Everyone wrestles with self-doubt from time to time, even “successful” people who look like they have it all together. Self-doubt isn’t the problem. Letting it control you is the issue. How much does self-doubt influence your thoughts and decisions? Does it rule your life? Consider these strategies for defeating self-doubt once and for all.
Find A Supportive Community – Everyone experiences self-doubt. If you’re struggling with self-doubt, consider finding a group or community that focuses on that particular area of life for encouragement and support.
Journal – When we stay in our “head,” we tend to focus on the negative aspects of a situation, either what went wrong or could go wrong. Keeping a journal can sharpen our perspective by helping us be more objective. Feel free to write about your self-doubt but be sure to include how you overcame it by recording some of your wins and things that went right! Challenge yourself to focus on the positive, what you learned (or are learning), and how you grew (or are growing).
It’s About You, Not Them – Don’t compare yourself to others. Comparison is one of the absolute worst things you can do because you have no idea what other people are going through – you don’t know their “truth,” you only know yours. If you’re going to compare yourself to anyone, compare yourself to yourself – to the person you were yesterday and how you’ve grown and continue to grow. You are your only “competition.” Focus on who and what you are becoming.
Express Gratitude – You can either count your burdens or blessings. Challenge yourself to find something for which to be grateful even in life’s most challenging moments. People who unlock their best life tend to find something positive for which to be grateful, even in times of darkness. For example, perhaps they’re devastated by the loss of a loved one, but, despite their pain and grief, they are grateful for having known that person and the special memories they’ll cherish forever.
Set Yourself Up to Win – Success defeats self-doubt. Choose a small goal or task that you cannot fail at achieving. Guarantee yourself a win. Make it small. Then when you reach it, set another goal. Positioning yourself to win boosts self-confidence and builds momentum.
Socialize with Optimistic People – Choose to hang around positive people. If most of the people in your social circle tend to be negative, it’s time to expand your circle to include positive, optimistic people – people who see the best in you and the situation… people who will encourage and support you – who make you feel good about yourself. Make some new friends by taking a class, joining a group, or finding a meetup in your area on something that interests you.
Respect & Appreciate Challenges – When people face challenges, they either have a breakthrough or a breakdown. We learn more from our challenges than our successes; resistance is a great teacher. Welcome challenges because of the person you know you will become in overcoming them; you will learn or gain something from them that strengthens your life in some way. No one ever unlocked their best life by taking the easy path.
Grow from Your “Mistakes” – Stop punishing yourself when you mess up or make a mistake. Learn and grow from it. Rise. Discover. Evolve.
Know When to Let Go – Giving up isn’t always an acknowledgment of failure. If something isn’t working despite everything you’ve done or tried, maybe it’s time to let go. It could be an entrepreneurial endeavor, a relationship, or perhaps even a dream that no longer supports your life because you’re not the same person. Know when to let go and move on.
Let Discomfort Be Your Friend – As a general rule of thumb, if every choice you make makes you feel safe and comfortable, you’re not stretching yourself enough. It’s okay, perhaps even healthy, to feel a little uncertain about your goals and plans…and to be slightly uncomfortable along the way because it’s a sign that you’re challenging yourself. There is no growth without challenge.
Evaluate Your Strengths and Weaknesses – One way to defeat self-doubt is to take time to evaluate and appreciate your strengths. You have many more strengths than “weaknesses.” So, invest time and effort in honing your strengths. Don’t focus so much on your weaknesses. If possible, let someone else deal with an area of “weakness.” For example, if you want to eat healthily but hate to cook, subscribe to a meal service, etc. Workaround your weaknesses. Strengthen your strengths.
Seek Accountability – Consider finding a life coach or counselor, or even a trusted, optimistic friend with good judgment to be your accountability partner. It’s a great way to strengthen self-esteem and defeat self-doubt. You can share your dreams and goals and one or two things you’re going to do to achieve them so they can hold you accountable. Successful people don’t shun accountability; they embrace it because they know it’s essential to unlocking their best life.
Self-doubt can keep you stuck in a life you don’t want or enjoy. As you can imagine, this creates stress, worry, depression, and anxiety. But you have the power to defeat self-doubt. You can continue making excuses or begin unlocking your best life today and experience more love, joy, and fulfillment.
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