Doubts got you down? Find out how to overcome 3 common sources of self-doubt…

We all want to be the Entrepreneurial Superwoman. You probably know her already: she’s the one who never breaks a sweat and (even with problem clients or crazy schedules) she never doubts herself.

The Entrepreneurial Superwoman sounds pretty cool, huh? Don’t we all wish we could be her?

Unfortunately, she doesn’t exist. (And if she does, she’s probably having brunch with her friends, Thigh Gap and Pregnancy Unicorn.)

For most of us, business ownership can be as nerve-racking as it is exhilarating. Doubt is unavoidable — but self-sabotage has no place in your business plan.

Here’s how to kick 3 all-too-common, self-sabotaging thoughts to the curb.

Psych Out #1: “I don’t have time!”

Most of us have plenty of demands on our time in addition to running our businesses. There are days when you feel like you’ll never have the time it takes to really focus.

Here’s the thing, though. If you had a friend or family member who had a sudden, out-of-town emergency and needed a babysitter/housesitter/anything, you would probably find at least some time to help them, wouldn’t you?

Your day does have some wiggle room — but only if you’re willing to shift your priorities a little.

We’re not saying that you can (or should) overhaul your schedule. But it could make a huge difference to simply decide that your business is a priority on your To Do List. No exceptions, no excuses.

Also, don’t forget the value of small, stolen chunks of time. Maybe you can only work at night, after your kids are asleep. Great! Take those 20 minutes and run with them. At the end of the week, that’s more than two hours of solid work-time!

Psych Out #2: “I don’t know enough about XYZ to run a successful business!”

Ladies, let’s be real: we need to stop saying this to ourselves. Right. Now.

In LEAN IN, one of our favorite books, Sheryl Sandberg writes at eloquent length about how we women worry too much about being 100% qualified for a job before throwing our hats into the ring. Meanwhile, our male counterparts (who might be similarly skilled), are already going for the brass ring. The difference is, men tend to be socialized to believe that they’ll be able to learn the necessary skills when the need arises, whereas women are told to be more cautious.

But aren’t you just as adaptable and intelligent as anyone else?

This idea that we have to be assured, in triplicate, by an external party that we are qualified and/or ready for something is just a symptom of a larger problem.

So be bold, and trust yourself!

Psych Out #3: “My idea/product/service isn’t original enough. I’ll never stand out among the competition.”

There’s a misconception that competition is automatically a bad thing. Competition doesn’t have to be detrimental. For one thing, it’s a sure sign that your services are needed.

Look at it this way: if there was no one else on the planet doing what you do (or something close to it), then wouldn’t you start to wonder if there was even a need to be met?

Competition is a sign of a healthy customer base, but even so, it’s natural that it would cause some stress. Most of us worry that we’re not offering anything special enough to stand out in a crowded marketplace.

But before you wander too far down that negative path, ask yourself:

“Do I know this for sure?”

No, really… Do you have a 100% guarantee that what you have to offer the world is not going to be the perfect solution for someone out there?

Exactly.

Instead of being unique, let’s focus on being valuable. After that, being “original enough” may not be as important as you think.

Each year, women are starting more and more businesses. Obviously, we think this is awesome – but that doesn’t mean we still don’t have plenty of challenges ahead of us.

Doubt is part of being an entrepreneur, but that doesn’t mean we have to be down for the count. There’s a lot we can’t control, but one thing we can do is ignore the self doubt and keep on leaping forward!

About Feliza David, Creative Director

Feliza-LEAP_for_Women

Think of Feliza as LEAP’s very own Don Draper, except without the hard partying. (The only thing she binges on is Netflix.) From tool reviews to learning modules to eye-catching graphics, Feliza probably had her hand in it.

She loves LEAP because:

It’s a safe, collaborative space that supports the unique needs of female entrepreneurs.

Feliza lives in Indiana with her husband, two dogs, one cat, and the occasional goldfish. When she’s not writing, drawing, or reading, she’s probably sleeping.

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