The greatest threat to the entrepreneurial spirit isn’t a slow economy or lack of funding but, rather, the self-doubt within the entrepreneur. Fear and doubt are the biggest killers of dreams everywhere in the world. The most innovative ideas never see the light of day because a person somewhere isn’t sure it will succeed or is too afraid to try.
Entrepreneurship is one of the most difficult careers, and at the same time, entrepreneurs are the most resilient people. One of the toughest battles you will fight as an entrepreneur is with your mindset. Here are some ways to overcome the self-doubt that threatens to sabotage your business.
- Remember your reason
Why did you quit your job or leave a seemingly great career to start your business? What did you want to achieve? What do you see when you close your eyes and envision your business as a success? Take your time and answer all these questions, no matter what type of business you want to build.
If your business deals with graphic design or printing, for example, you can download Photoshop and start to streamline your workflow.
- Look at what you have achieved so far
Doubt and fear are born from negative thoughts. For example, your financials aren’t looking good, so you suddenly imagine the worst-case scenarios. What if you can’t pay salaries and have to liquidate and declare bankruptcy?
When you start feeling like you won’t make it and your stress levels hit an all-time high, take a step back and reflect on your achievements. Look at all the obstacles you overcame to get where you are now, and you will be able to see your current situation for what it is, another obstacle to overcome.
- Stop comparing yourself
Considering the social media-obsessed world we live in, this may not be easy to do. We often question our abilities when we see someone else doing better than us. In that situation, remember that you don’t know that person’s true journey and what they have gone through to be where they are.
It’s like watching a duck glide effortlessly on top of the water and not seeing the work done by the legs beneath. You are unique, so your journey will never be the same as someone else’s.
- Use past mistakes positively
One of the doors that self-doubt uses to enter the entrepreneur’s mind is the door of past mistakes. Mistakes are valuable in business because they show what doesn’t or could work better. But doubts creep in if you constantly focus on previous failures. You may lose confidence and conviction to move forward.
The founder of General Motors, William Durant, advises entrepreneurs to forget about their past mistakes. So basically, once you’ve learned all you can from that mistake, let it go and move on.
Self-doubt is normal; you will encounter it a lot in your journey of entrepreneurship, but instead of letting it paralyze you, use it for good. Double-check your data, do more research, and collaborate with others.
Sometimes, doubt is nature’s way of telling something might be wrong. You might have to step away from a challenge or let a certain opportunity pass you by, but whatever you do, don’t give up. Remember, there are others who are watching and learning from you; do it for them.