Analysis paralysis is real. But even more limiting is projecting an imagined negative response to your business onto your friends, co-workers, and acquaintances in such way that your own mind prevents you from moving forward. Negative self-talk kills more dreams than actual negative feedback!

When this happens, the would-be entrepreneur imagines the thoughts and reactions of others and assumes they will be negative. The embarrassment the would-be entrepreneur would feel if the feelings or reactions were real is such a strong feeling that it actually prevents the person from trying!  In this scenario, the would—be entrepreneur has often not even told anyone about the idea. The negative self-talk in the “voice” of “people” (generally nameless and faceless, but sometimes in the person of a coworker or acquaintance or family member) effectively silences the idea and prevents them from exploring it further or taking any action. Paralyzed.

Sometimes the negative self-talk takes different forms. I’ve seen it manifest in clients by presenting as myriad possible ways to start or move forward, such as a variety of products or various types of target customers, resulting in uncertainty and eventually inaction.  They start down a path, and then doubt themselves, thinking they are choosing the wrong one. The feeling is compounded by the thought that someone else would think it was the wrong choice, and the anticipated embarrassment starts. The wheels begin to turn and doubt increases, triggering the would-be entrepreneur’s typical internal cycle. This process invariably leads to indecision and paralysis and kills the dream.

The key is to recognize the cycle and develop tools and skills to break it.  There are many strategies for overcoming the negativity; but the first step is to recognize it when it happens. Isolate it. Name it. Call it out and put it in its place.

Then you can take steps to combat it and keep yourself moving forward productively.