How to Deal with Self-Doubt in Your Home Bakery
How to Deal with Self-Doubt in Your Home Bakery
Do you dream of making home baking your career, but then thoughts like these start flooding your mind…
“People aren’t going to think my baking is worth it. They’re not going to buy it.”
“I don’t have enough knowledge or experience to succeed. I’m not prepared enough.”
“The other bakers are SO good. Why would anyone buy from me if they can buy from them?”
“I don’t have enough confidence to pull off something like this.”
“I’m just not good enough.”
Or maybe you did start a Home Bakery a while back. The first few months it went well, but then sales suddenly started dropping. And now no one is really ordering anymore.
Then a whole range of other thoughts start creeping in…
“I tried, but clearly no one wants my baking.”
“People just bought from me to be nice, but didn’t really think my baking is worth it.”
“The other bakers in my town/city are just better than me.”
Oh my dear friend.
First of all I just want to give you the BIGGEST HUG of all time!
I honestly understand exactly how you feel.
I understand because I struggled with these exact same thoughts for YEARS.
It’s difficult to live under a cloud of self-doubt, insecurity, feelings of inferiority and fearing failure…
But the GREAT news is that there is HOPE!
I promise you that self-doubt doesn’t have to rule your life. It takes some intentional action, but you can quiet down the voice of self-doubt in your Home Bakery journey.
In this post we’ll break down self-doubt. Sometimes with brutal honesty. But please I’m being honest with you because I respect you and care about you.
It wouldn’t be very loving of me to tell you to just “be more positive! You’re awesome!” I’m sure you’ve tried that and know it doesn’t work, right?
We’ll start by talking very honestly about where self-doubt comes from so you can understand how it works. Then we’ll get into some tips and strategies for dealing with self-doubt when it comes up.
Please note: This post has affiliate links. This means that if you purchase some of these products I get a tiny commission – but at NO extra cost to you. I’m super proud to recommend these resources to you because they’ve changed my life.
Let’s do this!
Self-Doubt is Human and Totally Normal
One of the top lies you’ll hear in your head is that you’re the “only one” experiencing x, y and z. And this isn’t just in regards to baking! You’ll experience this lie about pretty much everything in your life, throughout your entire life.
But the truth is that 85% of people on earth experience self-doubt!
So, it’s NOT just you!
Pretty much everyone experiences self-doubt, insecurity, imposter syndrome, etc.
It’s NORMAL to feel these things.
Those bakers who look so confident to you, also struggle with self-doubt. They don’t wake up every morning with radiant confidence! Absolutely not.
They’ve just learned how to understand self-doubt and manage it WELL.
And so can YOU.
I also struggled with self-doubt for MANY years, so I really understand what you’re going through.
Don’t think for a second that you’re alone in this. Because you’re not.
These feelings are natural and totally normal 🙂
Where Does Self-Doubt Come From?
This part might not sit well with you, but I need to share it anyway because it helps to understand WHY we experience self-doubt.
Personally it doesn’t help me if people tell me that “self-doubt is a habit”. Okay sure, but WHY is it a habit? WHERE does it come from?
That’s what I want to know.
I’m a Christian, so I’m speaking from that worldview. You’re welcome to skip down to the next heading if you don’t want to hear it.
The truth is, dear friend, all of us secretly know we’re not enough.
If we truly were enough in ourselves, then we’d just need to hear that once and we’d be able to live fully confident lives after that.
But all of us need to listen to affirmation after affirmation, encouragement after encouragement, quote after quote to try and convince ourselves that we’re “good enough”.
If it were true, we wouldn’t need to try SO HARD to convince ourselves. Don’t you think?
For example, grass is green.
We don’t need heaps of pep-talks and Ted-Talks to convince us of this because it’s TRUE.
So, our bottomless feelings of inadequacy must be something more if we can’t be convinced no matter how many times someone tells us that we’re good enough.
I confess, even I have tried to convince my subscribers of this in the past through emails I sent and Instagram posts I shared.
But Allie Beth Stuckie has challenged my thinking on this topic. Now please note, I don’t agree with everything she says. But I do agree with her on this.
The Bible is the only thing that helps us to make sense of our constant feelings of inadequacy.
Allie wrote an incredibly helpful book called “You’re not enough, and that’s okay.”
Here’s a snippet from the description of the book:
“The truth is we can’t find satisfaction inside ourselves because we are the problem. We struggle with feelings of inadequacy because we are inadequate. Alone, we are not good enough, smart enough, or beautiful enough. We’re not enough–period. And that’s okay, because God is.
The answer to our insufficiency and insecurity isn’t self-love, but God’s love. In Jesus, we’re offered a way out of our toxic culture of self-love and into a joyful life of relying on him for wisdom, satisfaction, and purpose. We don’t have to wonder what it’s all about anymore. This is it.
This book isn’t about battling your not-enoughness; it’s about embracing it.”
This message has completely changed my perspective on self-doubt.
