We all have doubts. Knowing this truth, it’s better to come to grips and embrace it rather than run away from those doubts. All they will do is haunt you.
I recently read an interesting post written by Franscisco Dao touching on the concept of living with doubt. It’s very much worth the read. This paragraph in particualar really struck me.
The truth is most entrepreneurs never overcome their doubt. In fact, the day you overcome all doubt is likely the day you become blinded by your delusions of control and perhaps even greatness. What entrepreneurs really learn to do is live with doubt. And learning to live with doubt, being able to accept doubt, is a much more powerful thing because it allows you to continue questioning assumptions while still moving forward in the face of uncertainty.
Living with doubt.
What does that mean?
I take it as instruction to embrace your fears and doubts; leaning into the pain of challenge instead of running away from it. This mentality allows you to become truly authentic in your ways with yourself and other people. It allows you to be fully human, to accept that you are not superman and you have troubles, challenges, struggles just like everyone else. I hope you realize you can talk about your worries and fears with others. It’s ok, it’s human.
Just this week I met with another entrepreneur looking for some direction and advice since he is going through the same “stuff” as I have been recently. Namely, his startup is taking a bit longer to get off the ground and attaining a sustainable operation, so in the mean time he is seeing the end of his financial runway approaching – fast. “What do I do?!” he was asking me.
No doubt, I am in the same boat.
Here’s what I told him:
To tell you the truth, more startup founders are in that boat than not. Most founders are struggling with massive pressure from every angle of their life – business, family, friends, financial, social, etc – and are scared as to what will happen in the coming weeks, even if they don’t tell you. You are not alone, you just have to navigate it.
The point I grabbed on to most from Francisco’s post is the fact that a majority of founders feel like frauds when the reflexively respond to people’s question of “how are things going?” Inevitably, they say “Great!” “Crushing it” or something else that eludes BS confidence and fakery just so they can move on to a different topic.
But it’s ok.
It’s ok to be humble. It’s ok to let your guard down. It’s fine to say things like “things are tough dude!”and ask what they did when they found themselves in that situation.
Because you know what? The truth is life is hard, especially as an entrepreneur.
Anything else is BS.