It’s no secret – the most successful entrepreneurs are those that dig deep into pockets of faith that most of us mere mortals don’t even know we have. Even through these current uncertain times (I won’t mention the B word), they still seem to persevere with a sense of purpose and optimism.
But even the most solid entrepreneur, with the most crazy, unrealistic faith, will have his/her moment. Am I doing this right? Have I made the right decision? What have I got myself into?!
It’s natural – an entrepreneur is only human at the end of the day. But when you’re feeling like this and questioning things and yourself, or even if you’re considering jumping into the unknown world of setting up your own business, know there are methods and tools out there to help you ease those doubts and answer those questions.
Read on for my ideas on how to help you allay these thoughts, constructively!
First things first, make an honest assessment and plan for change
If you want to change, then you need to do an honest and accurate self-assessment of your abilities. Listen for the voice telling you what you cannot do and then work to strengthen those skills.
Ignoring your weaknesses will not make them go away. You need to find ways to minimise their negative impact. As you do so, you’ll gain a clear understanding of your strengths and how you can use them to grow.
Most importantly, that self-awareness of your confidence and strengths will make it easy to shake off groundless feedback, criticism and self-doubt – and that in turn builds more confidence.
Why not try a personal assessment tool?
Talking of assessments, personal assessment tools can help identify strengths and weaknesses, hire the right people and build better teams, all because you’re gaining more self-knowledge and insight to help you perform at your best, thus enabling you to help others flourish as well.
There are many tools out there, but The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is the most widely administered psychological test. Based on Carl Jung’s theory of psychological types, it uses Jungian notions of personality to analyse characters.
It’s based on various preferences within four categories and when you’ve decided on your preference in each category, you’re given your own personality type – which can be expressed as a code with four letters.
The preferences cover aspects such as your likely patterns in gathering information, making decisions, managing your energy, and interacting with the outside world. By learning about your unconscious blind spots, things that give you positive energy and things that drain you, the idea is you’re then able to use this knowledge to gain an edge over your competitors.
Like with all assessment tools though, it’s wise to take the MBTI result with a pinch of salt. With such rigid categories, the test has been known to give inconsistent results, purely because we, as humans, are always changing. Putting humans into boxes and labelling them by four-letter codes can only be helpful to an extent and should be used as part of a wider solution.
Recognise self-doubt when it pops up
Doubt and “what-ifs” can shake your resolve because there’s no one else in your head to talk you down. Instead of focusing on the self-doubt and beating yourself up over it, just acknowledge it for what it is and let it pass.
The goal is not to eliminate negative feelings or stifle them. They’re normal. You want to empower yourself to take action and let self-doubt get you moving.
If you’re new to starting up, self-doubt may be your best friend, so think of this as a daily exercise to strengthen your resolve.
Acknowledge previous accomplishments and failures
Use previous failure to gain forward momentum. You’ll have personal and professional experiences that have created learning opportunities – focus on those and look to see what lessons can be gained.
At the same time, look to your greatest accomplishments and use them to reinforce your resolve. Get pumped by your victories – big and small.
All of the methods identified have their benefits, but using them as standalone approaches won’t help you become a better leader. Instead of relying on one to help solve all of your leadership questions, try using a few approaches to see how you go and feel.