Everyone struggles with self-doubt and fear from time to time -- and entrepreneurs may experience these emotions more frequently than others. When you've invested all of your time, energy and resources into your business, even the slightest possibility of failure can send you spiraling.

In these moments, your instinct may be to put yourself down or question your ability to succeed. It's important to have an effective strategy to combat this negative self-talk and get yourself back on track. Here's how eight entrepreneurs silence their inner critics and overcome the doubts and fears that stand in their way.

Consider the consequences of action and inaction.

Fear often makes us hesitate to take action. Colbey Pfund, co-founder of LFNT Distribution, recommends asking yourself what you will accomplish by doing nothing. Then, ask yourself what you could accomplish if you try something.

"Write a list down for both," says Pfund. "You should see that trying something will be much more effective than doing nothing. Let that move you past your fear."

Give yourself a change of scenery.

Many entrepreneurs feel like they can barely take a day off, let alone make time to travel. However, Sweta Patel, founder of Silicon Valley Startup Marketing, believes traveling allows her to come back with a different perspective and work toward success.

"When I travel, I am able to renew my energy and clean my soul," she explains. "This helps me become stronger and focus on my business. When I am back, I am able to zip through where I left off without the extra baggage of negative energy."

Find data that supports your current path.

David Boehl, founder and CEO of GraphicBomb, says doubts and fears are an emotional response. The best way to overcome that emotional response is to collect data points that illustrate a logical trend.

"If you have solid data to back up your strategy, you can set your mind at ease," says Boehl. "If you don't have the data yet, get to work collecting it so you can properly run your business without needless stress."

Focus on your past accomplishments.

When self-doubt has you down, reminding yourself of the amazing things you've achieved thus far can be a really great pick-me-up.

"You're an entrepreneur -- that in itself speaks volumes, as that takes a lot of courage," says Andrew Schrage, CEO of Money Crashers Personal Finance. "Reach back in your mind to all of the successes you've achieved over the years. That should be enough to get you over the fears and doubts."

Review your goals.

Having specific, measurable goals for yourself can keep you on track when self-doubt sets in, says Nicole Munoz of Nicole Munoz Consulting, Inc.

"Make sure you are using SMART goals to determine exactly what you should be doing," she adds. "In those instances when that little voice inside your head creeps up and tells you what to do, you have a way of dealing with it."

Ask for help.

Even if you're a solopreneur, you don't have to deal with your problems alone. Jared Weitz, CEO of United Capital Source Inc., recommends talking through your doubts and fears with a few trusted friends.

"I find that seeking council and voicing it out loud helps put things into perspective for me, rather than letting it bounce around aimlessly in my head," he says. "Once I verbalize it, I'm able to snap out of it and push forward."

List three things you're grateful for.

Many entrepreneurs find that intentional gratitude helps silence their negative thoughts, especially when they're dealing with stressful problems that can't be solved immediately.

"I take a moment in the morning to remember three things that I am grateful for today," says David Henzel, CEO of TaskDrive. "Doing this exercise gives me immediate clarity and peace to take life head on."

Learn to take a step back.

According to Jean Ginzburg of JeanGinzburg.com, Eckhart Tolle's book "The Power of Now" helped her realize that negative thoughts shouldn't be taken at face value.

"These negative thoughts can take over our minds," Ginzburg says. "We have to take a step back, observe the negative thought and eventually let it go."

Published on: Feb 25, 2019
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