I’ve been thinking about self-doubt lately.


I’m no stranger to self-doubt. It goes hand-in-hand with being a solopreneur and owning a business for nearly 15 years that has constantly been evolving. Brand strategy and design were not what I started out doing or offering. Self-doubt can linger when you’re starting a business and are on your own, learning by the seat of your pants. It can hang around like an annoying sibling that won’t find their own friends to hang out with.


Over the years, I’ve figured out how to deal with this annoying sibling most of the time (we’ll get to that). But what I find so incredible is how many of us doubt ourselves, our abilities, and our skills. And I’m not talking about just those starting a business, where life may be their classroom. I’m talking about trained professionals with thriving businesses, highly skilled individuals second guessing who they are, what they’re doing, and how they do it.


Rewatching Top Chef this summer has made me think more about self-doubt. I love a good reality cooking show. The number of times the contestants doubt their skill is remarkable to me. Most of them have opened countless restaurants and run several at a time. Most are also highly qualified chefs who have trained under legends in the industry. But there they are, admitting they doubt their style, skill, and approach.


And earlier this year, I enrolled in a coaching program. I was in the program because my 19-year-old niece was living with me and my husband. I wanted to learn to communicate better with her and be a more thoughtful life coach. I also find myself coaching clients regularly and want to enhance those skills. Every week during this program, I witnessed one of the other participants doubting if they were good enough, charged enough, or skilled enough. These women were highly trained coaches with their own coaching businesses. According to their websites, they appeared confident and capable, but here they were, in this safe environment, admitting they doubted themselves. 

You’re not alone.  

I’m thrilled that I’m not alone in experiencing self-doubt. Not being alone feels good. I prefer, however, to overcome self-doubt, if there truly is such a thing. Let’s explore the overcoming or the ways to just deal.



Most of the time, I try to consider my circumstances a lesson, asking what I can learn from this situation or how I can grow personally from this experience. When we experience self-doubt, it can be scary, but we need to look for that opportunity for personal development and growth. Or, could we possibly find the challenge or motivation in the self-doubt to press on, learn a new skill, and grow?


First, let’s put self-doubt in the Simply Part of Being Human category. At the same time, let’s remember that if we leave self-doubt alone and don’t address it or explore what else is there, an opportunity perhaps, this self-doubt can lead to overthinking, imposter syndrome, procrastination, and striving for perfection. And here is where many entrepreneurial women might find themselves, especially those just getting started.


Related Behaviors

This can easily be a chicken or egg situation. Does self-doubt lead to these modes of behavior, or are they the reasons for self-doubt? Either way, we want to be aware of these behaviors. Can we recognize ourselves in the descriptions below? 

Overthinking: Do you dwell on or worry about the same things repeatedly? Do you struggle to make decisions or to take action? Does overthinking keep you stuck and unable to move the business forward?

Procrastination: Do you delay or put off tasks until the last minute or past their deadline? Do you over-prepare or get sidetracked doing other things that prevent you from doing the work that needs to be done?

Perfectionism: One reason why we may procrastinate is perfectionism. Are you critical of yourself or your work? Do you have trouble getting started or achieving your goals? Are you overthinking and striving for everything to be perfect before moving forward in your business, working with a client, releasing that product, or finalizing a presentation? 

Imposter Syndrome: Do you feel anxious and unable to experience your success internally, despite how highly you perform? Do you feel like a fraud or a phony, that someone, any minute now, will see that you’re not enough? Do you doubt your abilities?

Do you find yourself behaving in these ways?

Become More Aware 

We can quickly see how self-doubt can creep in when overthinking, procrastinating, or striving for perfectionism. On the heels of self-doubt is imposter syndrome, for sure. So pay attention and become more aware of your actions, reactions, and habits. Try to catch yourself in any of the above behaviors, pause to look deeper, and see if your self-doubt drives the train. What can you change in the moment? How can you refocus? What can you learn? How can you turn the doubt you may be having into motivation? Or, maybe you’re feeling unprepared.


When we’re unprepared, self-doubt can easily sneak its way in. We often feel unprepared when we’re stepping outside our comfort zone, and we’re somewhat uncomfortable. Honestly, we want to feel a bit of this discomfort; it’s good for us; it’s called growth. We’re challenging ourselves. 

Find Collaboration & Guidance

Managing self-doubt can be easily done with a trusted friend, mentor, or colleague. Take some time to talk with someone you trust about your situation, your fears, and self-doubt. Guidance and collaboration allow you to feel less alone, and another person’s perspective can help us gain confidence in how we’re thinking, change our thoughts to some degree and feel more confident moving forward knowing that our trusted friend has our back, agrees with our decision or they’re willing to mentor us through the situation. 

Embrace the Doubt

As strong entrepreneurial women, we must embrace the doubt and learn to look for the unexpected and valuable opportunities that can move us and our businesses forward.

Let’s not doubt who we are, the women we’re becoming. We can be more aware of how self-doubt creeps in; it’s likely different for each of us. Be watchful and mindful. Let’s not let this annoying sibling convince us we’re not enough.

Our gifts and who we’re becoming are worth sharing, especially as a profitable, thriving business.


Take someone along with you as you navigate self-doubt and, start your business, grow your enterprise. Find that mentor, your hand-picked guide. 


While you’re at it, let past mistakes go, leave them in the past where they belong, learn from them, and move on. 


And, by all means, find your mentor, collaborator, and guide. If I can support you, I’d be honored; please reach out to me.

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