More often than not, we are confronted with this cynical voice in our heads, spewing and casting doubts into our lives. If this tiny, negative voice left unchecked, it can surely incapacitate and cripple us – making us believe that we cannot do more. As a result, we stop doing anything to attain our goals. Here is an article dedicated to showing you how to overcome self doubt and chase your dreams instead.
While our mind seems hardwired to zoom in on the negativities there are in life, it also has the capacity to turn things around. The question then lies upon one single word – how. How to overcome self-doubt? First of all, we have to take action firmly and purposefully. To do just that, here are the steps successful people use as a guide to counter self-doubt.
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1. Practice self-compassion is the key to overcome self doubt
There are a couple of reasons why this comes primarily from this list. As Ralph Charell once said, “the inner speech, your thoughts, can cause you to be rich or poor, loved or unloved, happy or unhappy, attractive or unattractive, powerful or weak.” Indeed, how we talk, see, and deal with ourselves is an indicator of how self-confident we are. What we say to our inner “us” matters.
So, we should not go around underestimating the impact of our words on ourselves. We have to realize that we are flawed. We commit mistakes on a daily basis. We are fallible as we are humans. Despite that, we have to embrace these flaws as they are a part of us. The earlier we stick that to our brain, the better. Take your first action and improve your inner talk with subliminal.
2. Recognize self doubt and embrace it
This may sound taxing and incredible to do. But I will tell you what – recognizing self-doubt is the key step to letting go. We have to know what’s stopping us from moving forward. We have to discern how it is affecting us on a daily basis. We have to ask questions such as – “Is this worth thinking of? Will this help me succeed?” If the answer is no, then we better divert our attention to those things that can help us attain our goals.
3. Write your negative thoughts in a journal
There is no better and more practical way to ditch negative thoughts than writing them down. My passion for journaling helps me to sort everything out – my negative thoughts included. I figured that when I write my thoughts in my journal, I feel a sense of upliftment afterward. It is as though something heavy has been lifted off my chest.
By merely journaling our pessimistic view of ourselves, we are in some ways discarding them, making it easier for us to face our self-doubt. This also enables us to tune it down once it starts to creep in. Once our feelings are sorted out, we can now devote our time to discovering, exploring, or reconnecting with our passion.
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4. Discover your passion
Some of us are like a slab of wood in the ocean – drifting and just floating – clueless of where we are heading. We have to know what makes us tick. One way of doing this is by tapping into our inner child. What were the things that kept us curious and used to do before? By reconnecting to our previous selves, we could get some ideas. What about at present? Do you enjoy writing, reading, painting, socializing, hosting a seminar or a “study with me” video on social media, or doing craftsmanship?
There is no need to be grand about what we are passionate about. Knowing what we like doing, may it be as simple as was previously stated, is a great start already. From that, you can work your way up.
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5. Write down your goals and objectives
Time and time again, motivational speakers on TED Talk put emphasis on writing down our goals – that it keeps us on marching forward; that it fuels us to do more. Bestselling author Brian Tracy, in his book “Victory!: Applying the Proven Principles of Military Strategy to Achieve Greater Success in your Business and Personal Life”, pointed out that an objective must have five qualities. It should be clear, attainable, decisive, specific, and time-bound. Having such clear objectives and goals with backup plans will certainly guarantee our success.
ALSO READ: PERSONAL GROWTH GOALS FOR A BETTER YOU
6. Prepare yourself for the inevitable change
Once you have your objectives mapped out, the inevitable change might soon come. If that happens, you should be all ready to welcome it into your life. Change may be something that brings you discomfort and, in some way, anxiety. That feeling is normal as you are not yet used to it. Yet be ready anyway. Face the change head-on to overcome self doubt.
7. Remember your WHYs
Whenever you feel like you have reached your rock bottom or the lowest point possible in your life, remember your “whys”. Go back to your vision board. Reunite with the reason why you are doing what you are doing. Bear in mind that our “whys” are crucial as they give us direction. Without them, chances are we would go astray. No one wants to get off course while journeying towards our goals. Thus, know your “whys” by heart; stick to it.
8. Ditch procrastination
Procrastination, I must say, is our number one nemesis. We sometimes fall into the habit of procrastinating or putting off some things that we should do for the day. As a result, tasks would keep on piling up, making it impossible for us to tackle. If this continues, it may take a toll on our self-esteem; hence, our self-doubt surges. We must then strive to work on eradicating this bad habit as this only slows us down. I love how this article shows how to beat procrastination.
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9. Remember, life is not a race
One of the common saboteurs in life is the idea of quick success. We might have heard of the phrase – “success doesn’t happen overnight”. Indeed, enjoy what you do at the moment, no matter how small it may be or no matter how gradual your pace may be. What matters is that you do something on a daily basis for the realization of your dream. This will lead you to first overcome self doubts and will keep you chasing your dreams.
10. Bear in mind that your dreams are greater than your self-doubt
Think of self-doubt as luggage you carry behind your back, so heavy and unbearable. Think of your dreams as an oasis in the desert, it is one that gives you peace, satisfaction, relief, and refuge. So, which one would you rather throw away and which one would you keep? Which one do you think would lift you up from where you are and which one do you think would drag you down to the pit? The choice is yours.
11. Eliminate negative influences around you
Suppose you have a crate of tomatoes and among them is one, single rotten tomato. Should you allow it to get mixed with the rest of the tomatoes, what do you think would happen? Those tomatoes surrounding it would get spoiled as well? Exactly! This is what happens if we do not sort those people we allow into our lives. We have to discard those that drag us down as they are vexations to the spirit and keep those who push us to reach greater heights. This is indeed one of the simple formulas how to overcome self doubt and eventually chasing our goals in life.
