Self Doubt: 5 Tips to Get Out of Your Own Way

Simply making a decision to better your life brings simultaneously brings moments of doubt, fear and disbelief.  Everyone wants change but most will struggle to actually achieve it. Business, success and happiness in your endeavors deals with getting out of your own way.

It’s a mental game.

Why is “trash talking” so evident in sports, whether amateur or professional? Words and how we listen to them, spoken or unspoken, has the power to create a self-manifested threat that most times are not real.  Yet instead of hearing the inner voice of our deepest dreams and desires that shouls speak up louder, it is drowned out by the outer ones.

In my journey as an entrepreneur, I’ve had many times of disappointments. I’ve had financial setbacks and failures…I’ve had people steal from, cheat and lie to me.  Sure, it hurts. (Especially when they were “friends” from church. Forgive anyway!) I’ve discovered that just as long as you don’t slip into being “discouraged”, meaning you let your heart and passion get ripped from your soul, you’ll be just fine the next moment. NO ONE has more control over that than you do.  I know easier said than done, right?

Do you struggle with self-doubt? Perhaps you often wonder if you’ve made the right decision or have only a faint hope that your next job interview, client proposal, project, or even date will turn out well. The most unfortunate thing about self-doubt is that your fears often become self-fulfilling prophecies.

On the other hand, when you take action to become more confident in yourself, more things in your life automatically turn out better as well. With more self-confidence, your decision-making skills are strengthened, others are drawn to you in social situations, you produce higher quality work, and you’re more able to create the life you desire.

Give these strategies your best shot…silence the inner critic inside of you and regain your confidence:

  1. Stop and think. Reflect on why you’re experiencing feelings of doubt. Think about the events that caused you to feel insecure. Being faced with a challenge that you don’t feel you’re capable of successfully completing is a major cause for self-doubt.
  • Do you have a habit of putting yourself down?

    You may be subconsciously repeating negative thoughts that prevent you from moving forward. Such thoughts as “I can’t do this” and “I’m not good enough” become reasons to opt out of new experiences that could bring you many benefits.

  • The next time you have a self-doubting thought, take a few moments to think about why you believe this is true. If insecurities are getting the better of you because of past failures, you must resolve to live in the moment. Today is a new day!  One of my favorite songs to listen to is the Kirk Franklin, “Smile”
  • Replace your negative self-talk with positive thoughts about how you can do it and you are good enough. Make the switch each and every time you have a self-doubting thought.

    Soon you’ll automatically be singing your praises instead of your doubts.

  1. Practice self-understanding. Often, when you feel insecure about your abilities, you start berating yourself. Beating yourself up over something you feel you did wrong only leads to a cycle of frustration and procrastination. Realize that making mistakes doesn’t make you a bad or incompetent person – it simply makes you human.
  • Allow yourself to accept that while you’re not perfect, you’re certainly someone who always strives to do the very best job you can.

    Embrace the idea that every challenge in life is an opportunity for you to learn something new and grow as a person.

  1. Make a list. Take a blank sheet of paper and make two columns. On the left side, write down all of those doubtful thoughts you’re having about yourself right now. On the right side, list all of the positive facts that dispute your doubts.
  • For example, suppose you’ve challenged yourself to a new goal, something that you’ve never done before and can only imagine what it would feel like to actually accomplish it.  Suddenly, you keep rethinking things and rethinking and rethinking…because you don’t think you can actually do it.  You say to yourself, “Wow, what will people think” or “that’s not really me”. Now you’re in a negative state. On the left side of the list write “I can’t do this because I don’t have the skills.” On the right side of the page write “I was given this task because I’m a quick learner who always gets the job done.” On this side you write things down from the mindset of “what will my life be like when I DO accomplish this goal” or “how will my life be raised and the people around me be raised up to another level, because of this accomplishment”. OOOH! Do you feel the positive juices flowing now?!?!?!?!!!!
  • You’ll find that you have a lot more positive facts listed than doubts. If your positive list is short, keep searching through your talents and good qualities (yes – they are there) until your positive list outweighs your negative one.
  1. Write a letter. Write a letter to yourself that talks about your positive traits and how you’ve overcome obstacles in the past. If you can recall a specific time when you triumphed over self-doubt and accomplished something that makes you feel proud, tell this to yourself in the form of a story.

    The act of writing the letter will release all of those pent up insecurities that are spinning around inside of your mind. By the end of the letter, you should be feeling a lot better. Keep the letter in a brightly colored folder, so you can refer back to it when needed.

  1. Make an Appreciation Wall. Keep track of those kind words of appreciation you receive from others. When you’re experiencing self-doubt, it’s easy to forget about all of those wonderful comments you’ve received for doing things that made other people’s lives better in some way. Collect all of the emails, notes and cards that say kind and loving things about you.

MattSapaula_ILoveMeWall

Behind my desk…just to simply remind myself that I am on the right track!

  • When you feel the voice of your inner critic welling up inside of you, simply take a look at your appreciation wall, or an “I Love ME!” wall, and read those wonderful thoughts.

Self-doubt can rob you of the opportunity to reach new heights of success in life. While it’s very common to doubt yourself once in a while, you want to be able to easily let go of your inner critic when it pops up. Practicing the steps above will enable you to push through your self-doubt, boost your confidence, and clear the way for positive new experiences.

Let’s connect –

Aspiring entrepreneur? Would love to connect with a community of people who want more, willing to do more and expect more from their lives?  We’re looking to connect with you too! Please send me an email and let’s discuss what you want and the weekly workshops around the country the Money Smart Movement leads. Perhaps there’s a fit for you! mgs@moneysmartguy.com