Weekly-ish notes on navigating big change


Build your business, grow your confidence.


How do I keep my self-doubt from holding me back?
How do I move forward even when I don't feel like it?

These are the questions we all come up against, especially as we start to do something new and challenging, like starting or growing a business based on our creativity.

The answer is: Confidence.

Not “just force yourself to do it.” Not “just wait until you feel ready.”

The answer is: Identify the doubt, build your confidence in that area, and then move forward, bit by bit.

Oh, I know, it's more fun to focus on the tactical stuff, like growing your Instagram followers or learning Periscope, but remember, none of the tactics (and no amount of followers) will matter if you don't know where your business is going; and beyond that, none of the tactics in the world matter if you don't DO them.

When I talk to makers about their businesses (and when I look at my own), what I discover 99% of the time is that we all know a BUNCH of stuff we COULD do, but we feel held back from actually DOING it.

To be totally honest, I know about a million things I could be doing for my business, but I don't do them because… I don't have the confidence.

An example: Recently a friend (who is in the industry and knows a lot of great people) sent me a request from a journalist looking for an expert in exactly what I teach. And I hesitated to reply to it, for over an hour, because I thought: I'm not an expert enough.

I finally did it, but afterward I realized how much a lack of confidence could have cost me in that moment, and how much it's cost me over the life of my business.

I bet, if I asked you to, you could tell me a similar story in your own business, from just this month.

So I ask: What would less self-doubt and more confidence do for your business? How would you act? What would change?

In a recent podcast episode, I lay out 7 ways to defeat self-doubt (and build your confidence), but just knowing these things is different than DOING them. Doing them takes time, and focus, and dedication.

So let's do it, eh?

Let's take the actions, together (because, yeah, I need it too).

Over the next 6 weeks, I'm going to challenge us both to take one action, each week, to move forward, build our biz confidence, and step into our own awesomeness. And I’ll be playing along too, and sharing my own progress.

Here's how it'll work:

Each Monday, I'll post a challenge on Instagram. (Be sure you're following me!) This will be one action you can take during the week, that will build your confidence. When you complete the challenge, snap a picture and share it with the hashtag #bizconfidencechallenge (I’ll also email you this challenge, as I know you may not be on Instagram!)

Each Friday, I'll send a lesson to build on the challenge and explore it deeper. Sign  up here to get them!

I'll post a discussion thread on the Facebook page (be sure you've liked it, and that you like a few posts, so Facebook actually shows it to you!), so that after you've read the lesson, we can discuss your experience with the challenge and what you've learned.

These confidence-building lessons + stories will only be available to email subscribers, so if you'd like to share it with friends, please tell them to sign up here! (And don't forget to sign up for yourself, too!)

Are you in?

Ok! Here are the steps you need to take:

  • Be sure you're following me on Instagram
  • Share this page with your friends
  • Like the Facebook page and join the discussion.Answer the question here: What specific action has self-doubt kept you from taking, in just the last month?
  • Take a picture that represents something you'd do in your biz, if you had more confidence.
  • Share it on Instagram and tag it #bizconfidencechallenge.

Fear + Success: Not Mutually Exclusive

We think that we need to wait to feel fearless + confident before we can pursue our goals + be successful - but that just isn't true. At TaraSwiger.com.


Inspired by your replies to the #BizConfidenceChallenge, today we're exploring the intersection of Fear and Success. We think they're mutually exclusive. We think that we need to wait until we have confidence before we take action. We think that if we feel fear, we definitely won't be successful.


How to listen

Find all the podcast episodes here.

#BizConfidenceChallenge update!

How much would your business grow if you stopped letting self-doubt hold you back from doing what you most want to do? Join me for a FREE 6-week ecourse to build your confidence, crush self-doubt, and grow your business. At TaraSwiger.com/bizconfidence

Are you following along the #BizConfidenceChallenge? I have been blown away by the depth and brilliance of the replies so far. I wanted to celebrate this Confidence Journey we've started together, by highlighting a few of the replies here. You can find more on Instagram here. (If you can't see photos below, you might need to click through!)

If you haven't joined in yet, it's not too late! Just sign up here and reply to one of the past challenges (below) or start with the very next challenge! (You'll get the next lesson on Thursday and the next challenge on Monday.)


