Overcoming Self Doubt Practically As An Entrepreneur

Overcoming self doubt is an essential skill for any entrepreneur, and can mean the difference between success and failure. Even the most successful entrepreneurs have to face this problem at one point or another.

Many people will experience self-doubt as an entrepreneur. This is because entrepreneurship is a difficult and uncertain endeavour to take on, and it's natural for anyone to feel like they might not be up to the challenge.

However, there are many ways that one can overcome this feeling of inadequacy; from taking time for themselves or building a strong support network.

Regardless of how successful your business becomes, you're likely going to experience these feelings at some point in your entrepreneurial journey. 

In this article, we'll be going over a few ways to deal with self-doubt as an entrepreneur.

1. Stop thinking you aren't enough.

I wish that was easy as it sounds, but then again that's the point. Stopping something requires a deliberate motion to halt.

You don't halt/stop something if you don't think it is necessary to do so. 

Stopping the thought of feeling inadequate will help you address those limiting beliefs and motivate you to take action.

What to do

  • Don't ignore this thought.

Sounds counter-intuitive, but hear me out. When this limiting thoughts starts playing up in your mind.

What you want to do is respond to it immediately instead of ruminating on the possibility of the thoughts being right. 

For example, when your mind drops this in the middle of a task -  "this never comes out right, I'll never get through this easily".

That is your cue to respond immediately and not to contemplate it. 

Your response could be - "Hmmm...Looks like I need to figure this out, and I understand it requires some learning curve and that is okay. It will end up, Fine."

2. Stop talking small about yourself

Have you had people point out how good you are, and how they will love to know half of what you do.

And you're there saying "I don't even see myself as you do, I don't think I'm that good, I doubt you're talking about the same person- Me?". 

I have come to realize that sometimes people around us see potentials in us more than we do for ourselves, and when they tell us, We might find it hard to believe.

For example, you just started an event management outfit, and you're facing fierce 'competition' that's making you second guess your capabilities however You have always been the one to fix things for your friends and families' events.

When friends are looking for someone to get people together, they run to you, when they're looking for someone to make their event beautiful and colourful, it's you they think of first. 

Still, you find it difficult to realize how valuable and gifted you are because of 'competition'!

What to do,

  • address the limiting belief, which is what we talked about in the first point 

  • create the habits of positive declarations.

Daily stand in front of the mirror and declare who you are and what you want to be. It might feel awkward at the beginning, but do it anyways. 

3. Take progressive action

So you feel you've come late to the scene and there are top 'competition' killing it in your niche/profession. 

  • Reality: Yes, there are many skilled people in your profession. 
  • Fact: They aren't you; they are your PARTNERS, not competition. 

You've got something unique to contribute in your niche/profession. 

Once you have worked on your mind And what you say about yourself, You want to make sure you're taking progressive action. 

What do you do

  • Be Perfect with your imperfections

New entrepreneurs can fall into the trap of overanalyzing and perfectionism. You can be busy but not progressive and successful. Trying to make things perfect will put you on the hamster wheel. Running in circles and not getting something out.

Once you've met everything required to get a task done, deliver it/Get it out/Publish it (whatever applies to your business).

You will learn with every task and allow yourself to grow this way.

When I started this blog, I got into the perfectionism trap. I wanted things to be in a certain way, and I worked my back off, making sure it was so. I was busy but not progressive. 

What I missed was creating the content consistently for my readers. The aesthetic might make people have a look around but will keep readers coming back is quality and valuable content.  

Here's what I did, I started a challenge to get me into the habit of publishing. so I posted daily for 30 days, working four hours max each day. The goal was to deliver well thought out content and be okay with whatever I put in those four hours. I made sure to publish anyways, to embrace my flaws, learn from them and grow.

So far, I'm proud of being imperfectly perfect.

  • Prioritize

If what you spend your time on isn't adding up to the goal you've set for yourself, you want to plan and prioritize your most important task first. Attend to the main tasks then the others can follow. 

Here's an article that breaks this down further.

