive doubt and co-create with others consistent with your contribution in the world?