It’s helped me to understand WHY no amount of pep-talks cured my self-doubt and feelings of inadequacy.
And then it was like a MOUNTAIN was lifted off my shoulders! Because I no longer had to battle, tirelessly, every day to overcome my self-doubt.
Through embracing my not-enoughness I feel free because I no longer need to scramble to try and HIDE it. I no longer need to pretend and prove to myself and everyone else that I’m “enough”.
Maybe this offends you because it IS very countercultural.
But I felt compelled to share it because I know for some this is exactly what they need to hear.
How Can I Get Rid of Self-Doubt Forever?
I always believed that I need to be a fully confident, secure, fully prepared, highly skilled, highly qualified person in order to be successful.
(Maybe you believe this too right now?)
But I didn’t have the luxury of “waiting to feel self-doubt free” before I started selling my baked goods. Due to severe anxiety I couldn’t stay in my architectural technologist job. And due to debt, I HAD to find another source of income – immediately.
I was loaded with self-doubt, but I couldn’t wait for that to magically go away.
I HAD to start my business WITH my self-doubt.
Did this self-doubt influence my business?
Did this self-doubt ruin my chances at success?
Not at all.
Here’s the truth my friend; you can’t really “get rid” of self-doubt to the extent that you NEVER experience it ever again. Self-doubt, a lack of confidence, imposter-syndrome (call it what you like) is a human thing.
As long as you’re a living human, you’ll experience these thoughts and feelings.
Pretty much everyone does.
Now here’s a little truth bomb for you: “Feeling nervous (and doubting yourself) is normal. Letting it stop you is a CHOICE.” – Mel Robbins’s YouTube video on self-doubt.
If you’re waiting to feel confident before you start your Home Bakery, you’re going to wait forever.
Your chances at success are infinitely multiplied the moment you start focusing on the things you CAN control.
You can’t control thoughts and feelings of self-doubt.
But you CAN control how you respond to them and what choices you make in reality.
You can feel difficult feelings and TAKE ACTION anyway.
If you haven’t started your Home Bakery because you’re waiting to “feel more confident” or “feel less self-doubt”, you’re actually intentionally making the choice to hold yourself back.
As Mel Robbins said, Feeling self-doubt is normal. But letting it stop you is a CHOICE.
“How do I get rid of self-doubt forever?” is the wrong question to ask. It’s like asking “how do I stop it from ever raining again?”
Because as sure as rain, self-doubt will always come again. Guaranteed.
Here are better questions to ask:
“Is overcoming self-doubt essential for creating a successful home bakery?”
NO, it’s not essential!
“Should I wait for self-doubt to vanish before I start selling my baking?”
Nope because you’ll be waiting forever.
“Can you have a successful business if you struggle with self-doubt?”
YES, you can.
“If I shouldn’t be basing my career decisions on self-doubt, what should I be basing it on?”
This is going to sound too simple, but that’s because it really is simple.
Here’s one of the most important questions I could ever ask you…
What Do You REALLY Want?
It seems like such a simple question, but it’s incredibly important that you really think about this.
No one asked me this question till I was 23 years old.
I was always thinking about what I “should be doing” or about making other people happy with my career choices.
Never, not once, did I think about what I really WANT to do.
And my dear friend Rentia (who has now also broken away from her desk job to make BEAUTIFUL, handmade bags in her business called Rissie) asked me:
“Aurelia, just for a moment, forget about what you should be doing. Forget what your family wants you to do. Even forget the expectations you have of yourself. What do you REALLY WANT to do?”
And I answered her:
“I want to bake.”
I’d never said it out loud before.
And hearing myself say that suddenly brought me clarity.
In the midst of all my self-doubt I knew what I had to do because now I knew what I really wanted.
Maybe no one’s asked YOU this question before.
So, now I’m asking you.
What do you REALLY want?
Do you want to bake?
Do you want to bake as a side business or bake part-time or bake full-time?
What do YOU want?
Write it down for yourself.
And now the trick is to make all your work decisions according to that.
Side Note: I’m not saying “be irrational and selfish, quit your job and let your family go hungry.” Nope. Starting a home bakery is a very safe and gradual journey that doesn’t put your family’s financial health at risk.
RELATED: The Ultimate Guide to Starting a Home Bakery
When I say you need to make all your work decisions according to what you want, here’s what I mean.
When you keep basing your work decisions on where you’re at right now (self-doubt, imposter syndrome, etc.) you’ll remain in these circumstances indefinitely.
But when you start making decisions and taking action according to where you want to be in the future (a successful home bakery owner), then your life will start changing around you. Then you’ll start moving towards that future with every step you take.
Please know that I’m saying all this because I CARE about you…
Thinking about starting a Home Bakery won’t actually make it happen.
Thinking about baking for a living won’t actually make it happen.
Reading is a wonderful thing that can be a great tool for you to reach success. But reading blog post after blog post and book after book and freebie after freebie won’t actually start your business for you.