12. Practice daily self-affirmation
Daily affirmation has been proven to be one of the simplest methods we can do to boost our self-confidence on a regular basis. Self-affirmation mitigates the feeling of low self-esteem. It is that favorite chocolate of yours that stimulates and promotes happiness. Self-affirmation can be basically done by thinking of your best qualities. Focus your lenses on them. Take pride in knowing that you are innately capable and talented; that you have the guts to carry out your day job!
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13. You don’t have to do it alone
“No man is an island” I suppose these words from John Donne are familiar to you. Indeed, in quest of achieving our goals, we need a hand. In order to thrive in these ever-changing and challenging times, we need people to back us up and to share our loads with. Accepting help from others provides us a huge sense of relief and a boost in our energy. With the newly found energy, we can go back on track fired up, and with more enthusiasm to work on our goals.
13. Surround yourself with a pack of believers to overcome self doubt
Way back in the 18th century, fraternities and sororities have been a force in college campuses in some parts of America. Even today, they are commonplace in top local universities. In joining such an organization, one gets to experience belongingness and have a wider network. The sense of brotherhood and sisterhood is palpable in that it makes you feel empowered. However, you do not need to partake in an actual fraternity or sorority to make these happen.
By just merely being around those who bring out the best in you, you can achieve more. Thus, even if plagued with self-doubt, you can keep living the life you desire because of them. Thus, beware of whom you surround yourself with. Be with a pack of like-minded folks, my friend.
15. Ask opinions about yourself from those you trust
Let us admit it! We are inclined to assume what others think of us. The thing here is that we even assume the worst in us. As a result, this makes us feel more undervalued and insecure. This surely chips our self-confidence away that we have been trying so hard to establish. Asking what others think of us or what they think are our best qualities can help us see ourselves in another perspective; and most probably, an optimistic one. In the words of Hanoch McCarty, “it’s not who you are that holds you back, it’s who you think you are.” Thus, in bettering ourselves, let us learn the art of asking others’ perception of us.
16. Watch videos regarding the lives of successful people
This has become a part of my daily routine. Whenever I find myself feeling demotivated, I resort to watching videos of Mel Robbins or former first lady Michelle Obama. The energy they exude is intense and profound that I cannot help myself but be in awe of them. By feeding my mind with their words of wisdom and encouragement, I can go back to my work feeling energized and ready to continue right after.
17. View every challenge as a whole new opportunity
A lot of times we are told of looking at the brighter side of everything and there may be a few times, that we failed to do such. I used to have a very negative perspective of challenges in general, most especially the ones that seem tremendous for me to tackle. But as I mature, I realized these are all but opportunities. They build me. Yes, some of them might have dominated or overwhelmed me. They, nonetheless, taught me how to fight and become self-reliant. They somehow push me in working gradually on attaining my purpose.
If you aim, then aim higher. Dreaming and aiming will not cost you a fortune, not even a single dime. So, what then is stopping you from yearning for more? Do not go telling me you do not have the resources to reach them and bring them to reality. As an old adage goes, “if there is a will, there is a way.” I believe you have the willpower in you so do yourself a favor and put them to use. Own your goals and work on them step by step.
ALSO READ: HOW TO SUCCESSFULLY INVEST IN YOURSELF
18. Find someone to be your mentor
Now, this may sound challenging, but that is the point. Mentorship is a life-changing program most especially in a life of a student or a rookie at work. Having someone you admire to guide you is one way to stay on track. Most people nowadays seem busy with their own careers and other responsibilities. But that should not stop you from searching. Look for that person who is willing to spare some time to work with you once in a while. Express your intent in a letter and send it to him or her. I cannot think of the best coach there is other than my favorite author Tony Robbins.
19. Embrace who you are
There is no one who can love you better than yourself. There is no one who knows you better than yourself. Your flaws, your strengths, your Achilles heel or heels, your shortcomings, your previous mistakes, your achievements – they are all a part of you. They make you who you are now. They push you. They challenge you. They may deter you but in most ways, they encourage you to put up a fight and bounce back. Thus, embrace them. Welcome them into your life. But most significantly, own your strengths and work on enhancing them more. This book shows how to be perfectly imperfect.
Do not underestimate the power of belief. One of my professors at school lectured to us that the first step to overcome self doubt is believing in yourself. I didn’t realize it at that time but to succeed in any area of our lives, it is vital to have faith in what we do and in our future. In the 2006 Documentary titled “The Secret”, Canadian Self-Help author Bob Proctor once mentioned that “thoughts become things”. That is why it matters what you believe in.
Positive thoughts attract positive things; conversely, negative thoughts attract negative things. That is the universal law of attraction. Hence, having the right frame of thought is indeed a must. It shows how much our dreams mean to us and how far are we willing to go to achieve them.
OVER TO YOU
Overcoming self-doubt is virtually impossible, that is an unfortunate reality. We cannot simply silence that tiny voice within ourselves that pesters us from time to time. However, we can take actions in spite of it. Incorporating these steps into our lives helps us march forward and soldier towards our dreams with grit.
I understand that it takes a lot of courage to do all of these things and overcome self-doubt but I believe in you. It may even take longer than expected to develop self-confidence in achieving our dreams. But we cannot just simply quit or sit around and do nothing. We have to at least put up a fight. If I am able to do these, so do you. We are all on this journey together and so, let us join forces then and commence on building our empire.