There are so many people that want to start businesses but never do because of their self doubt. Sometimes we can make excuses like not having the time or being in the financial position we want to be in before taking on something so big but most of the time, there is doubt underneath those excuses.
I have started two businesses. I didn’t feel ready to start either. I was terrified. I cried a lot of the time. I didn’t understand why it was on my heart to do it and I tried to push the thought down anytime it came up. I saw so many of my friends going down more conventional tracks and making strides in their new careers and hated that I didn’t want the same thing for myself because it seemed easier and much more realistic.
I went though a wide range of emotions (and I’m a pretty emotional person anyway) before I started either of them but I can say from the other side it was worth it. I believe that if you have a desire to start a business that you were meant to. I believe and teach the Law of Attraction which states “like attracts like” meaning if you want to start a business someone, somewhere has a desire for exactly the business you want to start.
If you are feeling doubtful, overwhelmed, and scared, know that I understand and I hope these 10 ways to help you overcome your self doubt help you let it go and that you get closer to putting your beautiful work into the world.
1. Create A Cocoon of Positivity
I know that sounds corny. But it works. When I am going to do something new, I tend to jump to worse case scenarios pretty quickly. My mind turns into a swirl of worry, and I start listing all the reasons why it might not work out. If you tend to be this way too, it is important to fill your life with positivity. Listen to positive podcasts about business, follow people with businesses who have flourished and share their stories, read books filled with someones success story. Vehemently ignore anything that is negative about business at first. Don’t read the posts with titles like “7 reasons why new businesses fail”.
I cannot stress how important this is. If you are reading this, it is likely you already know why it could fail. You have millions of reasons it might not work, so you need to spend time creating a list of why it can work. I researched a lot at the beginning of starting Return to Daydreams and bumped into a lot really discouraging blog posts and people. Luckily, I find it almost impossible to give up once I have decided on something so it didn’t sway me but it could have and probably has swayed others.
Build up your faith with each positive thing you consume. Writing down a list can be helpful as well to look back on. It is only you who can decide if it will or won’t work. There is soul crushing data available to read at any time of day about what percent of businesses fail, the economic climate, and what is and what isn’t realistic and there is also success data out there as well. What you focus on, you will find more of.
All things were created by someone who felt differently and had a different perspective and decided to birth that perspective into the world. You are in great company and it is important to build your faith little by little, day by day, in tiny steps if necessary that you really can do this. You can start the business. It can succeed no matter why you think it can’t.
2. Connect to your “why” to get rid of self doubt
It is important that you connect to the reason you are doing this. Why do you want to start a business? Why that business? In my experience the self doubt never goes away 100% of the time it just transforms. I experience new doubts as I achieve goals, and something that pulls me through is WHY I’m doing this in the in first place.
I think it’s a good idea to separate personal reasons and big world reasons. For example a personal reason I started a business and specifically this kind of business is so I could travel. It is important that everything I do in my business can be done remotely because I knew I didn’t want to just spend time in one place. A big world reason I started this business was to teach people that they have more control over their lives than they think they do. Educating people about business and the Law of Attraction is my passion because I know first hand how it can completely 180 someones life.
You will have personal reasons and big world reasons too. Both are important, and both should be clear to you so you can connect back to them when you need to. A question I started asking myself when I wanted to quit, had a bad day, or didn’t want to post again because of my fears was “What happens to the person who needs me and my work?” It can be hard to think about someone needing you and what you have to give… but it’s true!
When I look at my own life there have been people who have greatly affected me with their business, products, and services. What would have happened to me had they gave up and let their self doubt stop them? Think about your own life like this. Is there a book, an influential person you look up to, or product that has changed your life? If so, can you imagine your life if they hadn’t kept going?
3. Let go of perfect
It will not be perfect. Not even close. You will make things you will cringe at later. You will make mistakes. This is all good and normal. The truth is, I have never met someone who felt totally ready to start their business. A lot of us didn’t know what we were doing. But we googled and we stayed up late and we learned. So will you.
Perfection is not a friend to following your dreams because a lot of the process will be messy. A lot of stuff might not make sense when you’re first trying to figure things out. You make the process much more painful when you expect yourself to be perfect while doing it.
I heard on a podcast a perspective on perfection that changed things for me. I didn’t define myself as a perfectionist because I thought nothing I created was good enough to be considered perfect. But then she said “Perfectionism is feeling shame for not being perfect” and things clicked for me. I was a perfectionist and that shame had kept me from doing so much.
Shame will not make any of this easier. So I want to say to you if you are a fellow perfectionist that there is no shame in being a beginner. There is no shame in making mistakes. You are learning a lot of new skills. You are doing something that compared to the global population, very few people will ever do! It is normal and okay to not know exactly what you’re doing. Go easy on yourself.
