Aside from the obvious challenges they face trying to get their business to thrive, any entrepreneur -- especially those just starting out -- can struggle with self-doubt and worry on a daily basis. After all, one wrong decision or bad deal can cause extensive damage to your organization, threatening you and your team's livelihoods and jeopardizing your future.
To help, these seven entrepreneurs share their best tips on overcoming negative self-talk and chronic self-doubt, whether they spur from imposter syndrome or a deeply-rooted lack of confidence.
Exercise and mediate.
A healthy body can help create a more positive attitude in general, so entrepreneurs struggling with self-doubt could try to exercise more and practice meditation, according to Torrey Tayenaka, CEO and co-founder of Sparkhouse.
To this end, Tayenaka makes sure to do some sort of physical workout at least once a day to keep his mind fresh. "I also highly recommend taking 10-20 minutes every morning to meditate -- this will make you much more aware of your thoughts and how much control you have over them," he adds.
"When I was feeling self-doubt on a regular basis, I started practicing mindfulness and thinking about my own thought process," MonsterInsights co-founder Chris Christoff shares of his experience.
This approach works because, as Christoff explains, when you stop to analyze and process your thoughts in real time, you find that most instances of self-doubt are completely fabricated and have no basis in reality. "Also, when you practice mindfulness, it becomes a habit that helps you cultivate success."
Remember your wins.
According to Honest Paws co-founder Chelsea Rivera, it's easy to develop self-doubt when entering a new market with little research, as was the case with Honest Paws and the cannabidiol niche.
Even though the company was successful and has been able to grow a brand with loyal customers, self-doubt remains an issue. "When down, I take a pen and paper and write down all our accomplishments, including how the company has grown and how many people we have positively affected," Rivera explains.
"One of the best techniques for dealing with negative self-talk is to debate your critic," thinks Chris Madden, co-founder of Matchnode, explaining that this is a very useful exercise to help entrepreneurs shut down negative self-talk without ignoring valid critical thinking.
According to Madden, the best way of "debating your critic" is to think about your negative thoughts as if they were spoken by someone else: "How would you respond to them? Take what they say seriously and analyze it. Does it make sense? Does it fit the evidence?"
Share these feelings with others.
Most people tend to like those who are similar to them and entrepreneurs are no different, FenSens founder Andy Karuza insists, talking about the benefits of business leaders sharing their thoughts and feelings with their peers.
"What really helps you overcome the negative self-doubt is realizing others like you are going through the same thing," Karuza says. Creating a support cast of fellow entrepreneurs to share this with can be very beneficial for everyone involved.
Remember you are not your business.
Most entrepreneurs whose businesses are just starting up and experiencing ups and downs find that their moods tend to follow. At these times, it's important to remember that you are more than your business, AccessAlly CEO Nathalie Lussier insists.
"I've been able to stay out of the entrepreneurial roller coaster and negative self-talk by remembering that I am not my business," Lussier explains. "You have inherent value outside of your work, even though the business culture tries to tie your worth to your business's success." Don't fall for it!
Be a tad bit arrogant.
"I personally don't get along well with arrogant people, but when it comes to business, you do need a little bit of it in order to get past the low points," Transcription Outsourcing, LLC founder and CEO Ben Walker says, explaining that having a bit of arrogance, however, doesn't mean entrepreneurs should go around thumping their chests and boasting about how great they are.
Instead, Walker explains, entrepreneurs should focus inward and make sure they have a positive attitude: "Tell yourself that you are the right person for the job, that you will get it done and you will get through this."