You’ll never be good enough. You can’t do it. Stop wasting your time.
That’s the voice inside your head trying to prevent you from success.
Think you’re alone? Think again.
We often assume that successful, confident people never have any doubts. We believe their decisions come easy and are never accompanied by regrets; however, that belief couldn’t be further from the truth.
Self-doubt is a natural human response to all the challenges life throws at us – acting as a mechanism to prevent us from facing failure. This may be useful in a life or death situation, but not so much when you are pondering talking to your boss about that promotion or unsure if you should sign up for the 5k road race.
In these situations, we often find our thoughts of uncertainty overstaying their welcome.
Erin Hanson provides the best advice anyone can give on second guessing themselves, “What if I fall? Oh, but my darling. What if you fly?”
Let that sink in for a moment.
Here are six ways to overcome self-doubt:
1.You’re not alone
Believing that you’re the only one with doubts is a sure fire way to set yourself up for failure. It’s important to understand that you’re not alone and that everyone goes through phases of uncertainty. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Overthinking will only make matters worse and you’ll end up creating problems that aren’t even there.
2. Become present
Self-doubt is often an unwanted consequence due to overthinking. Focusing on the present rather than the future or the past can provide your mind with much needed clarity, allowing you to refocus and push forward.
A simple mindfulness exercise such as sitting down while practicing deep breathing or a few minutes of guided meditation can help cure your indecision. With a fresh perspective you’ll be able to regain your focus and tackle whatever doubts you had before.
3. Set actionable goals
Still in a rut? Small accomplishments are one of the simplest tactics to get yourself out of a funk. Your goals don’t need to be the size of Goliath, requiring the perfect shot to defeat.
By breaking your goals into smaller, more actionable chunks it’ll ease the overwhelming stress of figuring out where to start. The sense of achievement you’ll experience from crossing each step off your list will lead to a boost of morale and keep you striving towards the finish line.
4. Surround yourself with optimism
Surrounding yourself with positive influences is a great way to keep you moving in the right direction. Keep those that provide you encouragement close to you and seek their advice when things go wrong.
Having the support of family and friends can help keep you motivated when you’re unsure of the next step to take. And don’t forget to distance yourself from those that don’t believe in you or provide any sense of negativity.
5. Believe in yourself
The underlying cause of self-doubt is from not believing in yourself. This is the perfect opportunity to relish in past success. Use prior accomplishments as leverage to dismiss your current fears. You’ve been here before. You’ve doubted yourself in the past and you’re still here — this time is no different. Believe in who you are, in what you’re going to achieve, and don’t be afraid to take a chance.
6. Prove others wrong
Haters are going to hate. Doubters are going to doubt. Sometimes people fill your mind with fears because they’re too afraid to follow their own dreams, or they failed once, or because they’re flat out jealous. Frankly, their reasons are meaningless. Don’t allow the limited beliefs of someone else impact you in anyway. Use their doubts as fuel along your journey.
Self-doubt gives us an easy out – allowing us to avoid our fears and protect ourselves from being hurt by failure. However, bowing down to indecision is what we should be fearing. There is nothing wrong with trying or failing. Great things happen outside of your comfort zone. Sometimes you need to take risks, block out the doubts, and just take a shot.
After overcoming a medical trauma, Gary has been inspiring others to overcome their challenges. For more inspiration and to learn more about his story, visit laughatadversity.com