How true are the words of Franklin D. Roosevelt, “The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today”. At the early stages of business, entrepreneurs may have several doubts. They are bothered about; if their idea will sell, if their strategy will yield good results, and if the team they’re putting together will perform excellently.
Doubt can degenerate into a type of fear that incapacitates an entrepreneur and consequently stifles the growth of a business.
In the business world, some growing and grown entrepreneurs indicated the negative effect doubt may have on business. Several ideas have died without being put to use, just because the entrepreneur had self-doubt.
Doubt is inevitable, when one decides to take a bold step in the journey of success, there is always a feeling lurking beneath, a resonating voice whispering lot of ” what if”… “What if I fail” “what if things don’t go as planned”. However, do not entertain this feeling and the thoughts that accompany it, because this may hamper the growth of your business. To battle self-doubt, use the five proven tips examined below.
Incorporate short terms goals in long ones
Long term goals are important for every entrepreneur, it’s an excellent way to stay motivated and keep a business growing. However, long-term goals can bring about self-doubt, especially of things aren’t moving as fast as desired. One might start to doubt the eventual realization of such goals.
Instead of working hard and getting discouraged because the actualization of a goal seems far off, break it down into smaller short term goals. For example, in a journey to increase the revenue or awareness of your business, break the big numbers you intend to achieve into small ones—as well as the long periods into small durations. If you intend to have 3000 readers on your blog within a year, break the numbers down to a monthly rate. In that way, you’ll be targeting 250 persons per month. Doing this, the result of your effort will feel more real to you. Even in months when you have an increase of 180 instead of 250, you’ll be motivated to look for ways to improve and keep the number up, instead of being consumed by doubts.
Avoid comparison and don’t try to please everyone
The comments of others can help us improve, especially when such ones are professionals and experienced in the field of our business. However, getting the opinion of everyone you know and making changes based on them is not good for business. As an entrepreneur, trying to seek the validation of friends and family members can be detrimental to the success of a business. The simple truth is, you can’t please everyone. To this end, avoid doubting yourself because of someone’s opinion.
Now, in the aspect of comparison, you need to be careful to avoid self-doubt. You may be familiar with the saying ” comparison is a killer of joy”. Comparing yourself to others can create doubts—making you feel your ideas are not good enough or your team is not working hard enough. In the end, you may start to think of yourself as not good enough, and this may hinder you from being your best self.
On the contrary, instead of comparing, learn from others, and give your business the best you can. Analyze what other businesses are doing better, and if possible, finds ways of incorporating the idea to further improve your business.
Recall the good days
Don’t doubt yourself because of present problems. It’s easy to have doubts when things are not going as planned. No one is happy about setbacks, as humans we want to win, win and win again. The reality of life however dawns on us; inevitable circumstances may arise and lead to drawbacks.
In trying times like this, focus on the success you’ve enjoyed in the past. There are times when things can’t be changed, one has to just cope and leave through it. At such times, brooding or getting overwhelmed with negative feelings will only make matters worse and cause doubts. If you focus on your success, either recently or long ago, it brings not just a smile to your face but also serves as a reminder that you are capable and can still enjoy success in the future.
Move with positive people
The importance of having positive people around you should not be downplayed. Entrepreneurs need to stay positive to keep the business going and growing. Of course, positive people are not the type that chooses to overlook flaws that may cost your business. Instead, while being supportive, and offering motivating words, they also offer business advice in a way that makes you feel you are improving rather than starting to doubt yourself. Such ones are more likely to say; ” You need to improve this and that for the growth of your business” and not ” There is no way you can grow like this if you… (see the difference?) Therefore, choose positive people.
You are not alone
Doubt is not unique to you. Until you meet fellow entrepreneurs like yourself, you’ll never know how much doubt they are battling. When enjoying success, you may start feeling like a demi-god, but when things are a bit of the opposite, or if it comes to making a big business decision, then that god-like feeling may be replaced with doubts.
The key thing to keep in mind is that many business owners like you have doubts, but they do not dwell on them. Rather, they take bold steps, knowing failure is part of life. They learn from mistakes, and this makes them better and more equipped to make future decisions. Simply learn from this, remove doubts, and take bold business steps.
Overall, do not let doubts cripple you. Remember the saying; doubts in your mind are a much greater roadblock to success than obstacles on the journey” (Orrin Woodward). So breathe in the air of confidence, breathe out doubts—with this, you will conquer your fears, and achieve your dreams.