4. Tell as little or as many people as you want
If not everyone in your life is supportive or tends to be negative it is okay not to tell those people. I honestly recommend you don’t. If you are reading this it is likely you are already feeling a ton of self doubt and you don’t need anyone to confirm those thoughts.
I told my very close friends and partner and that’s it. There are still people in my family who have no idea what I do for work and that’s fine with me. In the beginning it is important you do everything you can to support yourself and that includes not talking to people that make you feel bad about your business.
If you have already told someone that has had a lot of negative things to say, stop talking to them about your business immediately. You can love all your friends and family but create boundaries that help you thrive.
5. Mute or Unfollow people who cause you to compare yourself and feel more self doubt
If you already follow business accounts and find yourself thinking you could never achieve what they have and comparing yourself, mute or unfollow. When we are triggered by something it is because something in us is not healed yet. Thats okay, but it will not help you start and will just cause more self doubt.
As you go, you will feel more comfortable in yourself and your abilities and the trigger will go away. A lot of people say comparison is apart of social media but I disagree. I follow plenty of people who inspire me daily. I also have followed people who cause me to compare myself for one reason or another.
It’s not the other persons fault. It’s our job to confront things that make us feel uncomfortable, and you will as you go but for now feeling bad will not help you. Mute or unfollow and keep going.
6. Make a Plan
When you are starting a business you might feel like there is so much you need to do. Making a plan will help you organize what to do first, what are your priorities, and what can wait.
I got better at this as I went but in the beginning my main priority was making a profit, this may or not be the same for you. My priority was profit I spent my time finding what my cash source would be, and promoting it.
Whatever your priority is, make a plan and categorize what needs to be done first. I knew the way I wanted to create content for my audience was through blogging because I love to write, so I started a blog, then focused on how I was going to monetize it ASAP.
Everything will get done, but get the stuff that really matters most done first. If you need some suggestions I would suggest starting your website/blog, setting up social medias, filling necessary government paper work if that’s applicable, and figuring out what you are going to do to make money.
7. Remember that you will help people
No matter what your business you will be providing a solution to someone who has a problem. I think we can be so consumed with worrying about whether or not we will succeed we forget that we are doing important work by creating the things we feel called to create.
It can feel selfish to start a business. It is important to remember that it isn’t! You are not selfish for wanting to make money or by selling things. When you sell, you help people. I try to let this belief center me whenever I create something new. Every time I get a notification that someone has purchased a course or E-book yes I have made money, but I have also helped someone start a business or learn more about the law of attraction.
No matter what you sell or what your business does, you are helping someone with something! The more you put your work in the world, the more people you can help and everyone benefits.
8. Understand that it didn’t look possible for a lot of people and they also had self doubt.
There are a lot of influential people who didn’t have circumstances that set them up for success. You may be one of those people. I was one too but it is important to understand that if people before you have done it, you can do it too.
It can feel comfortable to tell ourselves we can’t do things because we don’t have to try and we don’t have to put ourselves out there. But in the end it doesn’t help anyone. The best part of online businesses is that there are so few barriers to start one. You can start with $0 and no experience at all. I started my first business with nothing but a Tumblr account and a lot to share.
You can do it, even if you feel like you can’t resist the urge to make excuses and sink into your self doubt.
9. Learn That the Doubt is the Hardest Part
There’s a lot about online business that feels/felt challenging but by far the hardest thing you will experience as an online business owner and entrepreneur in general is your self doubt. Nothing will ever be harder than that or louder than that little voice in your head.
And look! You’re already conquering it by reading this, which means that everything that follows is pretty easy in comparison. It is not hard to make money online. It really, really isn’t. Make, promote, sell. We complicate it with our doubts.
If you can get past your fear and actually start the business, you are so much farther than so many people. Unfortunately many people never express the greatness inside them and never get the courage to share it with the world. By pressing start, you are doing just that. Getting past this means other challenges on the other side of it but this is the one that stops the most people from ever trying. By reading this, I hope you won’t let it stop you.
10. Decide to Succeed No Matter What
Okay last but not least, decide you will succeed no matter what. Your choice is the most powerful thing you have and it is completely in your control. Other things might happen, but nothing will ever rob you of how you can choose to see the world.
No matter what challenges may come your way during this process you can decide to not let it shake you. You can decide that this business was meant to be created and that you were meant to help people with it. Deciding this early on means that very little else matters.
It doesn’t matter if it takes a while to make the money we want. Or if it’s taking a while to reach as many people as we want. Because you have decided that no matter what happens or how possible it feels on any given day that your business will be successful. And you get to decide what successful means to you.
I hope this list has relieved some of that self doubt and you feel better about starting your business. Remember the world needs you and your gifts, please show up and give us the privilege to witness and benefit from them.
If you are feeling ready now that self doubt is out of the way you can check out my other posts.
And if you need some inspo