Self-Doubt

Do you occasionally question whether you are cut out for running a business?

Do you wonder if your innovative ideas will ever become popular?

Do you think back on past choices that lead you to be an entrepreneur and question if you made the right choice?

            If you have not had moments of self-doubt, you should.

Questioning

While many writers and coaches today are providing lists and articles on how to overcome the damaging effects of self-doubt, my opinion is that we need to learn to embrace self-doubt.

Definition

Before explaining my rationale, I want to make sure we are talking about the same thing.  What I’m talking about is the periodic second-guessing and the “self-talk” that goes on in the mind of most business people (and everyone else for that matter). Self-doubt is a momentary lapse in personal faith and confidence.

What I’m not talking about is the soul-crushing, debilitating mental state some people find themselves the victim of when faced with decision-making processes.  These episodes, which often require professional help, may be mental health issues and are not part of the normal maturation of most people in leadership positions.

Self Doubt and Success

Self-doubt is not the enemy of success.  It is the regulator or throttle on your drive for success. Self-doubt is the reigns that hold you back from borrowing ten-times more money than you can afford, from hiring enough employees for your grandest plans, and from purchasing more equipment than you can train employees to operate.

            Self-doubt keeps you in check.

Self-doubt is not only natural and inherent in our business DNA; it’s part of God’s design for us.  Whether we like it or not, we are not the sharpest tack in the box, the brightest bulb in the chandelier, or the sharpest knife in the drawer. We were never designed to be.

Self Doubt and God

Our purpose on Earth is to be part of God’s plans.  When we are in line with His purpose for us, why should there be any doubt?  If we are comfortable that God has placed us in an entrepreneur role, there should be nothing to worry about.  God is in control, and we are following His directions.

Of course, that line of thinking is not reality.  No matter how hard we try, we still worry about things, which is why self-doubt is so important. Self-doubt moderates us so we can regularly address whether we are still following God’s plans or have we deviated and are operating under our plans.

Questions

To help regulate your self-doubt, here are two questions you need to ask yourself.

  1. What are you doubting? Do you doubt your daily decision-making actions or do you doubt bigger issues such as your career or family? Are the things you doubt the small stuff or bigger issues?

I think the small stuff represents normal, healthy doubting.  But if it is the grand schemes that cause you doubt, then you are questioning where your place is in God’s plans.   This kind of doubting is also healthy, and fortunately, help for this answer is readily available from professionals, other believers, and the Bible.

  1. Who are you doubting? Are you questioning yourself, which is acceptable and normal, or are you questioning God? Questioning yourself reveals your understanding of who is in charge—which is not you.  Questioning God reveals a need and desire to understand better what His plan is for you.

Go ahead and doubt. But understand your doubting is to regulate your decision making not stop it.  And do not doubt that you are part of God’s plans, but you just may need to search to find where in those plans you are.