Get All Access for $5/mo

5 Ways to Overcome Self-Doubt as an Entrepreneur Entrepreneurship is difficult, but adopting a healthy mindset can make all the difference.

By Alexa Dagostino Edited by Amanda Breen

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Entrepreneurship is one of the most difficult jobs. We work 24/7 to always stay one step ahead of the competition that's looking to take advantage of us and get an even bigger piece of the business pie. The problem is that often, it is not our competition or even the market that we should be watching out for.

Self-sabotage is among the most prominent reasons why entrepreneurs quit following their dreams and instead decide to live a life of obscurity. Whether it is your inner critic questioning your every move or some events happening in the market that make you reconsider if it was even the right decision to start your business, many things can stop you on your way to the top.

Luckily, most of them are limited to our minds, so it shouldn't be that difficult to get rid of them, at least in theory. When you learn how not to fall prey to self-sabotage, you will be able to elevate your life and destroy any obstacles in your way as soon as they appear.

Related: Why Self-Doubt Can Be Your Secret Weapon

Here are five ways to get back on the right track when you feel doubt slowly creeping in on you.

1. Remember why you are in the business

You started your business for a reason. Maybe you even took a huge step in your life to make this dream come true, such as leaving your job or taking out a loan. After making all those sacrifices, it would be difficult to go back to the world you worked so hard to leave.

But even if your journey didn't involve any life-changing decisions, or you didn't start your business to escape the world you despised, there are still things you wished to accomplish, whether it was changing your own life or someone else's.

The truth is that if you decide to quit now, you will not only have to face reality and go back to your old life, but you will also prevent others from getting happier. So, if you don't want to do it for yourself, at least think about the people who need you and do it for them.

2. Think about the outcome

After you think about why you started your business, it is time to think about what will happen if you stick to it and reach the finish line. Usually, the outcome is very clear, and you knew what you were going for from the very first moment. But it is also important to imagine what will happen if you stop.

Whether the priority was changing your own life or someone else's, if you go the opposite direction, the world will go back to what it was, and your dreams of changing it will never come to fruition. Often, this grim vision will be enough to keep you going.

Put extra emphasis on the people who need you, and don't just focus on your own life. It is much easier to achieve great things if the outcome will affect many people. Make sure to be specific about how their lives will change and how you come into the picture.

Related: How to Break Through Fear and Self-Doubt

3. Focus on what matters

When you think about the things bothering you, they are often trivial. Most of the time, they are the worst-case scenarios, and the probability of them actually happening is extremely slim, yet it is in our nature to focus on the negatives.

It is so much more than just keeping an optimistic outlook. It is about focusing on the things that matter the most. Some of those trivialities might become a reality and take you one step backward. By focusing on more important matters instead, you will move ten steps forward at the same time, still landing ahead of your competition.

Determining what matters the most and then focusing on it will help you cultivate an entrepreneurial mindset and live a happier life. Many of those principles aren't limited to business, and you can use them anywhere you want to get similar results.

4. Stop comparing yourself to others

Often, your head is filled with doubts when you see somebody doing better than you. The problem is that you never know his or her real journey. Even if the person is a public figure and there is plenty of information about his or her life available on the internet, it rarely reflects reality.

That is because that person's life is different from yours, and the things that might seem effortless now took him or her years, which nobody but that person's closest circle witnessed. Remember that you are on your own journey, and many people who are way more disadvantaged look at you the same way you look at your idols.

No matter where you are, achieving your dreams is not a matter of if but rather when they will become a reality. Instead of comparing yourself to others, use that time to close the gaps between you and the people you want to be like.

Related: 8 Mental Disciplines More Powerful Than Self-Doubt

5. Appreciate yourself

This brings us to the last point, which is just as important. When you know your journey is like no one else's and have accepted it, it is time to go one step further and embrace who you truly are to get the most out of your circumstances.

Whatever your situation is now, the only person responsible for changing it is you and how you see the world will determine how long this process will take. Stop focusing on the things you don't have and notice everything present in your life and how you can use it.

Your mindset will support your every action that is supposed to lead you to your desired outcome. Without taking care of the foundations, you might build an empire, but it will be shaky, and once the weather gets nasty, it will crumble to the ground.

Alexa Dagostino

Founder/CEO of Thynktank Coaching & Thynkfuel Media

Alexa Dagostino is an award-winning serial entrepreneur, marketer, business coach, consultant and investor. She helps entrepreneurs and small businesses skyrocket their business through strategy, marketing, sales, media and leadership.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Starting a Business

I Left the Corporate World to Start a Chicken Coop Business — Here Are 3 Valuable Lessons I Learned Along the Way

Board meetings were traded for barnyards as a thriving new venture hatched.

Business News

'Passing By Wide Margins': Elon Musk Celebrates His 'Guaranteed Win' of the Highest Pay Package in U.S. Corporate History

Musk's Tesla pay package is almost 140 times higher than the annual pay of other high-performing CEOs.

Business News

Joey Chestnut Is Going From Nathan's to Netflix for a Competition 15 Years in the Making

Chestnut was banned from this year's Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest due to a "rival" contract. Now, he'll compete in a Netflix special instead.


Are Your Business's Local Listings Accurate and Up-to-Date? Here Are the Consequences You Could Face If Not.

Why accurate local listings are crucial for business success — and how to avoid the pitfalls of outdated information.

Money & Finance

Day Traders Often Ignore This One Topic At Their Peril

Boring things — like taxes — can sometimes be highly profitable.

Growing a Business

He Immigrated to the U.S. and Got a Job at McDonald's — Then His Aversion to Being 'Too Comfortable' Led to a Fast-Growing Company That's Hard to Miss

Voyo Popovic launched his moving and storage company in 2018 — and he's been innovating in the industry ever since.