Everyone feels self-doubt at least every once in a while. However, high achievers overcome their self-doubt, while low achievers wallow in it and allow their self-doubt to prevent them from achieving their goals.
Self-doubt sounds like the following:
“I’m not sure I can do this.”
“What if I fail?”
“What if I just don’t have what it takes?”
Fortunately, there are ways of conquering those doubts, so that they don’t hold you back. Below you’ll find eight ways to overcome self-doubt.
1. Beware of Naysayers.
Self-doubt comes from one of two sources, from other people—also known as naysayers–or from your own negative inner chatter.
Let’s start with the naysayers. They’re the people who are constantly telling you things like the following:
“That’s too hard; there’s no way you’ll succeed. Don’t even try.”
“That doesn’t sound safe.”
“You’re too old to try that. Remember, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.”
“What if you fail? You’ll never be able to live it down”
The motivation behind these comments could be any of the following:
They may be trying to keep you from getting hurt, albeit in a misguided way. If this is the case, explain to them how you’ve prepared yourself for the challenge that lies ahead, and reassure them that you’ll be fine.
They’re reflecting their own doubts about themselves onto you. Don’t adopt other people’s doubts as your own. Instead, tell those people: “I’m sorry if that’s how you see yourself, but that’s not how I see myself.”
They may be jealous that you’re trying something new, while they’re too scared to change. Move away from these people as fast as you can.
Deal with naysayers so that they stop feeding your self-doubt.
2. Challenge the Negative Chatter in Your Head.
The second source of self-doubt is your own negative inner chatter. The best way to quiet the negative chatter in your head is to present evidence against anything it’s saying. Here are some examples of possible responses:
“What are you saying? That I’m too old. There’s a British man named Fauja Singh who ran a marathon at the age of 100! I still have time.”
“I understand that it’s going to be hard. But this is important to me, and I’m willing to do the necessary work.”
3. Shrink the Challenge.
It’s easy to doubt yourself when the challenge that you’re facing is very large. Therefore, you can decrease your self-doubt by making the challenge smaller.
4. Ask – What’s the Worst that Could Happen?
Another way to overcome your self-doubt is to come up with the worst case scenario. If you fail, what’s the worst thing that could happen? Then, ask yourself the following:
Is it really that bad?
What steps can I take to lessen the probability that the worst case scenario will come to pass?
What can I do to be prepared in case the worst does happen? What sort of “insurance” could I set up in order to protect myself?
5. Ask – What’s the Best that Could Happen?
If you go after your dreams, you might fail. But you might also succeed. What would that look like? Paint a vivid picture of what your life would be like if you achieved your goal. Whenever you feel self-doubt rearing its ugly head, pull up that image of yourself succeeding and achieving your goal.
Overcome self-doubt by keeping your eye on the prize.
6. Take the Focus Off of Yourself.
Sometimes you feel self-doubt because you’re too focused on yourself. If that’s the case, what you need to do is shift your focus to others.
Eg. Instead of asking, “What if I bomb the presentation?”, ask yourself, “What do the people who are going to be in the audience need to know about this topic, and how I make the presentation fun and informative for them?”
See what the trick is here? If you’re not thinking about yourself, how can you doubt yourself? Put an end to self-doubt by focusing on others.
7. Share Your Goal with People You Trust.
If you share your goal with the wrong people—toxic people, people who don’t like change, or people who are just sad and miserable—they’ll probably add to any self-doubt that you may be feeling. However, sharing your goal with the right people will help you to conquer your self-doubt.
There are some people who can act as a bridge between where you are now and where you want to be. Those are the people you want to be sharing your goals and dreams with. They will help you overcome your self-doubt.
At Invincible HQ, we’ve created an environment where everyone is safe and supportive of each other. You can share your goals with the people you train with or the Invincible Coaches, and we will do the best we can to help you!
8. Walk Through Your Fear.
Self-doubt is fear: fear of failure, fear of being ridiculed, fear of disappointing others, and so on. In order to overcome self-doubt, you have to walk through your fear.
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