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Tackling and Overcoming Self-Doubt

Self-doubt hurts, sometimes you want to give up merely to escape the self-doubt pain. Here are 6 things you can do to tackle self-doubt and keep going on your path.

Man sitting at table with head in hands
Photo by Andrew Neel from Pexels

I don’t know if I can do it; I don’t feel I’m cut out for it; I’m not like others; I can’t do this; I can’t keep going; I’m not good enough. I don’t think I have it in me.

Self-doubt.

I don’t believe there’s anyone who doesn’t have moments of self-doubt. It comes along and can rob you of your dreams. It gets a hold and is all-consuming.

Self-doubt is painful. It hurts. You question who you are and what you you’re made of. You don’t think you can keep going. Your mind goes into a negative spiral. The chatter in your mind goes on and on, and you can’t stand it. In the end, it feels as if the answer is to give up. The idea of giving up feels good because you think it will take you out of the self-doubt pain. And at that moment, you just want to be free from the pain.

But it’s not the situation that’s causing the pain; it’s your emotions.

When you give up something you desire because of self-doubt, you feel relief. Life feels comfortable for a while because you go back to what’s familiar, and everything feels safe. But often, comfort is short-lived. The pain doesn’t go away; instead, it changes; it turns into frustration, disappointment, regret. You become annoyed with yourself. The pain is back.

How can you tackle self-doubt and move forward?

1) Recognise what’s happening. Realise you’re dealing with self-doubt rather than buy into the chat in your mind.

2) Remind yourself of your achievements in your past that make you proud. We often dismiss our successes. Don’t do this. Tune into how challenging they were, what it took to attain them, and how you kept going. How does that make you feel? Anchor that feeling.

3) Focus on what is working right now rather than what isn’t. When you go into self-doubt, you think everything isn’t working out when often that simply isn’t true.

4) Bring your mind to the present moment and what is the next step. When you take the next step, then think about the one after that. Often self-doubt sets in when you think about everything that needs to be done, and it all feels too much. When you break it down into smaller tasks, things don’t feel so bad and are manageable.

5) Go back to your emotional ‘Why,‘ what’s driving you and how it makes you feel. Tune into the vision of what you’re trying to achieve or create. What’s the deep ‘Why’ behind this?

6) Ask yourself, what if I do give up? What then? Am I going to let this be the thing that stops me from living the life I want? I use this one with my business. On those days where it doesn’t feel like things aren’t working out, I ask myself, ‘what would I do instead’? I can never think of doing anything other than what I am doing right now because I love my work and this helps me see what’s really going on for me.

6) Get a support partner. Having someone who will help you when the head stuff rears its head. I have a mentor and love our sessions because sometimes it’s hard to see the wood for the trees when you’re in the thick of the forest.

There have been so many times with my business where I’ve thought ‘I don’t know if I’m capable of this’. I’ve been close to giving up. The self-doubt has taken over and it hurts. It’s painful. Using the process above, I’ve kept going, and I’m so glad I have. I look back and see how far I’ve come. What’s more, the feeling of dealing with and overcoming self-doubt is awesome.

When you keep going after what you desire, you’ll always come across things that will test you. It’s how you deal with it at that moment that counts. Do you let the head stuff take over, or do you use techniques and practices to keep on course? Progress is rarely linear, it can be quite messy, and your success is dependent on how you deal with those messy moments in your mind. Keep going. You can get through self-doubt and know it’ll be worth it! You’ve got this :-).

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