Self-doubt kills more dreams for entrepreneurs than poor marketing or no return on investment. The definition of self-doubt is all about uncertainty and when those self-critical thoughts, beliefs, and emotions creep in it can harm your business.

As an entrepreneur, it’s vital that you trust in yourself to make decisions and take the required actions to survive and thrive. However, self-doubt often has you questioning how competent you are and can lead you to believe that these self-deprecating thoughts are true. 

When you allow yourself to overthink you lose focus and may make poor choices. You will judge yourself, compare yourself and your business to others, and may even shy away from business growth and success choosing to stay small.

What does self-doubt feel like?

If you’ve ever experienced feelings of frustration or self-resentment then you are tapping directly into your self-doubts. 

  • Disappointment
  • Lack of confidence
  • Uncertainty
  • Low self-esteem
  • Anxiety

How often can you say you were disappointed in yourself or felt anxious when meeting new people? Have you felt uncertain about your pricing structure, a talk you are giving, or your creativity as a whole?

All of these feelings are experienced by someone with self-doubt, but you don’t have to allow this to hold you back anymore.

How to overcome self-doubt

Self-doubt can have a significant effect on your life and business. However, there are many resources, tools, and techniques you can use to feel more confident.

Stop comparing yourself

How often have you scrolled through your feed and stopped to check out a competitor to see what they are doing? As women in business, we celebrate each other and will be the first to offer support and praise. However, seeing the accomplishments of others can leave you feeling like you haven’t got your life together. 

Remember that everybody’s journey is unique to them. The person you are comparing yourself with might be well-established or have a team working with them behind the scenes. It’s wise to focus on what you want to achieve and how you are going to get there. Recognise others’ success as a goal to strive for, but don’t let it impact your world.

Journaling

Socially Shared member, Sharon Taylor often runs talks and workshops for the network about journaling and the benefits of jotting down your thoughts to help you work through any self-doubts. 

Try using this simple tool to write down your worries. When they are out of your head and down on paper they can lose their sting and you’ll find ways to rationalise your thoughts and feelings. 

Find your tribe

As a solopreneur, running a business can feel lonely. When faced with the sometimes overwhelming to-do list that accompanies business life, self-doubt will find a way to derail you. Having a group of supportive and like-minded women around you is a huge help.

There are so many of our members who call upon other women in the network when they are feeling anxious, low, or plagued with self-doubt. Their tribe reminds them of their successes, skills, and strengths. 

Being a member of a women’s business network not only benefits your business but is a wonderful way to make new friends who stand with you through the good and the bad. Spend time with like-minded entrepreneurs either through networking, a coffee and catch-up, or a 30-minute Zoom call. 

Reflection

Reviewing your achievements doesn’t have to be a task you do at the start of a New Year, a new quarter, or the end of the tax year, it can be done throughout the year.

It’s hard work running a business, especially if you are on your own. The pressure can leave you feeling overwhelmed. Instead of doubting your abilities to move forward, reflect on how far you’ve come. What have you achieved so far? What progress have you made? Who is in your network that you can engage positively with? 

The inner speech, your thoughts, can cause you to be rich or poor, loved or unloved, happy or unhappy, attractive or unattractive, powerful or weak.”  Ralph Charell

Be kind to yourself

How you talk to yourself has a direct impact on your self-esteem, confidence, and well-being. To flip the switch on self-doubt you must be kinder to yourself. 

Start by talking to yourself the way you would talk to a friend. Avoid negativity and turn any negative thoughts into lessons. If something goes wrong in your business avoid blaming yourself. Instead, look for the lesson, and find the nugget of gold that will help you overcome this challenge in the future. 

Interested in joining the Socially Shared Women’s Business Support Network? Our affordable annual membership is £99 and includes many benefits to help your business thrive. Find out more via our website

By far the best networking group I’ve been to. Expertly organised, incredibly friendly group with genuine support and the leaders are very well connected in the local business world with heaps of experience. Socially Shared is totally different from other networking groups I’ve attended; it’s whole ethos centres around LEARNING while networking and each session has a themed business topic like ‘knowing your customer’ ‘blog writing’ ‘time management’ etc which are really useful with a handy worksheet with all the tips to take away.” Stephanie Rix, Life’s Work Consulting

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