Deeper Dive:

How to Maximise Your Happiness

7 key Inspirations For When You Feel Lost In Life

How to Deal With Toxic People for Good in 7 Ways


How to Reevaluate Your Entrepreneurial Mindset around Competition

4. Nurture your space

Entrepreneurship is mindset, you would want to make sure that everything you do is well planned and deliberate.

In doing this, it will mean you have to protect your space from negativity and encourage a positive atmosphere around you.

When you set out on this journey of entrepreneurship, you'll quickly find out instances where people will make you feel less or discourage you. 

Doesn't mean they are bad people, but they can't see the picture of what you have in your mind, and where you are headed and so because they're not in your head You can't expect them to come up to that level.

When they try to express their worries about your decision or outrightly tell you you can't achieve your goal. 

You need to make sure this kind of negativity does not get to you. And I'm saying this because most of these things that get to us are usually from people very dear like families and friends.

So like I said they're not bad people, but they just don't see things from how you've envisioned it.

Then, there are also some set of people who are not family or friends. They just want to make you feel bad, and these are the type of people who think you are competition. 

Rather than see competition, You want to see people as your partners, because with partners it means you've got something to contribute and they want what you can add to their business.

If You see competition, you will end up in that competitive trap, but when you see people as partners, you will end up attracting like-minded people to your business. 

Nurture your space, and encourage positivity around you.

What to do

  • gravitate towards people who inspire you and encourage you to be the best 

  • listen to things that motivate and lift you.

Do not tolerate negativity. It doesn't mean you should fight, but at some point, you will realize that you can sense negativity From a distance. 

If you've got negative people around you, This might be a good time to rethink your relationship with them. You are a reflection of the first five people around you. 

So if those five don't inspire you, or they don't even fuel something in you, you probably want to start looking out for a new set of five people that will contribute to you achieving your goal.

  • Get adequate sleep

Believe it or not, when you're sleep-deprived, You will fall into an overdrive that makes you feel like anything you do is not enough.

You need to get good quality sleep to put your mind at rest. So you can think clearly.

And when you are deprived of sleep, There is a possibility of negative thoughts firing through your mind.

What to do

  • Close for the Day

Have a fixed time for close of work and make sure you don't do anything work-related afterwards. This allows you to enjoy your personal life and attend to other essential things.  

  •  Try to get into a sleep routine

 For example, you could start with a warm bath, listen to calm music, try some meditation, read a book then you sleep. 

Make sure to put up your devices and lights off. This helps your body settle down for sleep. 

  • No alcohol before sleeping.

If you're in the habit of enjoying wine before sleeping, you want to stop because alcohol doesn't allow you to rest very well plus it makes you wake up feeling unrested.

More on this HERE.


5. Be full of Gratitude

Grateful hearts understand that even if they don't have everything, they have all they need to be thankful.

Being Grateful lifts you above the situation. It makes you see things clearly and encourages creative ideas. 

When you wake up in the morning, Be grateful.

Be grateful for the things that will happen. Be grateful for your client/customers.

Be Grateful for your family, for your life, for the provision of food, for everything you have. 

Gratitude mindset is one of the mindset of entrepreneurs that can improve your mood. It puts you in a peaceful space and being peaceful creates a positive ripple effect on everything about you.

When the day's over, Be grateful again for everything that happened during the day,

A grateful heart knows that things are working out for good regardless of whatever the reality is.

overcoming self doubt

Final thought on overcoming self doubt

The feeling of self-doubt is something that every entrepreneur will experience, even the most successful ones.

Entrepreneurship can be a difficult and uncertain task to take on, so it's natural for anyone to feel like they might not be up to the challenge.

However overcoming these feelings is possible with many different strategies; from taking time for oneself or building a strong support network. 

Regardless of how your business becomes, overcoming this fear of inadequacy is important in order to continue moving forward in one's entrepreneurial journey. Hope you found this article helpful? Feel free to drop a comment below.

More Resources

Entrepreneurial mindset shift and the role of cycles of learning


About the author 


Funmi is a Certified Functional Health Coach. She is passionate about helping female entrepreneurs transform from Stress and burnout so they can begin to thrive in their body and, by extension, their businesses.

  • Toyin Akinmulero says:

    Really great content and advise. No way we won’t do well if we do these things. Thanks Funmi.

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