Why Self-Doubt is a Killer
“He who says he can and he who says he can’t are both usually right” – Confucius
That’s a really powerful quote for sixteen words. Stop and re-read it. The reason I love this quote so much is that it shows self-doubt in a unique light. Both individuals are proving themselves right by saying “I can do this” or “I can’t do this.”
Self-doubt is a dream-killer
What dreams do you have right now that are being blocked by your own self-doubt? It is a motivational killer. I am often jazzed up about a task or idea and then I start to hear those famous words creep in, “You can’t do it” “You’re not good enough” and then I start to believe them. By talking negatively to ourselves, we are creating negative energy. This starts to drain any dreams, ideas, or motivation we may have.
We believe our mind when it comes up with a list of reasons why we can’t do something. Eventually, we start to believe that little voice in our head. Instead, change your vocabulary. Eliminate words and phrases such as: can’t, not good enough, failure, etc. Replace them with I can, I will, and I must.
Just Get Started
Take one step in the direction you want to go. This can be as simple as googling information and gathering resources. In a recent post, we recommend always taking the stairs. “Challenge yourself to become better in life. One step at a time.”
I recently listened to this audiobook and couldn’t stop thinking about “the right frame of mind.” By this, I mean that we often need to be in the right frame of mind to accomplish tasks. If we think of failure, our mind and body will eventually go towards failure. But by simply thinking of success, our minds will venture into success.
Often people have small goals and ambitions in life. This book talks about “10x thinking.” In what ways can you take your goals and ideas to 10x results?
David Schwartz talks about creating a mindset in which you feel 100% capable of achieving whatever you set out to do. This helps our brain spark creativity in achieving success. I cannot recommend this book enough. It is a must-read for everyone.
I usually have a list of ideas flowing through my head, a new business idea, how to improve something, things I want to accomplish, etc. However, I rarely capitalize on such ideas. Why? Because I’m doubting myself. I’m doubting that I can actually make a difference. This is simply not true.
Any time I have started on an idea, I’ve seen success in some way, shape, or form. Simply helping one individual is success. Sometimes we just need to look back on our successes in life, big or small, and see that we can make a difference in others’ lives.
“What If” Game
Personally, I always play the “what if” game in my head. What if I fail? What if this doesn’t work? What if… what if… what if…? This is simply impeding any opportunity to even start in the first place.
Yes, granted some of the “what ifs” are warranted because it helps us actually decide if our idea is worth pursuing. It also helps with weeding out things that can actually go wrong and to find solutions before they actually arise.
Nobody ever asks “What if this goes right?”
Nobody says “What if I actually succeed? What if I help one person?” What if… what if… what if…? We need to reframe our mindset from a negative to a positive.
What’s the worst that can happen? You fail but learn something along the way?
I believe as long as we learn from our mistakes we don’t actually fail. We can still call it a success.
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas Edison
To me, this quote means that it can take thousands of tries to come up with the correct answer. Sometimes we need to fail in order to succeed. Think back to a time you did some serious brainstorming. Did you pick the first thing that came to mind? No, probably not. You eliminated choices along the way or even expanded an idea to make it a success.
Once you feel self-doubt overcome you, take a few deep breaths, stand up, stretch, and smile. Simply taking 30 seconds to do this can have a tremendous impact on your mental wellbeing.
I use Headspace to mediate 10 minutes a day. I use it mainly before bed to calm my mind but at work I will take a quick break when things start to become overwhelming, find a quiet place and start a 10 minute session.
I come out of the session feeling recharged and ready to go. I know what you might be thinking, meditation? Pssh. Really? I was the exact same way! What do you have to lose? What could go right?
Take Care of Yourself
Grab a drink of water and write down 5 things you are good at. Mild dehydration can alter a person’s mood, energy level and ability to think clearly, according to studies at America’s University of Connecticut.
Self-doubt can often onset simply because our body doesn’t have the proper nutrition or sleep. When self-doubt is creeping in, grab some water and write down 5 things you’re good at. This will help you start to overcome that doubt.
Break It Down
Don’t look at the end goal and think “How am I going to get there?” Break it down into small, manageable chunks. By breaking things down, it allows us to see progress.
For instance, on the road to investing, accumulating one million dollars looks like a mountain. However, the mountain climbing can begin after first getting out of debt, then saving an emergency fund, and then investing consistently to hit goals ($100k, $200k, $300k, etc.).
If you keep that same mindset, thinking “I’m never going to be a millionaire,” you’re right. You’ll never become one. It goes back to the saying “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.”
How are you going to stop letting self-doubt get in the way of your dreams? Let us know!
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