Challenge #1 of the BizConfidenceChallenge


Week 2:

Last week’s reaction to the #BizConfidenceChallenge blew me away. YOU have so much to be proud of, you have so much to build your confidence on! So…what’s up with the self-doubt? Why do you doubt you can do awesome things when you’ve already done SO MUCH? Often self-doubt (or lack of confidence) is tied to fear – we hold ourselves back (or think we're not good enough), not because we have any proof, but because we're afraid of … something. When I ask my clients and students what they're afraid of, the answer usually surprises them. (It's easy to let the fear rule you, without ever even knowing it's there!) And yet their answer never surprises me – I’ve either felt it myself, or talked to MANY makers who have! But once they identify the fear, we can work with it. We can question it, challenge it, or just allow it to hang around. (@Elizabeth_Gilbert_writer talks about letting your fear ride with your creativity in #bigmagic). That's your challenge this week: Look at WHAT lack-of-confidence is holding you back from. (Sharing your work? Social media? Sending a newsletter? Hiring help? Taking the next step?) Then ask: What am I afraid of? If I did the thing now, what am I afraid of happening? Finally ask: What's the WORST that can happen if that fear comes true? Could I survive it? And what's the REALISTIC outcome? This isn't (necessarily) going to dispel this fear forever, and that's not our goal. Our aim is to see it for what it is and RECOGNIZE THAT YOU CAN SURVIVE IT. You see, even the most confident, brave people feel fear (of being “found out”, of being judged, etc.). The difference is, they feel confident that they can handle it, and so the fear doesn’t keep them from doing what they need to do. ✨To take part in the challenge: Share a photo inspired by either *What your fear holds you back from doing in your biz *What you're afraid of *Your worst case scenario and tag it #BizConfidenceChallenge! New to the challenge? Learn more and sign up for free lessons in profile!

A photo posted by Tara Swiger (@taraswiger) on

Know some friends who could use a confidence boost?

Share the challenge!

Defeat Self Doubt


Are you NOT working on your business because of self doubt? Do you lack the confidence to take the steps you know you need to take? If so, you are not alone.

“Every time I go to do something, I am stopped by self-doubt.”

“I’m not sure I’m good enough.”

“I’m not big enough for that yet.”

“Oh, they probably won’t accept me, or buy from me, or want my thing.”

I hear this all the time from the makers I work with. This is self-doubt.
And this is a HUGE problem for your business.

In today's episode, I share 6 ways to defeat self-doubt in your business and your life.



How to listen

Find all the podcast episodes here.


Go forward with confidence

This week I worked with an explorer who was struggling to feel confident, in order to move forward and make a map.
She said she wasn't confident enough to talk about her work with anyone, not confident in herself enough to move forward.

And I nodded along thinking, Yes, that's right. Of course you don't.

Because, darling, you don't start confident.

Rarely do I meet a maker who is certain she is smart and capable enough to really, truly do what she wants to do. Oh, we all have moments of hope and inspiration and I can do it!…followed by stretches of Oh Lord, what was I thinking?

Confidence is something you build.
You become confident in your work by making more of it.
You become confident in talking about your work, by talking about it, practicing, learning what your customers respond to.
You become confident in yourself, by doing what scares you, by adventuring forward, even when you're not sure.

Sometimes, the Doing will build confidence all on it's own.
But usually, you have to show yourself what you did. You have to remember that you weren't sure, you tried something, and you survived. (Whether the thing you did succeeded or not doesn't matter. The fact that you tried is all you need.)

I think we look around at our world and we see bloggers blogging, makers making, and everyone selling, selling, selling and we think that it comes so easy for everyone else. That it must just be us that it's awkward for.
But, oh honey, that's just not true.
I have a Starship full of people who, despite being rockstars in their fields, regularly back down from making a clear request, from writing a compelling description, from asking for the sale. They stumble and fumble and doubt. They have total crises of confidences.

So do I. Sometimes, right here, out loud.

That's why I build in weekly yay-ing. Every week we share what went well. Every month we spot what's working. And every quarter we revisit our goals and celebrate the milestones. This way, we can remind ourselves of our boldness and that build confidence.

It's not that the bloggers and makers and sellers are more confident. They are just doing it. (really). They (and you!) build confidence by a steady cycle of doing + rejoicing over the doing.

What can you rejoice in doing, to remember your confidence?


1 2 3 4