If you’re like me, then you spend a lot of time in your own head.
Too much head time can be challenging for even the strongest constitution, but when you keep it inside and don’t seek advice/support or even vent, then it has the potential to fuel your downfall.
Why is that? In a word, self-doubt.
Self-doubt is a disease of the brain, and it’ll kill your efforts to succeed if you let it run unchecked.
As the sole owner of many businesses over the last few decades, I’ve learned a few things about self-doubt. Thankfully, I’ve managed to navigate my way around fear and doubt, and in doing so I’ve discovered new ways of restoring self-belief.
Below are 9 strategies I use to keep self-doubt in check.
If you need to get out of a funk, or reduce the tsunamic waves of self-doubt that appear out of nowhere at times, or incorporate new thought processes to restore belief in yourself and your abilities, then continue reading. If you’ve got it all under control, then I’d love to hear what techniques work for you. Please drop them in the comments. I’m always up for new tips and techniques.
As you read below, tune into your responses and reactions. What resonates with you? Make a mental note of it, then move forward with the new self-awareness you’ve acquired along with a new conviction that you are capable of achieving anything you desire.
When facing new challenges that ignite self-doubt and fear, ask yourself:
1. Is it real?
Is your fear real? Sounds simple, but sometimes the mind needs to be reined in like an unruly child. Throw a lasso around fear’s neck and pull it closer to have a deeper look – exactly how rational or irrational are your thoughts? Can you say for certain they are real?
2. What if you fail?
What’s the absolute worst that can happen? Map your way back from disaster before you get there. See the solutions, or the best path forward in your mind’s eye. Examine the potential failure from this new perspective – that you’ve already created a solution to employ if and when it happens. Failing is not the problem – fear of failing is the problem. Feel the freedom this shift in perspective gives you. Now you can fail without fear.
3. What do you see when you look back?
Our experiences teach us a lot about life. My biggest lessons have come from failing. Not only has failing taught me what not to do, but it has also made me stronger and wiser. What adversity or challenge have you already overcome? I bet it’s probably bigger than the current issue you’re facing, so give yourself some well-earned credit for already being a warrior. You’ve survived every challenge so far – celebrate your strength!
4. What’s already going well?
Do you focus more on what’s going well, or on what could go wrong? Gratitude is the greatest equalizer when it comes to shifting perspective and feeling better. Counting our blessings brings a new energy to the table – a stronger, more loving, and serving energy. What you measure or focus on, increases. Measure successes and wins more than failures and losses.
5. What’s going on in your world?
Does your daily environment have more positive thinkers or negative nay-sayers? We tend to emulate the behaviours, habits, and thought patterns of the people and circumstances with which we surround ourselves. Have a close look at your interactions both professionally and personally, and rid yourself of any energy-sucking practices, people, and perspectives. Be the change you want to see in the world (and in your life).
6. Why did you set that goal?
Go back to the beginning. What was your main motivation/mission for initiating this challenge? Examine your motivations. What’s driving your daily efforts. You need to feel good about what you do. Generating intrinsic value will motivate you to keep going further and further. When you are inspired to help and serve others, fears and self-doubt dispel. Shifting to a ‘serving attitude’ will change everything, and guide you to success.
7. Are you approaching burn-out?
Self-doubt and exhaustion are frequent bed-buddies. Perhaps you need a helping hand but are too afraid to ask, or afraid of being seen as weak. Here are two simple facts: (1.) you only have two hands; and (2.) there are only so many hours in a day. Get help from family or friends. Many are willing to volunteer if they believe in your purpose or vision. Join an online support group and get tips from others that have been where you are. You are not alone, unless you choose to be.
8. Do you believe in ‘no-pain, no-gain’?
Did you grow up thinking that only those that toil and work themselves senseless are deserving of success? Or that you can only succeed if the journey is horrendously challenging? Success doesn’t have to be painful. These are false beliefs that have been uploaded into our subconscious by our loving authority figures. Work hard – yes, but also work smart. You don’t need to kill yourself to meet your goals. Always remember: You’re no good to no one if you’re not good to yourself first.
9. Do you practice self-care?
You can’t burn the candle at both ends and expect to somehow survive the middle when the two ends meet. Take time to nourish your mind, body and soul. Spend some time relaxing, meditating, communing with nature, or practicing some sort of creative activity. Even 10 minutes a day can make a difference in your mindset and emotional wellness. Feed all parts of your life because ‘all work and no play’ will not make a happy camper no matter what level of success you achieve.
Don’t let self-doubt diminish your potential for greatness, or destroy your dreams. Continue to believe in yourself and your ability to achieve your goals with the same level of passion you had when you started out. Don’t let setbacks deter you or weaken your resolve. Always remember: there are no mistakes, only lessons. Learn from them and move forward with the new knowledge they bring you.
If you believe in yourself, and know deep in your soul that you’re worthy of your desires, then your efforts will most definitely put you on the path to reach them.
Nothing trumps the power of self-belief.