327: How self-doubt sabotages you

One of the toughest things about life is that if you have self-doubt, that manifests itself in your performance. If you’re insecure and think that you’re not good enough, it will hold you back significantly. I have a friend who is one of the most competent people I know, he’s organized, a great communicator, and a fantastic storyteller, but he’s plagued with insecurity. He constantly worries that he’s not good enough and that if he tries to take risks he’ll be let down. When I spoke with him about building his confidence, he told me that it’s easy for me to say because I have it all figured out.

What my friend didn’t realize when he said that I have it all figured out is that I’m plagued with insecurity and self-doubt all the time. I’m out here raising money, buying $50M of storage in a year, taking risks, and many times I have no idea what I’m doing. But in times that I don’t know what to do, I’ve puffed up my chest, presented what I see as the best option, and made people in a meeting think that I was confident in it.

There’s a misconception that successful people have it all figured out and have all the answers. The truth is that 90% of being successful is having confidence and acting like you know what you’re doing. People who are insecure and afraid to take risks have a really challenging time getting ahead in life because they listen too frequently to their self-doubt.

Anything worth doing–leaving an unrewarding job, leaving your hometown, taking a risk–all of those things that open your world up are uncomfortable and scary. But they also work towards building your character and making you successful and wealthy. True success is only achieved when you get out of your comfort zone. So many people are so good at life but afraid to take risks, yet so many incompetent people make phenomenal money because they have confidence and ego.

Insecurity is helpful to an extent because humility and self-doubt will keep you grounded when you find success. But to get that first taste of success you need to believe in yourself. I had low test scores in school, little entrepreneurship experience before launching Storage Squad, and no real estate experience before breaking ground on our first facility, and I’ve found success in my journey. By all measures of conventional wisdom, I should have been a failure, but I believed in myself and took those key risks every day.

Nothing good happens to people who don’t take risks. You need to embrace uncertainty and find comfort in uncomfortable situations. I’m making decisions every day that have a significant impact on my business and life, and I’m often just using my best judgment. You can get used to uncertainty and not always knowing the answer, and in many ways, that’s what makes entrepreneurship fun.

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About Me

I started the Sweaty Startup in December of 2018 because I believe the Shark Tank and Tech Crunch culture is ruining the real spirit of low-risk entrepreneurship.