Undoubtedly, even the most confident people tend to experience self doubt from time to time. And because we cannot completely avoid it, we require a strategy that not only allows us to contend with it, but conquer it as well.
So, what is it that sets apart those who overcome this insidious foe from those that are controlled by it?
But first, let us delve into what self doubt is and why it likes to sneak up on our lives and dampen on our motivation.
Self doubt is defined as that feeling of uncertainty about one’s ability to accomplish something. This shadow of insecurity can lead to indecision and hesitation and if left unchecked can cause us to radically compromise our expectations or abandon our course all together.
There are certain thoughts and words that reveal the existence of doubt within us and we ought to train ourselves to spot them at the very outset. Phrases like ‘this is too hard’, ‘I am not up to the task’, ‘maybe I was wrong’, or ‘I am not too sure’ may be indicative of weakened confidence brought on by having doubts in our own abilities. As soon as we think or say things that are similar to any of the foregoing phrases, we ought to attempt to identify the source. And while such expressions do not always denote self doubt, we would do well to analyze ourselves, if only to be sure.
However, do not underestimate the destructive power that self doubt yields. Because it is a temporary expression of insecurity, it often reaches right to our core. Similar to termites chewing away at the foundations of a building, self doubt can undermine even the strongest of beliefs. Indeed, more often than not it is the only thing that comes between where we are and where we want to be. But the good thing is that as with other types of fear, there are positive aspects to be derived from those who manage to overcome it. For instance, conquered self doubt often leads to a stronger resolve since your determination will always be greater once you successfully manage to meet the challenges to your self confidence.
Once you develop a habit of meeting the challenges associated with self doubt head on, you become less susceptible to its influence. It may still surface from time to time, but you are likely to anticipate it, and know how to neutralize it. Here are 7 steps to destroying self doubt!
1. Acknowledge and recognise self doubt
It is impossible to overcome something until you first acknowledge and recognize its existence. If you succumb to the temptation to deny or ignore self doubt, it will limit your ability to act. Self doubt is a stealthy problem and it is for this reason that if you suspect its existence, you have to pull it into the light and deal with it promptly. The better you are at identifying your hidden doubts, the easier it becomes to conquer them.
2. Identify the source
Being able to figure out where feelings of self doubt emanate from means that you can be able to hit them at the source. You do not have to psychoanalyze yourself by going back to your childhood, just try to get a grip on the area of your life that created the uncertainty and work on it.
3. Analyse your self doubt
Try to spend some time figuring out and drilling down what is triggering the self doubt and why. Analyzing feelings makes them vulnerable reason and logic which is in stark contrast to normal situations where feelings override logic. Questioning the validity of feelings thus brings them within reason’s reach.
4. Identify the patterns
Self doubt usually has favorite areas of our lives that it likes resurfacing in. This then raises the likelihood that you may probably have experienced it before in a somewhat similar situation. Think back to whether you have been down this road before and what you did to overcome the doubt or what you could do differently the second time around.
5. Formulate a plan
Develop a strategy for overcoming your doubt by making educated decisions on what to do next. Choose the path that will lead you to conquer your doubts and put it into writing.
6. Anticipate challenges
Analyze your plan and try to identify possible obstacles along the way. If there is an area you may need help in, ask someone close to provide you with encouragement. Sometimes, all it takes is a little support and foresight to see us through.
7. Put your plan to action
Once a plan is in place, the next step is to implement it by taking action. Stick to your course of action and seek help if you need it. Encouragement is good even when you think that you can go it alone.
For most of us, self-doubt is temporary. It is something akin to a speed bump on our road to success. Take the obstacles in your stride and go for what you want to achieve. Whenever you find your confidence challenged, just follow the above laid out steps and you are sure to get past it.