In 2019, the rate of new women entrepreneurs among female U.S. residents was 0.23 percent. For males, the rate was 0.38 percent. While this is still a sizable difference, the gap is getting smaller. Over the past five years, women-owned businesses have grown at a rate of 21%, while all companies increased at a rate of nine percent. In addition, the rate of female entrepreneurs has grown at nearly double that speed.
Along with all this success comes a lot of pressure. Being one of the few female CEOs in America can make the position itself more intimidating. As a pioneer, future leaders will be looking to you for guidance and encouragement, and business associates might be examining you more closely to overcome their own biases. This can lead to imposter syndrome and self-doubt. While insecure thoughts are not unique to women, they can be magnified by being held to a certain standard as a trailblazer of industry.
The most common self-doubts are about a woman’s ability to juggle a home and life balance. As more women enter the world of business, old mindsets remain about how a woman can co-exist in a male-dominated world of vendors, employees, customers, and partners. This can lead to feelings of impostor syndrome, the idea that your position is one of many successive lucky moments, as opposed to real talent and qualifications. Much like any negative thoughts, if you give them too much power, they can overwhelm you, increasing levels of doubt. This condition affects all people, at all levels of success, but is frequently associated with female entrepreneurs who are trendsetters.
The number one way to psych yourself out is to compare yourself to others. There is a reason for the old adage that comparison is the thief of joy. The only person you should ever compare yourself to is yesterday’s you.
Another way to overcome self-doubt is to forge your own path of success. There is no rule saying you need to follow the same formula as everyone else. As a female entrepreneur, you are already breaking the typical conventional leader or business professional’s mold. Many women think they need to behave like a male in order to succeed, but confidence comes from living your truth, which means maintaining your integrity and being yourself.