“I have self-doubt. I have insecurity. I have fear of failure. I have nights when I show up at the arena and I’m like, ‘My back hurts, my feet hurt, my knees hurt. I don’t have it. I just want to chill.’ We all have self-doubt. You don’t deny it, but you also don’t capitulate to it. You embrace it.”
Everyone experiences times when they feel inadequate and incompetent, but for some of us, this is the way we feel more often than not. Many people are so busy putting themselves down that they fail to thrive in life. They stop trying to learn and better themselves. They become discouraged and depressed. If this sounds familiar then you may be one of these people.
Maybe your self-doubt stems from some negative experiences early on in your life. For example, if people made fun of you when you were a child, you might doubt your abilities even today. I know this is something I have had to personally overcome.
Traumatic experiences can cause a vicious cycle of self-doubt in your mind.
Parents, teachers, and other children can sometimes unwittingly say things that have a powerful impact for both good and bad. So, how do you turn things around and stop that nagging voice in your head that says you will never be good enough?
Here are some tactics to help you erase that doubt and become more self-confident:
Learn to ignore other people’s criticism
Don’t let a jerk of a boss ruin your day by simply adding his voice to the negative tape player in your head. Realize that he may be taking his anger out on someone else because of his own inadequacies. People’s negative attitudes speak volumes about them, and not about you! Don’t make it personal to you.
Stop your tendency to criticize yourself.
Would you let a stranger walk beside you all day, and let him or her constantly berate you, tell you that you are worthless, and never going to succeed at anything? Of course you wouldn’t. So why talk to yourself like this? Pay no attention to that voice in your head that is saying you are going to fail. If you stop listening, it will get quieter and then eventually disappear.
Reclaim your life by believing that you can succeed.
Surround yourself with supportive people who believe in you; not those who would drag you down or criticize you. Jim Rohn said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Keep this in mind when choosing who you will spend the most time with.
Prepare yourself and do your best.
It is not enough to just think positively; you have to actively pursue success as well. Visualizing your end goal can help you make the right choices, but no one else can do the work except you. One way to overcome self-doubt is to write down your positive qualities.
Make a list of at least 3 good things about you.
Every day when you wake up, read your list. Reading aloud will also help you to believe the things that you have written. If you can write more than 3, great; list as many of your positive qualities as you as you can think of.
The positive thinking will help to prepare your mind to succeed, but there are other ways you can help yourself achieve your goals as well.
Set realistic goals.
Decide what you want to do within a set amount of time. Keep your goals realistic, at least in the beginning, so that you can achieve them. If you set goals that are too ambitious, too early, you may fail to reach them and become discouraged.
A lot of self-improvement is focussed on setting goals that almost scare you; ‘Big Hairy Goals’ as they are sometimes called. While this is great and definitely something you should work towards, failing to meet these goals may set you back. It might be better to start off small, get a few ‘easy’ wins under your belt, and then, as your confidence grows, so can the ambition and scope of your dreams.
Inactive people easily become depressed. To avoid this unpleasant situation immerse yourself in achieving your goals. Hard work will always pay off in the end.
Revel in your success.
Self-doubters tend to think they don’t deserve to succeed. You do! You deserve to be successful. You deserve a reward for conquering your self-doubt and becoming more confident. You deserve to be honoured for your hard work and perseverance. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
Just remember you can’t reach the top of a mountain in one giant leap. It takes many steps along the way to reach the peak in due time. The same is true of success and achieving your goals.
Taking baby steps and achieving many small successes will give you the confidence to reach for your biggest, most audacious dreams. In the meantime, sit back and enjoy the journey to becoming the self-assured person you know you can be. It’s a wild ride, but it’s well worth it in the end
Recommended: From Fear to Freedom: 9 Steps to a Braver You