How to Keep Going When Self-Doubt Creeps in: 3 Rules

Having been a self-doubt sufferer for many years, it’s easy to imagine my life always being the same, doing the same old things and getting the same old results, never really getting me to where I want to be.

Except, I don’t want that kind of life, always looking for the easy option or the easy way out when things get tough, this time I’m willing to work for it, I want it that badly that I’ll put everything on the line for it.

Which leads me to the present, you see I recently left my job, sold everything and moved in with my sister.  OK that’s kind of ‘normal’ I suppose but what if you’ve done it with not much in the bank account, a small amount of debt and bills to pay each month that HAVE to get paid!

If you ask my family, my friends and most people who know me, they’ll say it’s kind of normal for me. I’ve never really been one to take things slowly or wait and suffer the pain of a horrific job for too long before I jump ship!  It’s almost a long standing joke with most of the people I know, I think they’ve just gotten used to it and don’t tend to ask questions anymore – I’m no longer taken seriously.

So how can a self-doubter be so free and easy with her life?

Firstly, I don’t take these decisions lightly I just know when something doesn’t feel right that perhaps the path I was on isn’t for me anymore, that it’s time to change direction.   The thing is, I don’t encourage people to throw it all in (OK maybe a little bit) but I do encourage people to try something new, push the boundaries and step out of their comfort zone.

When you do finally do something even a little bit risky you will, I guarantee, hit the self-doubt and uncertainty period after and I’m about to tell you 3 very important rules that I use to get me through those times – they work for me and I hope they work for you too!

Rule 1 – Listen to your inner voice and forget the ‘well-meaning’ advice

Firstly, 99% of the people I know who have told me that ‘I’m mad’ or said things like ‘you’ll never make it’,  I can guarantee have never taken a risk in their life!  Its’ funny how the people who like to tell you how to do things, bring unsolicited advice to you never seem to practice what they preach.

Of course some of those people will actually have your best interests at heart, but you’ll find a lot of them will try to put you off or worse criticise you because they are probably wishing they had the guts to do it too.

Then there’s your inner voice, you know at your stillest moments, when you first wake up perhaps or in the middle of the night, trying to tell you something.   It’s up to you then whether you chose to ignore it or whether you really listen and take action.  The funny things is, it will keep niggling away at you until you do something so you might as well do it anyway, it will save you a lot of grief down the line.

Rule 2 – Always remember why you are doing this and then take action

This is so important, because this is at the very heart of your decision making and will help keep your thinking in order.  One of the worst things you can do to yourself is to over think something, especially if it’s a negative thought or worry.   The way I combat it is to sit for a few minutes each morning, normally before I fully wake up and especially before you switch on the phone or laptop, and picture your future, have a vision of where you would like to be, what you will be doing and why it’s so important to you.  Visualisation is a powerful tool, because it makes you feel good and more motivated to crack on and finish what you’ve started.

However, I must warn you visualization alone won’t get you what you want – action is the important ingredient when baking this pie.  Action will stimulate you, get the thought processes going and will get you through the tougher times.   When you are feeling particularly doubtful, do something, anything to take your mind off the negative thoughts creeping in. By all means, recognize them so you aren’t in complete denial, but don’t hold onto them, take action, write something, learn something new but keep taking action.

Rule 3 – Take time out

I know, this seems a total 360 degree turn around on what I’ve just said but what I’ve found that is if you constantly work, constantly do stuff it all just becomes ‘stuff’ and never anything of any significance.  You’re body needs oxygen and some time away from the everyday stuff, so do make sure you feed it well because you’ll need it fit and healthy by the time you’ve reached where you want to be.  There’s no point driving yourself mad or making yourself ill as that goes against the reason you want your dreams to come true in the first place, you might as well stay in your office job working 50 hours a week and be done with it.

For me I try to get out 3 times a day, I do have the added bonus of having to walk my dog, but it does me so much good.  It re-invigorates, refreshes my mind and sets me up for a few hours of work each time.  Getting outside, breathing properly and letting your mind wander will benefit you in the long run, so switch off the laptop now and go get some fresh air! I promise you, you’ll come back a different person and ready for more action!
So are you a self-doubt sufferer and how do you try to combat it?

Paula loves people and connecting across the world.  She has spent most of her life going from one experience to another ranging from her love life to her career choices.  Her work now is to share those experiences and serve others by being authentic and real.   It is her intention to help guide others to find peace, discover who they really are and live life to its fullest. After all no choice is a bad choice, merely a chance to take a new direction.  You can find her at PaulasWork

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Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.

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