Believe it can be done. When you believe something can be done, really believe, your mind will find the ways to do it. Believing a solution paves the way to solution. – David J Schawrtz
As an entrepreneur, you are not alone when you find yourself swamped by self-doubt. It is part and parcel of the process. After all, you have taken the plunge into deep waters, and now, you worry about whether you will sink or swim. So many doubts plague you:
- Am I cut out to be an entrepreneur?
- Do I want to take such a big risk?
- Do I have it in me to stick it out in the long run?
- Have I taken the right decision?
- Do I have the credibility to start a business of my own?
- Am I progressing fast enough?
- Should I have hung on to my job a little longer?
- Should I have left the comfort of a monthly paycheck?
- When will I get a breakthrough?
- Will I be successful?
- Is my idea good enough?
- What if my idea fails?
- What if someone copies my idea?
- How will I manage financially?
- If my business fails, will I get a job?
However, if self-doubt begins to affect your capacity to work and therefore your business, then it’s time for some serious introspection. Yes, you are on a voyage that is uncertain, one littered with challenges. But you would have known that before you embarked on the entrepreneurship journey. So you need to hang in there. If uncertainty is crippling you, here are some tips to face the future and banish that self-doubt.
You are not alone: So many of those who have gone solo are facing problems of varying degrees. Every cloud has a silver lining. Wait for yours!
Set short-term goals: If you find your business unraveling in front of you, pause and rethink your strategy. You know what your long-term goals are. Maybe you need to rework your immediate goals in order to get back on track.
Have faith in yourself: Yes, that’s easier said than done when you are drowning under the weight of challenges. But that is the best way to brush off self-doubt. Remind yourself of all your successes in your previous career. Of everything you have done to build your business step by step. Of the courage it took to take the plunge into entrepreneurship.
Keep the right company: This is very important. If you surround yourself with negative people who discourage you, you are not going to be motivated to move forward. The team you work with also needs to be top notch so that they are of support to you during the rough times.
Stay positive: If you give into your self-doubt, you are setting yourself up for failure. Look at all that is positive around you – be it your product or service and the positive feedback you have garnered for what you are doing.
Forgive yourself: You may have made mistakes on your entrepreneurial journey. Remember: to err is human, to forgive is divine. Almost all entrepreneurs have experienced failure time and again. But the successful ones pick themselves up and keep pursuing their dreams. Tell yourself that you’ve blundered but that’s okay. You will do better in the future.
Break the cycle of self-doubt: If you sit around wallowing in fear, that fear is going to consume you. Distract yourself. Take a break. Go on a vacation. Do something you love. Exercise – it helps to release those feel-good endorphins.
Face your fears: Yes, sit down and face them. What is the worst-case scenario? What can you do about it? There’s almost always a solution. Think practically and see what you can do to extricate yourself from the challenges you are facing.
Get enough sleep: Sleep deprivation only leads to poor performance and more anxiety. As an entrepreneur you may feel that you have to burn the midnight oil, more so if things are going badly. But when you get adequate shuteye, your mind is clearer, you are calmer, and you will be able to find solutions to your issues rather than be plagued by self-doubt and negativity.
Ultimately, you need to eliminate that self-doubt. Negativity can never foster positivity. The more optimistic you are, the better your chances of succeeding. So keep an open mind, do your work diligently, take care of your health and stay positive.