It’s natural for everyone to feel a little self-doubt. Even successful entrepreneurs have moments of sinking confidence when a challenge presents itself. These moments of self-doubt cause more stress and worry and they can come at the worst time, too. No one needs more stress when running a business, so it’s important to recognize when your self-doubt appears. This will allow you to be more confident about your decisions.
Past Mistakes Create Self-Doubt
Our past mistakes have a way of teaching us. They can also hold us back. We become uneasy or avoid situations that remind us of our failures. William Durant, the founder of General Motors, said, “Forget past mistakes. Forget failures. Forget everything except what your going to do now and do it.” His quote is his way of saying that you’ve learned from your failure, so it’s time to move on.
Self-doubt is also a way of beating ourselves up for not taking advantage of new opportunities. Some time ago, Richard Branson, the famous entrepreneur and billionaire, said, “Business opportunities are like buses, there’s always another one coming.” This is a good reminder to stay positive and realistic about your goals, because there will always be another opportunity to come your way.
Another way entrepreneur self-doubt creeps in is when you feel unprepared, either lacking the knowledge or experience to overcome a problem. These situations happen when you’re stepping outside your comfort-zone. It’s a good thing. You may succeed or fail, but what really matters is that you are taking risks that will one day pay off. Your worst enemy in this situation is quitting. “Energy and persistence conquer all things,” said Benjamin Franklin, the famous entrepreneur and statesman. He reminds us to be persistent, even if you have to step away from a challenge, but never give up.
Partnering and Collaborating
Another way to manage your personal moments of self-doubt is to bounce your experience and fears off a trusted associate or colleague. Their feedback gives you an opportunity to reflect upon your own thoughts and actions. You can then change your thinking or feel reassured that your decisions will be the right ones.
One of the biggest companies in the world, Microsoft, wasn’t created in a vacuum or on it’s own. “Our success has really been based on the partnerships from the very beginning,” said Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft. Their partners helped his company become better at what it does and achieve great things.
To find the partnerships that are relevant, you need to create deeper relationships with your vendors or finance people. They can give you a leg up on your competition and keep you ahead of the game. Or, you can find collaborators within your industry that contribute to your success.
How you manage your self-doubt is important. It’s not a one-size-fits-all thing. There are some great suggestions out there on how you can do overcome these moments with growing confidence. The key is to recognize when you have feelings of self-doubt, so they won’t hold you back any longer.
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