It is natural to have doubts when taking on a major endeavor, such as starting and operating your own business. However, if you just ignore your doubts, you could be sabotaging your own efforts by letting them impede your progress. Here are some ways to face your fears head on and get rid of any doubts you have about your potential for success.

  • Establish an advisory group. Gather a group of like-minded people to share ideas and cheer each other on. An advisory group can be made up of fellow business owners, industry experts, or anyone that may be able to contribute to the group’s common interests. There is usually someone who takes charge of the group (sets a meeting schedule, creates an agenda, initiates tasks and long-term projects, etc.), but the environment should be informal enough that each member feels comfortable enough to participate in every way. Being a part of such a group allows you to gain a fresh perspective and can even boost your self-confidence.
  • Get a mentor. Mentors provide more personalized guidance, so finding one can prove to be quite valuable. Choose someone who can commit to regular meetings, has relevant experience, is successful in the field, and commands your respect. Take full advantage of the mentor relationship by outlining your desired results, preparing well for meetings, and initiating projects that will help you in your business.
  • Step away and clear your head. Many times we get so overwhelmed with a challenging problem that it can seem impossible to solve. Instead of banging your head against the wall, take a break from it and allow yourself some time to clear your head. Maybe you need to leave your workspace for a quick walk outside taking in the fresh air, or perhaps if you sleep on it you’ll be more equipped to deal with it in the morning. Giving your body and mind time away from a problem is sometimes the best way to solve it.
  • Do more research. Perhaps you’re wrestling with a difficult decision or aren’t sure where to go next in order to complete a project. You may need to research the topic in more depth. Consider looking to alternate resources not normally used. For example, most of us do the bulk of our research on the internet. We look at business articles, blogs, company websites, consumer reviews, etc. In addition to this, include in your research face-to-face interviews and professional development seminars. It’s even a good idea to browse the business section of the local bookstore. Sometimes having a hard copy of useful materials to flip through can give you some new ideas.
  • Calculate your risks and create a plan. Much of our doubt normally comes from our fear of failure. Carefully weigh your decision by calculating your risks. Come up with the worst case scenario and figure out how you would need to handle it. Do you have the knowledge and resources to deal with a major setback? Risk management and thorough planning can prevent you from making poor decisions and remove doubt that stands in your way.

Relying on your strengths and looking to others for help can take you a long way in your quest to overcome doubt. What strategies do you have for overcoming your doubts? Please share your ideas below!