"Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win by fearing to attempt". William Shakespeare - Measure for Measure Act I, Scene IV.
We all know someone who seems to be the total package. They’re everything we imagine success to be. Talented, confident and decisive, they connect with others effortlessly. Everything they touch just works and success seems to be a foregone conclusion for them. We compare ourselves to these people, often believing ourselves to be different and feeling that we don’t measure up. Why is it that we don’t seem to have all those qualities? And why is it that we feel the need to compare ourselves to others?
Self-doubt has many pitfalls.
It steals our dreams and ambitions in both our personal and professional lives.
We develop negative belief systems that limit our thinking around our own capability.
We wait to feel more confident before we take action towards a goal or dream.
We hesitate and second-guess ourselves, even on basic decisions.
Self-doubt breeds fear. Fear keeps us living small and relegates us to live lives that are less than we deserve.
We don’t commit fully to anything because we’re afraid to fail.
We take everything personally because we’re too much in our own heads
The truth is that we are not the sum of our self-doubts. But how do we deliver them a killer blow when their impact on our thoughts and actions is so pervasive? The key to overcoming self-doubt isn't to wish it away, but to take action despite the fear.
Start by taking small steps, trusting your intuition instead of trying to plan the detail in every single step and give yourself the ability to course correct as you move forward. There’s nothing wrong with this approach, as long as you don’t get stuck.
Run your own race. This means trusting yourself and not comparing yourself or your results to anyone else as you make progress.
Remind yourself consistently of the reasons you set your goals and make sure these reasons are strong enough to override your doubts about them. If the fear is greater, your reason isn’t strong enough.
Use positive affirmations each day to reaffirm your goals and the reasons why you want to achieve them. These simple reminders will keep your focus in the right place. Acknowledge that your self-doubt will always be in the background, but you have a choice every time of which voice to listen to – the fear or the affirmation.
Get connected to like-minded people. The right people will encourage you and hold you accountable to your goals. And they’ll celebrate with you when you hit them.
Don’t give up. There will always be setbacks and hurdles on any journey. As long as you don’t quit, you’re on the road to winning.
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