Self-doubt is a powerful motivator – it motivates us to stand still. To never step outside of our comfort zone. It feeds into our fear of failure, they go together hand in hand. Getting over self-doubt might just be the most difficult part you will encounter while going after your dreams.
Being at this point in my life, I can get brutally honest with myself. looking back, I can track so many decisions I made in my life out of self-doubt. So many times I chose the “safe” predictable option at every crossroad I faced. Finally, in my late 20’s I said enough was enough. Tired of the corner I pushed myself into, I took a leap. Like the quote says I had to lose sight of the shore to finally see a new horizon. In the process, I found a whole new life I embraced. But still, self-doubt affects all areas of our life, and it never really goes away for good. But at this stage, I have a few “tricks” I use to drive it away.
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Surround yourself with supportive positive people
When it comes to career choices and the way we handle our business, self-doubt can be downright debilitating and discouraging. It usually joins in with the fear of failure and feeds on negative comments and the fears and doubts of other people in our life.
“Not all of us can sit home looking at butterflies” that’s an actual sentence a “friend” told me just this week when we were talking about our work day. She was complaining about her busy day at the office. I work from home, many people confuse it with being a woman of leisure, who shops and bakes all day. Some days I work 16 hours at my computer, going to bed at 2 am. I didn’t tell my friend that, I just smiled and shrugged, reminding myself once again, why it’s important to be around positive like minded people. I try to have at least two conversations a day with people who enrich my life. Whether it is a real-life or technology aided conversation. Make sure you are surrounded by people who want to celebrate your development and achievements and not eclipse it with their own doubts or fears.
I wrote before about one of my favorite books – “The secrets of the Millionaire Mind” by T. Harv Eker. The book discusses in length how we need to retrain our minds to think in a positive way, and one of the ways he suggests doing that is using the positive affirmation, saying them out loud in front of a mirror. It made me cringe a little at first, but I did that, and you know what? hearing my own voice saying those things helped to internalize them more. I still do that, I have the privilege of being able to talk to myself, working from home (while watching butterflies). Make a ritual out of it if you want, or be more casual about it, write it down, put it on a wall, whatever works for you. Just remeber that Positivity breeds positivity and by default confidence, both are great enemies of self-doubt.
Rid yourself of the imposter syndrome
You do really know what you are doing, you do deserve to be where you are, you ARE ACCOMPLISHED.
It took a while for me to be able to answer clearly when people asked me what I do for a living. Do I have the right to call myself a writer? Can I manage other people content? Can I call myself a blogger? ever felt thought that way? I did. So many people don’t understand what my work entails anyway. The questions I get asked most is “Can you make a living doing that?” and that’s OK. I LOVE what I do and I am really GOOD at it. People pay for my services, and I am damn proud of myself for it. It took me a while to start feeling confident enough to say that, and every now and then I remind myself of that. I look over the results of my work and I reaffirm to myself that – yes – I did that all on my own, and it feels great!
Life is a journey – remind yourself of that
You don’t always see results right away. it takes time, you have to travel some bumpy roads sometimes to get to where you want to be. Accept that, embrace the journey, look at it as a growth experience. There’s a quote that I really love by Eloise Ristad “When we give ourselves permission to fail, we, at the same time, give ourselves permission to excel”. I know most of us beat ourselves up when we perceive something we did as a failure. Try instead to change your perspective- look at it as an opportunity to learn, examine it, draw conclusions and instead of doubting your abilities, use what you learned to go at it from a different direction and doing it bigger and better.
Set yourself milestone goals
We all have long term goals, “the dream” we want to live. But those goals can be far off in the distance from where we are right now. It’s so easy to get discouraged if you only remain focused on that one big goal. It’s important to play the long game and to want to reach far. However, it is also important that while making your long term plans and goals, to also set yourself some small milestones goals. I have small ones I set for myself every month. I try to be very realistic about it – look at where I am, study the previous month results and then set the next benchmark I want to reach. If and when I am not able to achieve those goals, I don’t grab it as an opportunity to criticize myself as I used to do before. I go over the month and try to figure out what more I could have done if I need to change an approach and so on.
If you hear a voice within you say you cannot paint, then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced. Vincent Van Gogh
Above all, love yourself, know that you are talented. Silence that inner self-doubting voice by taking action, by doing what you excel at. Be kind to yourself, CELEBRATE yourself and your success. Practice self-care so that you can stay energized and motivated. Go out there and be amazing.
And if you need a reminder of how to get and maintain a success mindset that will also help with banishing self-doubt try this post