Doubt. This is something every entrepreneur has experienced. Remember that sinking feeling where you feel your work is not good enough?
Steven Cox, veteran entrepreneur who currently serves as CEO and Founder of San Diego-based TakeLessons.com, and the author of this article has this advice for you: Embrace it!
According to Cox, “No matter how successful you feel you are, doubt has a way of seeping its way into your head. As your company matures, difficulties will change in shape and scope, but they will never stop coming. The key distinction between entrepreneurs who do succeed and those who don’t is their ability to train their minds to overcome the doubt that accompanies these challenges.”
Healthy doubt is constructive and destructive doubt is inhibitive. Entrepreneurs should always strive to cultivate and embrace healthy doubt, while minimizing the negative effects of destructive doubt.
You are experiencing healthy doubt if you:
- Challenge your assumptions
- Are feeling driven
- Are aware of the changing marketplace
- Ask, “What’s our backup plan if we’re wrong?”
- Accept the reality that sometimes you’ll miss the mark
- Know that each stumble is just part of climbing the mountain
You are experiencing destructive doubt if you:
- Question your abilities
- Are feeling paralyzed
- Are blind to opportunities
- Say, “I’ll never try that again”
- Look at failure as a negative feature of your personal self-worth
- Think a stumble is the end of the world
Cultivating healthy doubt is an art form that is developed over time, and it requires mental discipline. By accepting your imperfections, being comfortable with failing fast, and by persevering when you stumble, entrepreneurs can build the mental fortitude that prevents destructive doubt from taking hold, and enables healthy doubt to flourish. The more practice you get, the better you will be at harnessing the positive power of healthy doubt. (Image via Shutterstock)