Overcoming Self-doubt as One of the Biggest Entrepreneurship Challenges

Entrepreneurship is an emotional roller-coaster. Many startup founders experience emotional ups and downs almost on daily basis. When the downs prevail in number the ups, other negative emotions take over. One of the most dangerous ones is self-doubt.

The lack of confidence is destructive for entrepreneurs. If you don’t believe in yourself and your business, you won’t make it long in the startup world. But how can you regain your self-belief and self-respect, once you have lost them to self-doubt?

This can be extremely difficult, especially if you have faced a major setback, have lost an important client, or have made a huge mistake that costs you a lot. The good news is that it is possible to get back on your feet and eliminate the negative self-talk. It may take a lot of time and effort, but it is definitely worth it.

Here are three ways that will help you overcome one of the biggest entrepreneurship challenges – the destructive self-doubt.

Redefine your understanding of success

Entrepreneurs often compare themselves with other entrepreneurs. While this might be effective in some ways when it motivates you, at other times it can be destructive. This is true, especially when you suffer from self-doubt.

You need to understand that success can be defined in many different ways. Choose to celebrate the small wins, the wins that matter to you and your business. Looking at what others have achieved doesn’t have to make you feel like a failure. Instead, use that information as a source of inspiration. If they have succeeded, you can too!

Stop obsessing over your past failures

Changing the way you look at failure can have a tremendous positive effect. Stop obsessing over past failures. Quit beating yourself up over past mistakes. Mistakes are an inevitable part of success. Choose to look at them as a stepping stone.

You are not the only person in the world who has made a mistake. Don’t be too hard on yourself – you didn’t fail because you are not good enough as an entrepreneur. Instead, find the real reason you failed – the timing was wrong, you didn’t prepare well, you were unable to craft strong strategy, you run out of money, – whatever it was.

Once you know the true reason, you will be able to eliminate in future projects, to pay better attention, and to avoid it happening again.

Don’t obsess over the failures – learn from them!


In his book The Confidence Gap, Russ Harris outlines 10 rules for winning the game of confidence. Rule #1 is: “The actions of confidence come first; the feelings of confidence come later.” (Russ Harris, The Confidence Gap). This is one of my favorite thoughts on confidence!

Challenge yourself to step out of the comfort zone that fear of failure brings, giving you the reason to sit back and let life happen to you instead of getting out there and getting what you really want and deserve.

Start acting. Do something. Get to work. Fake it till you make it – even if you don’t feel confident, do something that screams “I believe in myself”. Fist comes the action and then the feeling will follow!

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