“Erase self doubt by working to build your strengths instead of focusing on your weaknesses.” – Rodolfo Costa
It’s easy to give in to self-doubt when challenges arise because it takes little effort to quit. It is scary to go the other route, which is to take a risk and continue moving forward despite the doubts.
Self-doubt is normal, and believe it or not, even healthy at times. It’s our body’s way of providing an assessment of our actions to make sure we are proceeding in a way that supports our values and our intention. The difference between people who achieve their goals and those who struggle to live a life they want is the ability to keep self-doubt in check.
Here are 10 ways to manage self doubt and keep moving forward
1 – Recognize It
It’s impossible to manage self doubt if we don’t know what it looks like or even if we have a hard time acknowledging that it exists. The better we become at knowing our thought patterns and recognizing hidden doubts, the easier it will be to develop a plan to deal with them.
2 – Do Something
The best thing we can do to manage our self-doubt is to take action. Self-doubt is usually temporary and relates to the fears we are having at that moment. Stepping into the doubt by taking action will help it subside. Stay on the path, follow the plan and ask for help if needed.
3 – Trust Things Will Work Out
Trusting things will work out doesn’t necessarily mean they will work out the way you want them to. Instead, it’s important to know it will work out as it’s meant to.
It is important to believe our self-doubt will cease. That happens when we understand that no matter the outcome, there will be a lesson to be learned. And applying the lesson is the only way to reach the next step of the journey.
4 – Choose Your Friends Wisely
The people we spend time with influence our thoughts, whether we are aware of it or not. In fact, according to Dr. John Kounis from Drexel University, the pathways in the brain can change after a short 20-minute conversation. If you are spending time with doubters, chances are you will begin to doubt. Evaluate your conversations, and ask yourself if they leave feeling better or worse?
5 – Stop Talking About Your Goals
There is research is out there that if you state your goals you are more likely to achieve them. And while affirmations and self-talk are absolutely fantastic in achieving them, you may actually be less likely to do so by talking about them too much with others.
It doesn’t seem logical does it?
What’s happening is our brain mistakes talking about them as the positive feedback we receive, and the gratification of accomplishment as if the task happened. This type of gratification reduces the motivation to move forward.
6 – Anticipate Challenges
One of the best ways to manage self-doubt is to anticipate the challenges that might appear along the way. If you anticipate that challenges happen, you will be better prepared when they do. Being prepared eliminates the fear and doubt that can sneak up on us when things don’t go according to plan.
7 – Stop Seeking Approval
Seeking other people’s input and advice is a natural part of doing business. The problem lies when our decision-making ability is hampered by the advice and input we receive.
Getting varying opinions can create doubt in the plans we have in place and may end up causing overwhelm. Stand firm in the plan and seek information, but stop seeking approval.
8 – Be Self-Compassionate
We are much more likely to be compassionate towards others than we are towards ourselves. Studies show that there is a direct correlation between being kind to oneself and a positive state of mind.
Be kind and be aware that imperfection is normal and part of being human. It’s important that we forgive ourselves for the mistakes we make so we can learn from them and use them for our personal growth.
9 – Stop Making Excuses
When we are doubting, we are trying to figure out a way to make a situation fit our emotional state. Fear of failure and even success manifests itself through excuses. Stop making justifications and finding reasons to avoid the risk. Say yes and know you will figure the rest out as you go along.