How to Overcome Self-Doubt as an Entrepreneur

entrepreneurshipI can almost guarantee that there is not ONE entrepreneur out there who hasn’t experienced a bout of self-doubt at one time or another. Everyone, no matter how successful or confident they are or may seem, has faced moments of second-guessing themselves or their decisions.

Let’s face it, starting a business can be stressful and downright frightening. You are putting yourself and your ideas on the line, which is certainly enough to make anyone feel vulnerable and nervous. You may wonder if people will want to purchase your product or service. You may ask yourself if you are actually destined for entrepreneurship, or if it’s just some crazy dream you’ve concocted. You may worry if you’ll even be able to stand a chance against the competition. Sound familiar? I’m sure you may be questioning if there’s even a way you can overcome these nagging feelings of self-doubt. I’m happy to tell you that there is.

The following are tips that I like to share with new entrepreneurs, especially when they are experiencing these feelings of self-doubt.

1. YOU’RE NOT ALONE

Remember once again that everyone has experienced self-doubt. You are certainly not the only one who has felt the way you do. I’m positive that even those extremely successful entrepreneurs we all hear about on the news, still suffer from self-doubt. But they’ve learned how to overcome these negative feelings, which is why they are so successful today. Keep this in mind the next time you are doubting yourself, as knowing you aren’t alone can be a huge source of motivation.

2. DON’T WORRY ABOUT WHAT OTHERS THINK

When you are constantly worrying about what others think of you, your feelings of self-doubt will continue to increase. The truth is, everyone is so caught up in worrying about themselves and their own lives that they don’t care about what you do. Stop worrying about others and start realizing your own true potential.

3. EXPECT THOSE FEELINGS OF SELF-DOUBT

Realize that self-doubt is normal. Don’t be troubled when it happens to you, as it can affect even the most seasoned and successful entrepreneurs. Being aware of and expecting those feelings of self-doubt will help you overcome those negative thoughts faster and with greater confidence.

4. STOP BEATING YOURSELF UP

As an entrepreneur, it can be all too easy to beat yourself up, especially when you are experiencing business failures. While being your harshest critic can encourage you to try even harder, it can also be detrimental if you aren’t careful. Quit beating yourself up because you don’t think you are good enough, and instead make a greater effort to be kind to yourself. Positive self-talk will help you become more confident and you’ll be more likely to succeed in the end.

5. BUILD YOUR INNER CIRCLE

Feedback from your friends and family can help you to improve, but it can also make you doubt yourself. Even if it’s well-intentioned, constructive criticism can influence your negative thoughts. Instead of isolating yourself completely, which tends to be where self-doubt thrives, find your inner circle of 2-3 people. Include people in your inner circle who can relate to you and understand the industry you are working in. These are the people who will be able to offer you support and can provide you with helpful tips and strategies for moving forward with your business.

6. JUST GET STARTED

Every entrepreneur has that one voice that is encouraging them to stop doubting themselves and keep moving forward with their dreams. After all, why else did they decide to leave their 9-5 job behind? But, sometimes this motivation can get stifled. If you’re worried that your work isn’t good enough or it needs to be perfect, you will never get started. It’s easy to want to edit and revise over and over until your work has achieved pure perfection, but if you get trapped in this cycle then you will never get going. Stop holding back, and muster up the strength to take that first step. Once you get started, you’ll never turn back!

I’ve noticed that many entrepreneurs have the desire to find perfection. But perfection isn’t attainable. It just isn’t. You are going to fail. Maybe once, maybe twice, maybe thousands of times. If you are afraid to failure, you will never ever move forward. Start pushing yourself, even just by taking baby steps, and eventually you’ll realize what you are actually capable of achieving.