Self-inflicted hurdles that women entrepreneurs often face

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Sometimes we see aspiring women entrepreneurs hesitating, waiting to take that decision – to step into their own business. Very often, they don’t reveal what they’re working on and in some cases, their projects never take off. Sometimes, it’s an internal struggle of self-inflicted hurdles.

Interestingly, this is something girls face from childhood. Young girls should be encouraged to take the bold the step, if they are convinced and there’s no need for hesitation. They should understand that control is within themselves; they should not be dictated by external forces, which can be hurdles and sometimes it can be self-inflicted. When young, if women are taught to think BIG, they can actually reach out for the stars.  Today, women business owners are juggling many factors – risks in terms of family finances, personal time and personal reputation; and sometimes they struggle, procrastinate which often compromises their business growth potential.

How do women step out of the shadow of self doubt? For one, they must embrace fearlessness, which can be developed by making decisions outside the comfort zone. By pushing themselves, emulating role models, owning achievements and resilience – this is how women can succeed as business owners.

What are some roadblocks that they face, many of which are self-inflicted?

  • Feeling not ready

There are stories of women, who initially thought their projects/companies weren’t ready to launch. So, the Big idea stayed just an idea! They feel they are not equipped with the skills, or they are not networked enough to secure finances. This happens often at every point in a startup’s life cycle. A business owner while starting out, may never feel ready get on the centrestage and plan activities like – meeting investors, or to talk to a customer. But, sometimes if you wait until you feel ready, it may be too late!

So, be ready to take chances even if you don’t feel 100 percent ready!

  • Doubting yourself

In the world of startups, the feeling of doubt that leads to defeat comes often. For women founders, this hits harder. How women evaluate their own performance against peers. And the comparison is depressing and self-defeating.

Every entrepreneur, regardless of gender, has to get over the good, the bad and ugly. There will be struggles, mistakes, which may lead to embarrassment, and as entrepreneurs, it is bound to happen – rejection. If you manage to push past that self-doubt, you can move towards success.

Successful women today clearly show that they are game-changers. They know that setbacks are proof that they’re moving ahead; and rejection brings in learnings which they can put to good use. It does not mean you are not ready, nor that you are not good enough. So, give yourself the luxury to think big, act big and succeed big, no matter what obstacles come your way.

  • Fear of failure

Certainly, for a fact, we can’t let fear of failure block our capacity to forge ahead. Are women, who are taking the entrepreneurial plunge, afraid of the risks associated? For many women, the idea of taking their future and their own livelihood into their hands, can be daunting.

The answer takes us back to how we are raised. Girls are often encouraged to be co-operative, be ‘good’ and nice to everyone. This is manifested into an image of pleasing everyone. We want everyone to like us. As a result, women tend to strive for perfection in all things; they often take criticism very personally, and internalize it. They try not to draw too much attention to themselves, for fear of what others will think. Men, on the other hand, are encouraged to fail and slip, all for the sake of learning.

  • What could be an answer?
    We can find inspiring women to emulate.
    Make a list of the qualities successful women you admire have, that make them successful; then you need to work on developing them. Just make sure you aren’t being too hard on yourself, because there are plenty of learnings that you cam imbibe from the stories of role models. This will help you to be resilient in the face of odds.
  • Recognize your achievements and resilience. Perspective truly is everything, so what’s yours? Celebrating your milestones along the way – it is one effective method of honoring your accomplishments. Another is to stick yourself out, understand that fear is a natural response to pursuing what is worthwhile. You must take risks and risk to be uncomfortable as you grow. It also means we must face our own biggest critic: ourselves. Very often, this gives us the opportunity to deepen our perspective and maximize our courage and strength. This can work wonders!

Trust your talents enough to push yourself. Fear of taking calculated risks is addressed by women-owned businesses, especially financial risks. Surround yourself with people who will challenge you – to take our businesses to the next level. We have to believe we are good enough to get on the road. So, act on it fearlessly and watch your business take off.

#RethinkingSuccess. Effectively managing self-inflicted hurdles can indeed bring about changes. Remember it will lead the way to success.

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