Self Doubt

How to Overcome Self-doubt when starting a business – 8 top tips

When you first start a business, it can feel like an emotional roller coaster, one day you are focussed, inspired, and fully motivated, the next day you can be full of self-doubt, wondering why you thought having a business was a good idea. 

The fact is that most successful businesspeople have experienced self-doubt. It occurs regardless of knowledge, age, gender, skills, or experience.  Even the most confident people have wobbly moments, and they learn to deal with them. 

The challenge is to find ways to overcome these feelings. Here are 8 tips to help you manage self-doubt:  

  1. Know you are not alone. It may seem lonely at times; you have chosen to tread a new road and many of your family and friends may not understand what or why you have made this choice. However, there will be plenty of people who do understand so find some like-minded people to hang out with.


  1. Remind yourself of why you decided to start your business. Did you spot an opportunity, do you want independence and the chance to gain recognition for the work that you do? Did you get fed up with the corporate rat race and decide to seek a more balanced life? What would you be doing if you had not started out on your own? 


  1. Stop worrying about what others might think. While there are times when you need to take the thoughts of others on board, there are also times when you need to block them out. Family and friends can be great supporters; however, they can also try to pass on their own self-limiting beliefs. 


  1. Set yourself some short-term goals. Get some quick wins under your belt, proof that you can do this. Make sure your goals are Smart – specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timebound. 


  1. Surround yourself with positive people. Positive people give off positive energy, plug in and share their enthusiasm. 


  1. Adopt an empowering mantra. Repeating a mantra over and over will help you stay focussed and guide you back to self-alignment. It will affirm who you are and what life is all about. 


  1. Turn your negative thoughts into positive action. Sometimes negative thoughts can become overwhelming, they can be powerful and drag you down. Harness that power, turn it around and use it as rocket fuel to drive you forwards. 


  1. Review your business plan. Did you write a business plan when you first started? Now is the time to revisit it. If you wrote the plan in the early days you will quickly see that things do not always go according to plan, it is to be expected. What you will also recognise is how much you have learned about business since you wrote the plan, how far you have come, what you have achieved so far. 


Don’t let self-doubt get in the way of your success. Decide which of the above tools work for you and use them. 


Find out more about how mentoring can help you with your business


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