Politics and Business
The Self-Made Person’s Guide to Overcoming Fear and Self-Doubt
Society worships successful entrepreneurs – the small handful of people who become successful enough to make it into the public eye. However, it doesn’t heap much praise on those who are still building their companies and aren’t as well-known. In some cases, it can be downright derogatory towards them.
Because of this (and their own misgivings about their personal abilities), many entrepreneurs struggle with fear and self-doubt. They wonder whether they can really do the things they are asking themselves to do. It seems like such an enormous challenge.
The good news is that there are numerous tactics you can use to overcome fear and self-doubt. You don’t have to give in to the nagging voices saying it can’t be done. When you take action, magic happens.
So what, precisely, should you do? Let’s take a look.
Stop Thinking Of Yourself As An Imposter
Believing you’re an imposter is perhaps the biggest thing that gets in an entrepreneur’s way. They look at the success of the titans of industry and wonder how they can ever live up to those standards.
The trick here is to recognize that no entrepreneur really knows what’s going on, even the most successful. Many succeed through sheer luck or through the force of society supporting their brazen ideas, and accepting them at face value.
The path of the entrepreneur involves stepping into new territory and doing something different. That’s the whole point. The trick is to forget about your personal abilities. The real value is in taking a contrarian position that’s right when everyone else is wrong.
Acknowledge How You Feel
The next step is to acknowledge your feelings. Don’t ignore or suppress your fear and self-doubt as these sensations are usually telling you something.
Instead of denying or judging yourself for them, see them for what they are and ask if they make sense. Even if things go wrong, is it really worth feeling fearful about?
Trick Yourself Into The Role
Next, if you’re the sort of person who struggles with filling the role of entrepreneur and it doesn’t sit right with you, then you can try various tricks to make your experience more convincing. For instance, you could use a call answering service to mimic the experience of having a personal secretary. Or you could always book business class when you fly to help you slip into the role (even if it’s expensive). Do things that make you feel like a boss.
Challenge Your Thoughts
Another great strategy is to challenge your thoughts. Fear and self-doubt often stem from negative or irrational thoughts that you have about yourself and your abilities. They aren’t always true.
For instance, you might think you will fail and others will reject you, or that everything will go wrong. This might be your default position in life.
When this sort of thing happens, ask yourself probing questions. Take on your assumptions directly by asking what’s the worst that could happen and how likely is it? What can you do to cope with it, and what outcomes are the most realistic?
If you sit down and consider the task of entrepreneurship in this way, you’ll find that the negative feelings start to subside. Usually, you’ll find there’s real value in what you’re doing, even if it isn’t immediately obvious.
Another great way to overcome fear and self-doubt is to take action. Once you start moving in the world, you generate the force of momentum. This phenomenon can act like a flywheel, charging positive emotions while leaving no room for negative ones.
When you take action, you prove to yourself that you can do something and that you can learn from your mistakes. It also shows you can overcome obstacles in your path. Don’t let fear and self-doubt stop you from taking the first step or the next step. Keep plodding along, breaking down tasks into manageable chunks. Don’t focus on the end goal. Instead, ask yourself what you can do right now.
The next phase is to get support. You don’t have to face fear and self-doubt alone. There are people out there who will have been through similar situations to you and understand how tough it can be on the mind. They could be your family, but ideally, they’ll be a professional or someone who is a little distant from your immediate social circle.
This person should offer emotional support, practical advice, constructive feedback, or positive encouragement. They can also play a role in challenging negative thoughts and emotional patterns.