As a Mentor and CEO of The Coaching Academy, i have worked with many entrepreneurs and a common challenge I've noticed on the road to success is the battle with self-doubt.
Self-doubt is a natural human response to challenges and when building a business, we're presented with a multitude of situations that can cause us to doubt ourselves, our plans, our ideas and our abilities.
If we allow ourselves to remain paralyzed with feelings of self-doubt it can hold us back from taking action and keep us stuck in self-defeating thoughts, but if we train ourselves to conquer self-doubt we're much more likely to speed up the progress on the ladder to success.
If you are battling with self-doubt, below are my top ways to blast through it:
1. Learn to make peace with failure
When you're an entrepreneur learning to accept your failures is a part of the game. It doesn't matter how talented or smart you are, you're bound to make mistakes along the way and learning to reframe failure as an opportunity to grow not only builds your resilience it also enables you to push past your fears, step outside of your comfort zone, stretch your boundaries and realise what you are capable of achieving.
The most successful entrepreneurs embrace failure as a part of their journey towards success, rather than obsessing on problems they focus on finding a solution. When you treat every experience as a learning curve you're much more likely to challenge your limitations, beat procrastination and achieve greatness.
I have been in business for over 20 years and a question I often get asked is 'what has been my greatest failure', I often get stumped at this question, not because everything has gone right for me or things have gone 100%, they haven't, it's just that I don't attach the word failure to the things that haven't worked out or those experiences, I see everything as a part of the journey and as long as I get there, I'm happy that I've arrived.
The next time you find yourself fearing failure consider re-framing it with the statement 'there is no such thing as failure, only feedback' and in any moments that you do face failure ask yourself 3 powerful questions to pull you through it:
1) What did I learn from this situation?
2) How can I grow as a person from this experience?
3) What are the positives about this situation?
2. Acknowledge your achievements
When you're building a business it can be easy to stay focused on the grand plan and lose sight of all the things you have achieved along the way. Embracing each milestone, giving yourself credit for how far you have come and acknowledging your achievements is vital to your progress.
Making a list of your achievements and keeping it close to hand in moments of self-doubt not only re-affirms your successes it also acts as a reminder of why you chose to set up your business on the days where it feels like things aren't going to plan.
When you learn to become your own cheerleader and honour your victories you are much more likely to step back from your challenges and view them as opportunities for growth rather than spiraling downwards when you face any bumps in the road. Giving yourself a pat on the back and celebrating how far you've come not only lifts your morale it acts as a reminder that every step you're taking is moving you one step closer to the big picture, helping you to minimise feelings of self-doubt and continue moving forwards.
3. Let go of comparison
In today's digitally savvy world we're bombarded with adverts on social media and it can be easy to fall into a trap of defining our worth by the amount of likes, shares and retweets we receive, leading many of us to the temptation of comparing our business and ourselves to others in our industry.
The more we compare ourselves the more it can leave us doubting our efforts and feeling exhausted or frustrated for not receiving similar results in our own businesses. Instead of comparing yourself, direct your mind to learn from others successes. What have they done well? What challenges have they overcome? How did they achieve their results? How long did it take them to get there?
When you choose to invest your energy into networking with others, admiring their successes and learning from them you put yourself in a stronger position to exchange ideas, consider different approaches and have the ability to use your newfound perspective as fuel to overcome your own obstacles.
4. Connect with others
When building a business, it can often be a lonely road. Choosing to surround yourself with like-minded individuals, having a weekly mastermind or getting a business coach or mentor are all great ways for you to have a sounding board when making key decisions.
Surrounding yourself with people who encourage you and provide you with constructive feedback and distancing yourself from individuals who are often pessimistic towards you or your business helps you to override any self-doubt and maintain consistent momentum.
When we seek the support of others not only does it help us to uncover our fantastic traits that we may not always acknowledge, it can also inspire us to feel more confident in our abilities to reach higher heights.
5. Feel the fear and do it anyway
Every entrepreneur i know has experienced some form of fear and I've noticed that what separate's those who are successful from those that aren't is a willingness to act in spite of their fears. It takes courage to face your fears but the only way to overcome them is by walking through them. When you do so, you stop yourself from playing small and are able to stop them from holding you back or controlling your progress.
If you want to take your business to the next level it involves mastering the art of getting comfortable being uncomfortable. When you're willing to trade short term discomfort for long term gain you're able to do what it takes to get you where you need to be, you're able to talk to who you need to talk to, you're able to do things you haven't yet attempted and stretch yourself beyond your comfort zone. When you face things head on, you're able to walk through your fears and open yourself up to a world of opportunity that can move you closer to the end goal.
The next time you find yourself struck with self-doubt its worth bearing in mind that when you doubt your power, you give power to your doubt. In every moment we have a choice to believe in ourselves or to believe in our doubts, one moves us closer to our goals and one moves us further away, which option will you choose?