Self doubt isn’t all bad – 8 strategies for overcoming self doubt in business

Self doubt isn’t all that bad

Every business owner experiences self doubt at one point or another and the great news is that self doubt isn’t all bad!

The pressure of being a business owner and running a business often feeds an ongoing battle between self confidence and self doubt. Even the best business owners face this battle continuously. The question of how to overcome self doubt is one I get asked quite a bit and there are definitely are some great strategies that can help.

When it comes down to it, self doubt is perfectly normal and every business owner experiences it. Expecting it to go away altogether is just not reasonable or healthy. Self doubt can actually be a sign that you’re ready for more, that you’re not content with the status quo. That can be a huge positive! Be ready for the self doubt, understand it’s not all bad and have tools at the ready to help you overcome it.

Here are 8 strategies for overcoming self doubt in business:

Strategy one: keep working on your self confidence until it continues to take you two steps forward for every step backwards that your self doubt might drag you.

When this happens, in the long run you will keep moving in the right direction. Another aspect of business that sometimes raises self doubt is questioning whether you are still providing great value or whether you need to keep reinventing your solution. This can be particularly relevant in a service based business that has been around for a long time.

Small business owners are very special people. To start your own small business takes a level of risk that many aren’t willing to gamble on. You have to have a certain level of utmost confidence to start a business. There has to be extreme optimism that everything will work out. At the same time. when reality hits, when the hard work sets in and when the challenges appear (and they will), you need to be ready to tackle those doubts when they raise their ugly head and keep moving forward.

Strategy two: remind yourself, although it might be your 100th or even 1000th time delivering the same message, it’s always someone’s first time receiving it.

There is always a new customer around the corner who has never seen or heard of what you do. There will always be new people who need your help. If you believe in what you do, and you are passionate about helping people, there will always be someone new you can help. Be yourself and be genuine. Talk to people and continually build new relationships. Focus on your ideal client and keep seeking out the people who believe in the same thing you do.


define your ideal client

Strategy three: remember it takes guts to be in small business and that everything will not always be up. But by the same token, things will not always be down either.

If you’re battling self doubt, remember everything moves in cycles and tough times never last forever. Focus on what you can control to turn things around. Keep working hard and take one day at a time.

Nobody is perfect and no business owner has mastered it all. In fact most successful entrepreneurs have got to where they are by mastering just one or two skills they are very good at. You don’t have to be great at every part of your business.

Everything moves in cycles. Tough times never last forever. Share on X

Strategy four: learn to not worry about what you lack but focus on the skills you have. Develop these to the best of your ability.

Have a think about what’s occurring for you when you’re experiencing self doubt. Often it’s when you’re way out of your comfort zone right? It might be when you’re facing something new or overwhelmed by change. Remind yourself of the value you offer your customers. Learn to focus on the skills you have and continually invest in your personal development.

Strategy five: realise that self doubt can be an indication you’re challenging yourself and that’s a good thing in business.

The greatest growth happens in a place beyond what’s comfortable and this is when self doubt is actually a sign great things are ahead. If you’re prepared to think bigger and be braver, you can achieve so much more.


self doubt isn't all bad 8 strategies for overcoming self doubt in business
Self doubt isn’t all bad – 8 strategies for overcoming self doubt in business

Strategy six: remember that failures are ok and in fact necessary for learning and growth. Your failures and struggles are what makes your story interesting.

Many business owners and in fact people in general are conditioned from an early age to believe that failures are bad. When you make errors in school, you are taught that you must study harder in order to make less mistakes. Most parents go out of their way to prevent their children from being hurt. Failure begins to be linked with a sense of shame, embarrassment and negativity.

This is flawed logic. Humans learn through trial and error. A baby learns to walk, not by studying the perfect method but by falling over time and time again.

Strategy seven: remind yourself that even though your business is very important to you, what you do is not who you are.

You must not pin your entire self worth around a single definition of success but instead see your business journey for what it is and look for new opportunities and adventures all the time.

Running a business can be an all consuming investment. It requires all your heart and soul and demands long hours and sometimes periods of little rest. It’s easy to see your business success or lack there of as a reflection of you as a person.

There are many aspects to you as a person: you’re someone’s child, grandchild, you may be a parent, a sibling, a friend, a lover, a leader, a member of your community, a cook, a teacher, an athlete, a joker, a musician, a spiritual being. You have a lot to give and a great deal to be in this world. Remember what you do for a living doesn’t define who you are.

Strategy eight: start chasing opportunities instead of sitting around waiting for them to find you.

If your doubts are telling you there just aren’t any chances out there for you to be successful, it’s time to learn more, invest more, read more, network more and try more.

Have you ever looked at another business and thought that they must just be incredibly lucky, more talented or more worthy of success than you. Have you doubted yourself because you haven’t been able to generate the same level of success as others and thought maybe you don’t have what it takes? Luck or fortune have little to do with success. Opportunities are rarely given, but instead they are seized. Success takes consistent hard work and requires a willingness to learn new things and take calculated chances when they present themselves.

Running a business is hard work and it’s risky. You will have good times and plenty of tough times. You will doubt yourself often. But the bottom line is, you mustn’t let your self doubt cripple your efforts to keep trying. Remember nobody starts as an expert. Business is a continual learning experience. Surround yourself with people who can support you when things get tough or when you start doubting yourself. Practice the strategies above and remember that self doubt is actually not all bad.

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