An unshakeable level of self-belief is a common characteristic I've noticed when working with successful entrepreneurs, many have held a strong belief in themselves and their business that they will accomplish their end goal no matter the time, energy or sacrifice required to do so.
Richard Branson, Steve Jobs and Oprah Winfrey are just a few examples of successful individuals who maintained enough belief in themselves and their visions to get up again and again no matter what failures or setbacks they experienced along the way. Maintaining faith in our ideas and abilities is what determines whether we continue to move forwards with our dreams or arrive to the conclusion that entrepreneurship is not for us.
When building a business, possessing qualities such as perseverance, determination and resilience are helpful, but how can we battle on when doubtful thoughts takeover, causing us to question our abilities and lose sight of the big picture?
Here are my top 6 ways to power through doubt:
1) Keep A Learning Log
Sometimes we can be our worst critics and choose to focus on our losses instead of our wins. We can get so consumed with the end result that we forget about all of the things we've achieved along the way. Keeping a monthly or yearly learning log helps you to keep track of your progress. At the end of your chosen timeframe, acknowledge your experiences both good and bad along with the lessons you've learnt along the way and note them down. When you get into a habit of reflecting on your accomplishments and your experiences, not only are you aware of how much you've evolved you're also reminded that bigger things can happen in the future.
2) Address Limiting Beliefs
A positive belief helps you to move towards your potential and a limiting belief can move you away from your potential, whichever you choose determines the direction of your success.
Write down at least three limiting beliefs you hold which could be blocking you from success.
E.g. 'I don't have enough knowledge or experience, other people are more qualified than me'
'There are so many people already doing what I'm doing what makes me different?'
'I'm not good enough'
Challenging your limiting beliefs helps you to become aware of how they're holding you back and stops them from having so much control over your actions. Limiting beliefs can be disempowering and it's only when you recognize the undercurrent that's halting your progress that you can start moving again. Writing down your beliefs helps you to identify whether it's a limiting belief or a skills/training issue. Enlisting the services of a life coach is a great way to get clear on the beliefs you currently hold, map out a way to move beyond them and bridge the gap between where you currently are and where you want to be.
3) Ask Questions
Obstacles can stop us dead in our tracks but successful people find a way through it, knowing the journey isn't always going to be plain sailing. Taking time out to ask the right questions can stop us from falling at the first hurdle and overcome any perceived barriers to success, simply asking HOW questions automatically gets your brain ticking for a solution. Choosing to work with a mentor can provide you with an opportunity to ask for advice from the right person bounce ideas with someone who has already walked your path and benefit from their knowledge. A mentor can help you to get clear on your next steps forwards, turning your obstacles into solutions.
4) SWOT SPOT
Gaining confidence in your abilities requires you to investigate not only the strengths and weaknesses of yourself but also of your business. Creating a personal SWOT analysis gives you a clear understanding of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats you're working with, putting you in a strong position to overcome them. When you're clear on what's needed to support you and your business you can take the relevant actions to move closer to your goal. Do you need to up-skill? Do you need to delegate the task to a professional to save you time? Do you need to get more research on what the market wants so you can tailor your product or service to their needs? Taking time to review your skills, your market and the needs of your business is what helps you to feel secure in your decisions and more confident about your choices.
5) Right People
Keeping the right people around can help you to reach the vision you hold for your business. When you have star players on your team not only can they help you to stay inspired, they can assist you in spotting things you may not have thought about and could hold strengths in your areas of weakness. A star team multiplies productivity and accelerates growth, helping your business to move to new heights.
6) Remember WHY You Are Passionate
Taking time to revisit the driving force that encouraged you to devote yourself to your business in the first place will continue your motivation. Does your 'why' still resonate with your values? Are you still passionate about your product and service? Successful entrepreneurs are always keen to learn and research what they're passionate about because they get a general satisfaction from doing so; it doesn't feel like work to them and their enthusiasm is what keeps them dedicated to making their venture a success.
As an entrepreneur, maintaining your level of self-belief is what creates the foundation for success. Our lives would be incredibly different if it wasn't for the inventions of Thomas Edison; it took him several thousand attempts before he perfected the light bulb and lit up our world. Successful entrepreneurs do not believe that things can't be achieved; they stay determined and keep going when the ordinary person would want to give up.