Women’s Day: Women entrepreneurs tell you how to overcome self-doubt and retain your passion

By Tenzin Norzom|4th Mar 2021
Why does self-doubt plague more women than men and what are ways to make sure it does not hamper one’s professional growth. HerStory spoke to a cross-section of women to understand and learn from their experiences.
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Women have made great strides in building a professional identity for themselves. Despite doing all the hard work - often in spaces that are more favourable to men - studies have repeatedly shown that lack of confidence among women is costing further growth.  

Self confidence

To understand the best ways to navigate through self-doubt, HerStory turned to those who would know the best - women entrepreneurs and leaders who are in the thick of making things happen.


Here are six pieces of advice on ways to quieten that inner voice of doubt and hesitance and move forward with confidence.

Make the most of your limitations

Priti Shekhar, Founder of Label Earthen says her journey is dotted with challenges as an entrepreneur - one being a lack of resources to scale her venture. 


“I used to believe that creating a product that depicts and feels luxury could only be manufactured in a bigger city, given the availability of resources. I was wrong and  with a bit of self-confidence and a whole lot of passion, I have managed to build a strong and relatable brand that now retails across all major online and offline platforms. It’s true when they say that you are your only limitation,” she says.

Be your own cheerleader

Nandeeta Manchanda, founder of organic beauty brand Enn's Closet believes the only validation a person should seek from oneself is that there will be no room for self-doubt. 


In times of anxious thoughts, the entrepreneur holds regular conversations with herself as a reminder of how far she has come. “This can bring tremendous results by boosting self-confidence. Spending time with people who wish well for you is another way to ensure success,” Nandeeta adds. 


Keep your eyes on the goal

Aim your goal and get it!

Rituparna Mandal, General Manager of MediaTek says the first step to overcome self-doubt is to list out short and long-term goals. 


She says, “The thrill you get from achieving the smallest goals is hugely rewarding and sets a cycle of moving forward.  One can begin by jotting down daily to-do lists and make sure to tick more boxes each day.”


Nishtha Yogesh, CEO of Hunar Online Courses says never losing sight of the mission and problem she wants to solve as an entrepreneur helps her power through. Shalini Sharma, who co-founded Sanshodhan An E-Waste Exchange suggests doubling down on persistence can help.

Embrace failure

Nandita emphasises that our biggest competitor is ourselves and beating the fear of failure and judgement from others can make a huge difference. 


Instead of getting drowned in the situation, Meenu Bagla, Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at Cyient advises conditioning yourself to take the criticism in your stride. “Do not hesitate to get out of your comfort zone and be prepared to fail early and fail fast. I have failed at many things in my life, but that has never stopped me from moving ahead, learning from mistakes, and putting my best foot forward.”

Practise self-compassion

Rituparna suggests undertaking self-assessment every once in a while, could help but with the understanding that it is normal to experience days of underperformance. 


She says, “Don’t be hard on yourself. There will be valleys and peaks and one must learn to take both in their stride. Most importantly, to succeed in overcoming self-doubt, dedicate time to destress by practising meditation, listening to soulful music, reading a book, or spending time with loved ones.”


Meenu Bagla, Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at Cyient echoes the importance of loving oneself.

“Only when we respect and love ourselves can we excel at what we do. When you face a setback, treat yourself how you would a friend - with kindness and compassion. Do not feel guilty about prioritising yourself and your mental well-being,” she says.

A good support structure can help

A common sentiment is having  a strong network of people to fall back on. “Everyone needs a safety net of people who we can turn to for the right guidance, mentoring, and inspiration when the going gets tough,” adds Meenu.


Edited by Rekha Balakrishnan

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