How successful entrepreneurs use doubt to drive growth

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Making big strides towards growth as an entrepreneur can bring a lot of fear and insecurity. In a way you also risk your reputation. What will others think of you? What if you fail completely? Why are you so ambitious anyway? Can’t you just be happy with what you have or where your business is today? You may feel a fear of being judged, or you may be reluctant to take big leaps due to unpredictability or the possibility of failure.

Just know this: Every entrepreneur faces challenges and failures and has self-doubt from time to time. This doesn’t even completely disappear once you reach higher levels of success and growth. Maybe you’ve heard the phrase, “Fear is wetting your pants, and courage is moving forward with wet pants.” As an entrepreneur, you will have to walk around with wet pants many times. These fears are not obstacles but part of the journey. In fact, if you’re never scared or nervous about your goals, you’re probably thinking too small.

As you advance in your career journey, consider these fears as indicators of where you need to focus and improve. It’s not about eliminating fear, but understanding it and leveraging it to advance your business. By acknowledging your fears, setting clear, achievable goals, and seeking advice from mentors and coaches, you’re not just moving forward in your business, you’re strategically guiding it toward growth and success, one step at a time. You’re also doing things that strengthen your discipline and take you out of your comfort zone. Most of your discoveries happen on the other side of your fears.

Here’s how you can redefine fear and turn it into a powerful ally on your entrepreneurial journey.

Related: 5 Easy Ways to Turn Self-Doubt into Success

Face your fears head on

The first step is to recognize that your fears are a natural part of the entrepreneurial landscape. However, instead of shying away from them and avoiding them, face them head on. Recognize these fears not as obstacles but as signals that guide you toward areas ripe for growth and innovation. Write them down, understand their roots, and then systematically address each one. By facing your fears, you are taking the crucial first step towards controlling them. Make a point of moving forward with wet pants.

Create a vision beyond your comfort zone

Setting goals is the cornerstone of progress. However, the real magic happens when you dare to look beyond your immediate reach and current capabilities. Don’t just plan for the next milestone; set your sights on what lies beyond. Imagine where you want to be five, ten, or even twenty years in the future. This approach might seem ambitious, even bold at first, but it’s about establishing a trajectory that continues to push you forward.

With every goal you achieve, you set a higher benchmark, even one that seems completely unattainable. It will surprise you how capable you really are. This cycle of continuous, ambitious goal setting ensures you not only stay on pace for success. You will probably surprise yourself when you aim for “impossible goals”. Remember, perhaps more important than achieving a specific goal or goal is who you become in the process of striving toward that goal.

Related: 9 Ways to Conquer Fear and Realize Your True Potential

Align yourself with a mentor who has walked your path

The entrepreneurial journey is full of complexities and unexpected turns. If you are looking for a path of stability and certainty, entrepreneurship is not for you. The good news is that you don’t have to go down this road alone. Find a mentor or coach who has not only been on similar paths, but has also achieved the kind of growth and success you are aiming for. A mentor brings not only experience but also foresight: the ability to foresee challenges and guide you in tackling them preemptively. This foresight is invaluable, as it helps you navigate your journey with a clarity that is often obscured when you walk the path alone.

By integrating these strategies into your entrepreneurial journey, you’re not just overcoming fears; you are rewriting the narrative of your journey. Every step you take is a bold declaration of your potential, a testament to your resilience, and a milestone on your journey to unprecedented success.

It is very important to remember that the entrepreneurial journey you are undertaking is not just about goals achieved, results or turnover objectives. It’s about you – yes, you – becoming the person who can reach those heights as a leader. It’s about determination, struggle, fears and doubts and how you face and overcome them. Every big name out there, every success story you admire, they’ve all had their moments of doubt, their moments of hesitation, standing there with their pants wet. But what distinguishes them? They kept moving forward, determined to succeed.

Related: 12 Things You Need to Know About Fear and How You Can Become a Better Entrepreneur Through It

So, here’s my parting thought for you: Embrace the chaos, the uncertainty, the fear. Let it fuel you, not freeze you. You’re not just building a business; you are building yourself and all the people on the team you lead. Every setback, every fear overcome, is transforming you into the entrepreneur, the person you are meant to be. Your journey is unique, as is your destination. Don’t hesitate to set bold goals, seek out that wise mentor or coach, and most importantly, believe in yourself and your cause. You made it, not because it’s easy, but because you can deal with hard things. Here’s to moving forward, wet pants and all, into a future you’re creating every single day.

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