Dealing with Self-Doubt for Small Business Owners

Self-doubt is something that every entrepreneur, small business owner, or consultant experiences.  And it’s not something anyone should be ashamed of. 

Dealing with self-doubt constantly can bring about a paralyzing effect on your ability to succeed.  And so, it’s vitally important to figure out how to work through feelings of self-doubt in a healthy way.  You don’t want to get caught in a continuous cycle of fear, anxiety, and frustration when ugly thoughts like, “Is this good enough?”  or “Do people even care?” fill your mind.

Instead, you need some tools to help you overcome self-doubt.  Learn to rise above the fear and doubt and develop some key habits that will help you keep a more positive state of mind!

Overcoming Self-doubt Like a Boss

Overcoming self-doubt is a process, not an event.  It’s going to be a journey that you’ll be on for a long time.  Because of this, it might be easy to give up and start giving in to the vicious cycle of doubtful thoughts.

Don’t do that, though!!  Don’t give up.  Keep pressing on and rising back up when you do fall down.

Here are some ways to process self-doubt:

Live (and Work) by Your Values

Don’t forget your why.  When you catch yourself worrying if your clients will come through and buy your products, or if you’ll have enough people participate in your challenge, or…whatever you’re worrying about RIGHT NOW, stop and think about your why.

Why are you doing this?  It’s because you have something important that you want to accomplish, right?  It’s because you want to lift the financial burden on your family, or because you want to give your children something extra, or because you are passionate about helping other people.

Yes, you want to make money.  But that shouldn’t be your driving force.  Remember why you started your business, and remember the values you have invested in.

Seek Inspiration

When you’re feeling overwhelmed, it’s soooo important to stop for a little while and do something inspiring and freeing.

Read a book, watch a show.  Go to the zoo with your kids or spend the afternoon at a coffee shop with a good friend.

Whatever inspires you and recharges your batteries, do that.  It’s different for every person, so the important thing is to figure out what works for you.

And, don’t feel guilty about it!  If you need to put aside some things until the next day or even the next week so that you can take a breather and refresh yourself, then do it.  I promise the world won’t fall apart, and you’ll be stronger and ready to get back to business when you return!

Accept Your Feelings

It’s okay to feel all the things.  Good feelings and bad feelings are a part of life and a part of running your own business.  When self-doubt and other negative feelings strike, acknowledge them and accept that they are a part of the process.

Don’t stay in the negative, though.  Sit down and acknowledge the things that are bothering you, then ask yourself what you need to do to make things better.


Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

I mean it.  You are you.  No one else can be you.  And you can’t be anyone else.  What you have is special and unique, and it’s what makes your business work.

So, what if Sarah does things a little different than you do?  So, what if Nicky makes more money than you do?  So, what if Danielle’s brand colors are brighter than yours?  So, what?

This brings us back around to one of my favorite branding tips: brand YOU, not your company.  There might be a thousand other people selling the same thing you are, but there is no one else out doing it just like you.

You can fill a need that no one else can if you’ll just be yourself!

A Last Word

Be authentic. 

Be real and transparent.  When things don’t work out the way you’d hoped, don’t try to pretend like everything is all right.  Instead, allow yourself to share your struggles and become vulnerable to those who matter most.

Self-doubt likes to strike at those times when things aren’t exactly the way we think they should be, and those are the times we most need the support of those around us.

Don’t isolate yourself from your friends, family, or your clients.  We all need each other, and encouragement and the strength to keep moving forward comes from the important relationships around us.

Do you need a place where you can find encouragement, accountability, and the tools you need to succeed with your business online?  Join me in the #ThinkSocial Society.  I’d love to hear your story and help you with your online business journey!

Self-doubt is one of those emotions that every business owner deals with at one time or another.  It's especially hard for entrepreneurs to overcome because we so often feel alone.