8 telltale signs that your business career is limited by self-doubt

Stepping out of your comfort zone is always a challenge, but more and more evidence points to it being essential to growth and success in your business and career.

In my experience as a mentor to entrepreneurs, I find that self-doubt and lack of confidence are the primary barriers that people have to overcome in order to move forward. The challenge is to identify your problem and solve it.

Although people around you may recognize the symptoms, nothing will change until you see obvious signs of hesitation in yourself. I found the key points well outlined in a new book,”victim discomfort“By Sterling Hawkins. He writes from first-hand experience and is now a recognized business leader, motivational speaker, and mentor to many entrepreneurs.

I’ve added my own point of view here to the key indicators it outlines, and I challenge each of you to do your own self-evaluation of your discomforts, and professional commitment, to move to the next level of confidence. Proactively carry out the suggested actions. and success:

1. You use non-committal language.

“I will try” and “hope for the best” are phrases that have no place in your business or career. If you find yourself using any of the similar phrases, it indicates that you do not believe in your ability, or choose to avoid genuine commitments. The antidote is to make clear commitments and celebrate successes.

Plus, you can show commitment and confidence by taking full responsibility for your actions and giving others full recognition for their contributions. These positive and proactive efforts will go a long way in strengthening your own inner beliefs.

2. Focus primarily on your perceived flaws.

By focusing on how your weaknesses can be a problem, instead of recognizing your strengths, you hide behind a defense mechanism. Instead, take advantage of the assets you have and build your confidence to achieve future successes. Focus on uncovering your positives.

3. It is more natural to imagine failure than success.

This leads to a constant search for safety nets, backup plans, and alternatives. Instead, get to work, do the work, enjoy learning more, and be more confident. My recommendation is to actively seek success options from peers and mentors and follow their lead.

4. You avoid planning too much in advance.

You like to leave your schedule open in case something happens, or if you don’t feel well. In short, you don’t want to risk stepping out of your comfort zone. Don’t let yourself slip into making future commitments as these are the ones that can help you rise to the next level.

5. Avoid serious conversations about your commitments,

If you avoid certain conversations in business for a long time, you are likely to have problems with commitment and therefore problems with self-doubt. Make it a priority not to delay conversations that you fear will make you feel uncomfortable. Being too busy is just an excuse.

6. You have many casual relationships but no close ones.

Close relationships, both professional and personal, make you insecure. They force you to look beyond your self-doubt to achieve important objectives. One of the most important ways to build trust is to always do what you said you would do, and if not, address it honestly.

7. Very precise about the terms under which you will commit.

There will always be situations that aren’t right for you to do something, but it’s often a sign that you’re doubting your ability to give in or looking for reasons to avoid it. In my experience, those who rarely commit are offered fewer and less real opportunities.

8. Equal commitment with losing your independence.

Keeping every option open may sound nice, but really, it’s just a chaotic fantasy. Growth and success are all about narrowing down choices, committing to one, and fulfilling it. Your customers and peers especially need to know what you stand for and where you are taking them.

By addressing these shortcomings and pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, you will be able to handle more business commitments, more contracts and more promises than you ever imagined, leading to increased success and fulfillment of your true potential. In my view, life is so short that we can’t hold back from our fears and self-doubts.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.