During the day-to-day running of a business, self-talk can manifest itself as assumptions about your company and your life.
It can also manifest as reactions to certain events and situations. For example, you might think “that was a dumb mistake” or “this is going to be awesome.”
“There’s no question that business owners lie to themselves, often knowingly, but some lies are innocuous,” says Timothy Carter, director of business development for the Seattle-based content marketing and social media agency AudienceBloom. Some lies are important to reframe your expectations, help you think more positively, and direct your line of thought to something more productive, he notes. But don’t let yourself get caught in a trap of unproductive self-deception.
Here are five lies that Carter explains are destructive and should be avoided.
My customers are going to love this. This lie stems from your own personal biases. You came up with the idea for your business (or product), so of course you’re going to love it! That doesn’t mean everyone else in your target audience is going to, and assuming that’s the case may set you up for failure. If you don’t have any objective data backing this statement, you’re lying to yourself.
Everything will work out. It won’t. Not if you allow things to continue as they are. There’s this persistent myth that businesses succeed because they had a good idea and a good system. Then they just waited for everything else to fall in place. This isn’t true. Successful businesses have to experiment, tinker, and evolve constantly. You have to put in the effort if you want to succeed.
I have to do this myself. Entrepreneurs love to get their hands dirty, and many take it as a point of pride. You might convince yourself that you’re the only one with the skill set or experience to handle a certain task, or that if you don’t do it yourself you’ll lose control of your business. However, it’s unlikely that those things are true. Learn to let go, and trust your teammates to help you out.
I don’t have time. Entrepreneurship is demanding. It takes a heavy investment of time and effort to see any progress, so many business owners end up putting off or ignoring other aspects of their life, like family, friends, and leisure time. Trust me, you need to make time for those things, or you’ll regret it later.
I just have to work harder. Working harder isn’t always the best approach, just like hitting your head against a brick wall with more force isn’t going to help you tear it down. Opt for smarter, more innovative solutions to your problems. Putting in more hours with a brute-force style will leave you burned out and frustrated.
A version of this article originally appeared on SmallBizTrends.com