Suggestions for overcoming self doubt

When you doubt your power, you give power to your doubt. Unknown

Self-doubt is a natural protective mechanism that appears when we create something beyond the “norm” – it does not mean that we’re incapable of manifesting our dreams. Every dream, every challenge, every goal, every climb … starts somewhere.

Experts have differing beliefs on how to overcome self-doubt but here are my suggestions for how you can overcome the thoughts that are holding you back from your dreams:

Let your intuition guide you
Focus on what you CAN do and start actioning that! Forget about “HOW” you will make your dream happen – and start taking the first steps to get where you want to go. Getting started is usually the hardest part.

Trust yourself and your judgement
Learn to trust yourself. Write a list of things that you do to make you feel supported and confident. Do not list people – you need to be able to do it all on your own. List all your achievements. List the things that motivate you and why you want to achieve this goal. Keep these in your own personal motivational book for when self-doubt starts creeping back in. Don’t change things for one or two doubters – maintain your confidence and direction.

SWOT your goal
Do a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis to identify possible challenges along the way and your key strengths to keep you motivated. If you see an area that is a weakness, as for help or seek support there – sometimes a little bit of support early on is all you need.

Analyse your doubt
Figure out what triggered your doubt and why. “When you analyse feelings, you make them vulnerable to logic and reason. Questioning the validity of feelings brings them within the reach of reason,” one expert said.

Make a plan
If you fail to plan, you plan to fail – so start planning a strategy for how you’re going to succeed. Make an educated decision about what to do next. Choose a path that you think will lead to conquering your doubts and put it in writing.

Prepare for the worst scenario
Imagine the worst possible scenario that could result from your decision. Often it will be embarrassment, humiliation or rejection if our plan fails in some way. Imagining the worst case scenario is a great way to put things into perspective.

Surround yourself with positivity
Consider all the positive things about yourself and all the attributes and skills you have to realise your dream. Socialise with positive, encouraging and supportive people. Your friends should always recognise your abilities and encourage your efforts. Get feedback on your ideas from these people – most likely it will be objective and beneficial.

Focus on your achievements
Stop looking at what you haven’t done or how far you have to go: start looking at how far you’ve come, how hard you’ve worked and your key achievements to get where you are.

Break it down and research
Whatever you wish to accomplish should be broken down into smaller goals to keep you on track. Research it! Knowledge is power – so the more you know, the more empowered you will feel and the less doubts you will have.

Take the next small step
Set realistic goals and when in doubt – take the next small step. The next step will take you a step further from the doubts.

Learn to handle the setbacks
There will always be rejections and setbacks in life. If you can handle the disappointments, you will move ahead faster. Setbacks are an opportunity to improve as is criticism.

Make your own enquiries
Ask other people how they became successful and don’t hesitate to use their success model. What worked for them, may work for you too!

Fake it til you make it!
Why not act like a successful person until you achieve what you currently perceive to be success? This is what successful people do:
* Manage and control their fears
* Challenge self-doubt and expose it to be false
* Have a game plan
* Know every success if preceded by failure
* Know failure is momentary, then prepare for success
* See unlimited possibilities and opportunities
* Stand up, brush off and move on.

People who struggle with self-doubt tend to:
– Believe their emotional security depends on someone or something
– Feel inferior
– Suffer from low self-esteem
– Feel a lack of control over their life
– Believe that they are not good/smart enough to even attempt the smallest of tasks
– Anticipate failure even before they begin
– Have unresolved psychological trauma
– Suffer from depression
– Live in an environment that breeds doubt and negativity
– Be surrounded by rejection.


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