So you made a decision. You have set a goal and you are going to stick to it. Okay, lets do this, now its time to take action. Then you hear that little nagging voice inside you, the one that says “You’re fooling yourself. You are gonna fail. You can’t do it. You aren’t good enough. You will NEVER be good enough. You are going to FAIL!” That voice taunts you, it beats you down and criticizes you, and when you try and stand up to it, it runs through a list of every single time you have ever tried and failed or been knocked down. Sometimes you try and block it out, but somehow it breaks through. The more you fight your self-doubt, the more it fights back. Doubt can be debilitating. It will plow through reasonable logic, and devour your self-confidence, leaving filled with fear and insecurity. The common suggested cure is forcing yourself to “think positive,” if only that were so easy, right?
There have been times in my adult life where I have doubted myself to the point of decision paralysis. Struggling with fear of failure and always second-guessing myself, I was making decisions to appease what others wanted of me or thought was best for me, and not what I wanted for myself.
I’ve discovered a few things in my work to help with self-doubt and boost my confidence that may help you too:
1. Stop comparing your “behind the scenes” to other peoples highlight moments.
Stop comparing yourself and your life, and struggles to everyone else’s. Comparisons put the focus on the wrong person and are always unfair. We compare the worst we know of ourselves to the best we assume to know about others. There is no other you. You possess your own distinct value. You have gifts and talents entirely unique to you and your purpose in this world. Stop wasting precious energy focusing on other peoples’ lives rather than your own.
2. Remember, You are an average of who you hang with.
I have held onto toxic relationships and draining friendships because I thought that if I left them, I’d be a quitter and i would be failing them. You have to stop listening to toxic people and stop giving them free rent in your head. As a whole When you consume yourself with what everyone else is thinking of you, you inhibit yourself. But toxic or negative people will relentlessly try to hold you back. You have to let go of the opinions of others who never have a positive thing to say to or about you. Usually, when you decide to take a big challenge or to do something that people failed to do you will find that everyone is putting you down. People like that will do whatever it takes to poison your mind into a state of hopelessness. Don’t let them steal your positive energy just because they’ve destroyed theirs. Remember, You are an average of who you hang with. Surround yourself with positive, passionate people who will inspire and support you. People like this will bring out the best in you by giving you the best in them. Believing in yourself is all about being sure that you are going to do whatever you want even if others were against you. Besides, if you believe in yourself other people will be forced to believe in you, even the toxic ones.
3. Be kind to yourself.
Would you mentally abuse or constantly criticize someone you love? Then why would you do it to yourself? You have spent more time being your own worst enemy, when you should have been becoming your own best friend. You are more capable and worthy than you give yourself credit for.When you’re down, you’ll more easily remember the bad instead of the good. But, try, as hard as it may be to remember your successes. Write a list and put it in a place where you can grab it if you need a reminder of things you have accomplished. And don’t forget to continue to add to it as you go.
But most of all you have to forgive yourself for your failures and give yourself a chance to try again. I don’t think real self-doubt ever disappears. It seems that as time passes, you just get better at dealing with it. It will greet you every time you fall out of your comfort zone and whenever you strive to do something great. Just understand that your doubts are only thoughts, not your future. Nothing in life is for certain, there is always a chance that something may go wrong. But if you never try, then you’ve already lost.