One of the greatest enemies we’ll ever face in life is our own self-doubt.
Self-doubt is paralyzing. It will cripple you and prevent you from reaching your full potential.
Doubt is experienced as a feeling of uncertainty.
You start to wonder: am I good enough, smart enough, will people listen to or like me…
Self-doubt creeps into the back of your mind and you start to question yourself. You start to lose confidence in your ability to carry through to your goal.
In order to be successful one needs to believe that they have the ability, knowledge, and strength to accomplish the goals that are set before them. This is not easy as there are many obstacles that lie in front of us on our road to success and we don’t need to be creating our own.
2 out of ten times when I feel paralyzed, it’s because I doubt myself. Yes, I am blessed to be one of those people that rarely feel self-doubt. However, doubts are just an inevitable part of life. The important thing is that we act in spite of them. Self-doubt handled correctly can actually offer opportunities for personal growth, change, and improved confidence.
For instance, I get into full panic mode before any examination. Every other person asides myself is certain Tega will pass the exam. But, no matter how much I have read, I still feel unprepared until the very last minute. I get to the examination hall and I am writing none stop. I start wondering why I have been panicking – at that point, I realize I have been stressing out unnecessarily, and as always, I doubted my ability to study, understand and have a retentive memory.
I just say to myself; Gurl, you need to have a little more faith in yourself. The only plus to this is doubt makes me study harder and I always pass. #Truestory
How do you get past self-doubt?
First of all, you have to take the ‘self’ out of self-doubt
It has nothing to do with who you are. It’s simply a thought and it’s actually completely impersonal. Everyone, in every walk of life, experiences thoughts of doubt with regard to themselves and their abilities. Self-doubt is basically fear. Bottom line is that it is your own personal battle. So, you can fight it.
Do what you can, with what you have, where you are
You have a choice to do your best with what you have, where you are right now. Don’t obsess about the future, think about making great choices in the next five minutes.
What you have right now and where you are right now is a sum of your decisions. Your health is a sum of your diet and exercise choices. Every choice you made in the past leads to where you are now. If you’re broke and unhappy it’s because you made poor choices that got you here.
Resist the urge to quit
Quitting is always the first option that comes to a doubters mind which in all certainty is a wrong approach. Often times when we don’t know how to process negative emotion, we want to remove the situation that we believe caused it. Remember that it is your thoughts that are creating this feeling, not the circumstance. Instead of giving up, try to work through those feelings. By contrast, quitting will just limit you even more and will prove that you can’t do it.
Don’t worry about what others think about your performance
What other people think about us is really none of our business. It really has more to do with their thoughts about us, than us as a person. 10 people could all have a different opinion of our performance because we all have such varied thinking and backgrounds. So, steer your focus away from what is going on in someone else’s mind.
Get a boost of optimism
Let someone else’s enthusiasm, motivation, and constructive optimism flow over to you.
Spend 20 minutes with an audiobook, a podcast or a book that gives you that. I listen to Joel Osteen’s message almost every morning and over the years I have read books by Myles Munroe to get this boost.
This quick 20-minute session can greatly help you to shift your self-doubts into optimism and into thinking constructively about your challenge.
Remember: You are not a failure just because you failed
Failure is inevitable for everyone who tries. It is simply a part of living life fully. Sometimes things go well and sometimes they don’t. So don’t make a failure into this huge thing or into your identity.
Use the mistake or failure to your advantage and to move forward once again in a smarter way.
Relax and distract yourself
Sometimes simply relaxing or finding other activities can draw you away from negativism and refocus your attention on the positive aspects of a situation. Also, suppress negative thoughts by telling yourself to stop and immediately beginning to focus on more positive thoughts and images.
Celebrate that small step and win
When you’ve taken one small step forward and you succeed. Reward yourself! It may be a small one but it’s still a win. So celebrate it.
Have your favorite food or eat that thing you’ve been craving, spend some time on your favorite hobby or buy yourself something you’ve wanted for some time now.
This will renew and recharge your motivation and make taking action feel more exciting and fun. And that will push self-doubts aside so that you can keep moving and get more small and bigger wins.
Talk about it
Talking about how you feel can work wonders. It doesn’t mean you’re a failure. It doesn’t mean that the niggly feeling is true, and it doesn’t mean that you should stop what you’re doing. Instead by sharing how you feel with friends and colleagues you might be surprised at how many people are in the same place, and together you can boost each other along. My comment box is also open for conversation.
Pray about it
Finally, you have to pray without ceasing. Philippians 4:6-9 is my go-to scripture. “Do not be anxious about anything…” 2 Timothy 1:7 also says “ For God hath not given us the spirit of fear…” and Philippians 4:13 says “For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength”.
Prayer directs my thoughts of myself and provides me with a tremendous amount of peace in my life. So brethren, when in doubt, try talking to God about it and see if that doesn’t help put things in perspective.
Don’t Let Self-Doubt Ruin Your Life
Life is too beautiful to let self-doubt drag you down. Self-doubt is ignorance masquerading as truth. Don’t let it cripple you. Take charge of it and educate it. Treat yourself with empathy. Forgive yourself for your mistakes, and encourage yourself to work toward your goals. Believe me, learning how to turn the volume down on your inner critic will do wonders for your confidence and sense of well-being.
Remember: Dreams don’t die because you make the decision one day to put your dreams aside. They die because you let self-doubt paralyze you into inaction.
It’s time to shake away the self-doubt and embrace your burning truth.
You’re actually doing fine!