And waiting for your self-doubt to go away also won’t start your business for you either.
You have a CHOICE here.
What do you REALLY want?
The Practical Side of Self-Doubt and Confidence
Earlier I spoke about the philosophical reasons WHY we all struggle with self-doubt at the core of our beings.
Now let’s talk about practical things like your talents and skills.
Most home bakers believe these are to blame for their self-doubt, and so they wait to become “more skilled” before they dare sell any baked goods.
Truth is, no matter how skilled you become, self-doubt will STILL feature in your life.
I’ve had a successful Home Bakery for over 8 years now, but last week I messed up a carrot cake.
I just completely forgot to add the oil!
And here came self-doubt again: “Nope, you’ve lost it. You were a good baker once, but clearly you’re not anymore. Maybe your carrot cake recipe actually sucks. Maybe you should hang up your apron and give up this baking thing.”
I kid you not!
All these thoughts from ONE messed up carrot cake.
So, don’t count on abilities to save you from self-doubt and then feeling “good enough” to start a home bakery.
Here’s a little quote by James Clear to knock your socks off:
“Lack of confidence kills more dreams than lack of ability. Talent matters—especially at elite levels—but people talk themselves out of giving their best effort long before talent becomes the limiting factor. You’re capable of more than you know. Don’t be your own bottleneck.”
Doesn’t that just HIT you right between the eyes? 😲
You see my friend, we keep making the mistake of thinking confidence needs to come BEFORE we take action.
I thought this too!
For years I longed desperately to have more confidence like some of my friends and heroes did.
I know what it’s like to be 100% convinced that EVERYONE else is better than you are.
It’s a very heavy and dark cloud to live under.
But as I said earlier; by God’s mercy I didn’t have the luxury of waiting to “feel free from self-doubt” before I started my Home Bakery!
I couldn’t stay in my architecture job unless I continued to use strong anxiety meds (which I really didn’t want to commit to).
The ONLY option was to start my home bakery WITH all my self-doubt and my super limited, unqualified, inexperienced baking skills.
And do you know what happened?
Over a number of years and hundreds of bags of flour I’ve come to understand that confidence does NOT come first at all.
Confidence is pretty much like a fruit on a tree. It’s a sweet end-result.
🍎 Confidence is the FRUIT, not the seed.
🌟 The SEED is taking action.
And if you suck at new things right now, that’s fine! At least it’s ACTION.
“Take messy action!” is what Jasmine Star always says in her motivational speeches.
You can only become a confident driver if you TAKE MESSY ACTION and get in the car – often – to drive.
You can only become a confident swimmer if you TAKE MESSY ACTION and get in the water to swim.
And in the exact same way you can only become a confident baker & business owner if you TAKE MESSY ACTION and bake things and sell them to people.
ACTION comes first and then confidence inevitably & automatically blooms over time.
So, if you truly desire confidence, then don’t prioritize confidence.
Prioritize TAKING ACTION and confidence will inevitably follow over time!
Final Thoughts on Self-Doubt
Don’t take your self-doubt thoughts and feelings so seriously that they stop you from doing what you REALLY want to.
Remember; self-doubt is normal, but letting it stop you is a CHOICE.
The more you bake for people, the less self-doubt you’ll experience. The more you bake and sell things, the more confident you’ll become.
If I waited for self-doubt to vanish before I started my Home Bakery, I would’ve STILL been waiting today!
Overcoming self-doubt is NOT a requirement for success, so don’t make it one.
What do you REALLY want?
Feel all the self-doubt and TAKE ACTION ANYWAY!
“I want to TAKE ACTION! What do I do next?”
Awesome! I couldn’t be more proud of you!
🌟 If you haven’t started your Home Bakery Business yet, a great place to start is to read this blog post >> The Ultimate Guide to Starting Your Home Bakery.
And if you’ve started your Home Bakery, but kind of stagnated, then there’s something else you need to know.
It’s frustrating and confusing when clients don’t order anymore. I get it because I’ve literally been where you are right now.
But don’t lose hope my friend, because here’s the big secret…
🌟 The best products don’t get the most sales. The best MARKETING gets the most sales!
I always tell my Home Bakery Students a successful Home Bakery is 30% great baking and 70% great BUSINESS STRATEGY.
That explains why bakeries with average quality baking often get MOST of the sales!
Sure, their baking doesn’t taste as great as yours, but they’re ACING that 70% Business Strategy – and that’s why they’re getting sales consistently, without fail.
If you’re serious about making a profit with your home baking, you can’t afford to NOT learn about business & marketing.
The GREAT news is that ANYONE can learn marketing! It’s not something you’re “born with” or not.
If you’re open to learning new things, you can also become a marketing ninja!
👉 So, go read this Blog Post >> The 4 Essentials of Home Bakery Marketing
If You Enjoyed This Post, You’ll Also Enjoy:
🌟 How to Overcome the Fear of Failure in Your Home Bakery
🌟 How to Know if You’re READY to Start a Home Bakery