12 Tips to Banish Self-Doubt and Boost Your Confidence as an Entrepreneur

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When you are starting out as an entrepreneur, it can be easy to have doubts. What advice do you have to build your confidence as an entrepreneur and why is it effective?

Entrepreneur who deals with self-doubt
Photo credit: Andrea Piacquadio / Pexels

These answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invitation-only organization formed by the world’s most successful young entrepreneurs. YEC members represent almost every industry, generate billions of dollars in revenue each year, and have created tens of thousands of jobs. More information at yec.co.

1. Remember that self-doubt is natural and healthy

Here’s a secret: everyone doubts themselves at some point. Doubt is natural and healthy, especially when you start dipping your toes in fresh water. You have the choice: you can tip your head in entrepreneurship or jump headfirst. Risk will surround you in any way, but what you can control is your own energy and response to difficulties. Don’t let doubt keep you on the sidelines forever.

Ashley Sharp, Living with dignity

2. Find a trusted mentor

Find a mentor or community with like-minded ideas. You will often come across detractors during your entrepreneurial journey, which can lead to self-doubt. The best way to overcome this is to find someone who has already achieved what you are looking for, or to surround yourself with other people who are on a similar journey (i.e., starting their own businesses). Having a supportive community is key to success.

Brian David Crane, Spread great ideas

3. Write a statement of desire

Attenuate doubts by writing a statement of desire. This is the goal and the reason why you show up for work every day. Write down what you want to achieve and, most importantly, why it is important to you. Read this statement every morning before you start work and at the end of the day to remind yourself of your purpose for being an entrepreneur and the importance of your work!

Jacob Tanur, Click Play Movies

4. Change your mindset

Learn to productively process criticisms, failures, and setbacks. This helps you frame situations with a more positive mindset, as it’s easy to feel depressed when things don’t go well. However, accepting that growth does not occur in a straight line and then using every roadblock as a learning opportunity can allow you to overcome doubts and accept the learning process.

Firas Kittaneh, Amerisleep mattress

Businesswoman traveling by bus
Photo credit: Andrea Piacquadio / Pexels

5. Take a break

Take a break from your work and do something else. It doesn’t matter what you do, but it will give you a chance to clear your head and have perspective on your work. Some entrepreneurs find it difficult to build their confidence because they feel they need to work all the time. But this is not the case. Taking breaks can be beneficial for you and help you feel better about yourself.

Kristin Kimberly Marquet, Marquet Media, LLC

6. Slow down to a challenge

At some point, the only way to properly build your confidence is to go out into the world on your own and make things happen. Try to get small wins in your belt and gradually challenge yourself and your skills in small ways, increasing your bets as your skills and confidence grow.

Salvador Ordorica, The Spanish Group LLC

7. Track your progress

Writing down your daily progress reminds you that you are making progress. Having monthly records allows you to reflect on where you were and where you are compared to where you had planned to be. This is effective because it ensures that you are on the right track and mentally assures you that you are progressing.

Kripa Shroff, AK Multinational LLC

8. Build a support system

Surround yourself with people with similar ideas. When you have an entrepreneurial support system, it becomes harder to let doubts get in the way. Learn from those who have the success you are looking for. Connect with mentors and consultants. This personal growth will help you build your confidence as an entrepreneur.

Nick Venditti, StitchGolf

Entrepreneur reading a book

9. Develop your whole self

If you get your personal value out of entrepreneurship alone, you will have a difficult time, especially in the beginning. The best way I learned to develop self-confidence was to grow as a whole person. If you continually focus on improving your leadership, skills, mindset, and physical and spiritual health, the areas where you have doubts will be drowned out by the competence and confidence developed around you.

Nic DeAngelo, We buy loans quickly

10. Think about your past accomplishments

We all have our bad days when we begin to doubt our abilities. Right now, think about your past accomplishments. This trick works because it helps you remember what you are capable of and motivates you to keep working harder to achieve your goals.

Thomas Griffin, OptinMonster

11. Trust your reason

As entrepreneurs, we don’t always understand the path or how to get the results we want. We understand that we will do whatever it takes to get there because there is an internal factor that causes us to continue when we don’t have all the answers. Focus on that inner drive and trust your reason to pursue your purpose. The rest will go in its place.

Mary Harcourt, CosmoGlo

12. Remember your “why”

Recognize that doubt is okay. You have to be willing to take risks and give your all while doubting yourself. If you start to doubt yourself, remember why you are in business. You started your business for a reason. Never forget this reason. This will help you feel your doubt and then turn it into a strength. Value yourself and all your talents!

Shu Saito, All filters

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