Maybe your business is something you’ve been working on quietly after work and at weekends for years. Maybe it was a solution that came to you when you struggled to find an existing one. Whatever your idea and whatever your business, when it comes to launching it and setting it free out in the wild… there can be a lot of fear and self-doubt.
Those of us who start our own businesses are passionate about them. They are often heart-fuelled and purpose-driven, and this only intensifies the fear.
The self-doubt can become so extreme that we put off launching. We wait until we think it’s ‘perfect’ or until the ‘time is right’ and, before we know it, years have flown by. And while self-doubt can rarely be completely eradicated, we can learn to manage it and not let it stop us from doing what we really want.
So, if you’re ready to tackle your self-doubt and launch your business, keep reading for our top five tips.
1. Reconnect with your ‘why’
When we get caught up in the minutia detail of building a business, we can sometimes forget why we started in the first place. An easy way to gain some courage and determination is to remind yourself exactly why you started it. What do you hope to achieve? Who will you be helping?
Write yourself a mission statement including your purpose, make a list of values your business has and keep coming back to them. Print them out and pin it above your workspace so you have a visual reminder to prompt you when self-doubt rears its ugly head.
2. Identify how self-doubt shows up
Self-doubt is a master of disguise and can manifest in different ways, including perfectionism and procrastination. This Courage & Spice podcast episode explains what self-doubt is and how it shows up, so we recommend giving it a listen to help you identify how self-doubt shows up for you.
Once you know how it appears, you’ll be better able to recognise it and name it for what it is. Having this sense of self-awareness is powerful in and of itself.
3. Reframe your fear
This may sound easier said than done, but reframing your fear as something more positive can be a game changer.
For example, when you notice self-doubt you can tell yourself you’re feeling this way because you’re edging out of your comfort zone and are moving forward. This is a positive thing!
Or, you could try telling yourself the fear you’re feeling is actually excitement. The two emotions are physiologically very similar, meaning your body often can’t tell the difference between the two.
If you’re struggling to shift your mindset, many people find positive affirmations helpful and taking the time to note what you’re grateful for.
4. Surround yourself with support
Even if you’re not launching your business as a one-person operation, never underestimate the power of outside support. Try to connect with people who ‘get’ what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. Reach out to fellow business owners, share your challenges and successes, make time to talk about the process.
Support from a business coach can be invaluable here. A business coach can not only help you work through self-doubt but offer guidance and support with the practical elements of launching.
5. Celebrate every step
When you start taking the steps towards launching and running your business it’s important to take the time to reflect on what you’ve achieved and celebrate! Make a point of listing how you’ll celebrate achieving your goals and what rewards you’ll treat yourself to (how about a stress-relieving massage?).
Make space for this reflection at the end of every month. Ask yourself what went well, what you’ve achieved and what didn’t happen. If there are goals that didn’t happen, look at why this may be and consider what different approaches you could take next time. Remember, even a step back is an opportunity to learn.
Throughout all of this, try to remember that everyone works at a different pace. Someone who’s working on their business full-time and has all the funding they need is likely to make quicker progress than someone who’s working on their business as a side-hustle on limited funds.
Avoid comparing yourself to others. Stay in your lane and keep your eyes on the prize. Every step is progress, even if it’s small. So tell us, what step are you going to take next?