As a new entrepreneur, when you consider highly-successful business icons like Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, you might be tempted to think these guys never have any doubts about the business choices they make.

But guess what… they do! Everyone – even the poster boys and girls of the business world – has fears and doubts every now and then. However, what sets them apart is faith in their ideas and their willingness to take risks.

Making a habit of self-doubt is one of the surest ways to ensure failure as an entrepreneur because if you don’t believe in yourself (and your business idea), you won’t last long in the startup world. So, here are a few tips that’ll help you crush that habit of self-doubt and set you on the path to success.

Focus on Yourself… Not Others

Regardless of the industry in which you’re operating, one thing is certain – there will be people who are more successful than you. But listen – don’t compare yourself to them! While it’s okay to learn from others’ mistakes and try to apply what has worked for them, it’s never a good idea to make other people or businesses your benchmark.

Instead, you need to understand that you’re a unique individual with a unique idea. That means you need to go at your own unique pace, without feeling pressured by the accomplishments of others. Make custom plans that are well-suited for your own business and believe in your ideas. In due time, you’ll be dining with the kings in your industry.

Set Immediate Goals

While ambitious long-term goals are great, they soon become a fountain of frustration and doubt when they’re not immediately achieved. That’s why you need to prioritize short-term goals that can be more easily attained.

You need to make a habit of breaking down your long-term goals into sizable milestones that are simple and measurable. For instance, if you want a 100% increase in sales by next year, then aim at increasing sales by 8-9% on a monthly basis. By celebrating the small wins on a regular basis, you’ll be able to stay motivated for success and self-doubt will lose its grip on you.

Move with the Right People

No man is an island, says the old maxim. Isolating yourself and trying to go it alone makes it easier to drown in the river of doubt and self-pity when things don’t quite turn out as you expected.

So, listen up –if you want to make it as an entrepreneur, you need to surround yourself with the right people. Having positive, optimistic people around you is one of the surest ways to keep your motivation level consistently high. The opposite is true if you flock with pessimists. So, whatever you do, stay away from negative people, even if they’re friends or family members.

Learn from Mistakes… Don’t Obsess Over Them

Everyone makes mistakes…period. So, there’s absolutely no justification for beating yourself up unnecessarily when you fail to achieve a set goal. Nursing the idea that you failed because you weren’t good enough is a harbinger of self-doubt and the inevitable disaster that follows it.

So, what do you do? Simple… reflect on past failures and take notes. Find out what you did wrong and determine never to make the same mistakes in the future. Within every failure is an opportunity to succeed. So, make your failures a source of motivation rather than discouragement. And remember this… “the past is a reference, not a residence.”

Face Your Fears

Okay, listen – people who are afraid of failure never make progress. Fear keeps you down and makes you miss precious opportunities. That’s why fear must not control you… you must control it!

Before taking any business decision, take time to analyze the risk-reward ratio and visualize the worst case scenario. Then you need to prepare a plan B for ameliorating the worst-case scenario, should it come to pass. This makes you adequately prepared to deal with the consequences of your decision whether or not it works out.

Either way, you would have succeeded in overcoming your fears and self-doubt… a feat that must be achieved by all successful entrepreneurs.