Self-Doubt. It’s that evil little man sitting on your shoulder telling you all the reasons why you aren’t good enough and can’t reach your goals. I’m sure you’ve had a run-in with him a time or two before, right?
I’m sure we all have. If you haven’t, comment below, because I need to write a whole blog post solely on you!
But really… We have all faced some form of self-doubt at one point or another. Heck, you might even face self-doubt daily. Even if you are one of those facing that evil little man every day, this blog will give you my favorite mindset hacks to redirect your thoughts in a positive direction and overcome that self-doubt once and for all.
1. Practice the Skill You Are Doubting
This one might seem a little counter-intuitive. You might be saying, “Bailey, why the heck would I want to keep doing something that makes me doubt myself.” My friend, that is exactly why you need to keep doing it. If you doubt your ability to perform a certain task or action, the only way you will be able to work around your doubt is to prove to yourself you are capable. For example, if you are a business owner who doubts yourself when it comes to public speaking, The only way you will ever become comfortable with it is by practicing. You often need the experience to overcome your self-doubt. If you are scared of something, do it 500 times until you are no longer scared of it. Life is about experiencing new things and stepping out of our comfort zones to grow into who we were meant to be.
2. Stop caring what other people think of you.
I’ve noticed most of my self-doubt is rooted in the opinions of others. I might be confident I can do something, but as soon as No-Good Nancy from down the block starts doubting me, I start wondering if maybe she is right. Let’s be honest with ourselves. Most people don’t care that much about us. They care about us, but not so much to sit and analyze every little thing you do and find the flaws in it. Nobody is doing that except for you. If someone else is doing that, they don’t have anything better to do with their time and you are already leaps and bounds ahead of them.
Decide who you want to take opinions from, and then don’t let the comments of others sway you. When deciding who you want to take opinions from, ask yourself:
– Have they already done what I am trying to do?
– Are they living the life I want to be living?
– Do I even like them?
– Have they taken the time to learn about my business?
If the answer to any of these is no, you might not want to give their comments too much weight.
3. Focus on Your Journey
A lot of self-doubt and “imposter syndrome” stems from comparison to others. You see what others are doing on social media and think they are so much more professional or skilled than you. Remember you are looking at their highlight reel. They face a lot of the same problems you face daily. They likely struggle with self-doubt regularly as well. As good ‘ole Teddy Roosevelt once said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.”
Focus on your journey. Take the time to reflect on how far you have come. What did your life look like one year ago? How about a few months ago? What about last week? I’m willing to bet the growth you have experienced is way beyond what you would’ve ever dreamed possible when you were setting your goals a year ago. Be proud of yourself!
My dad always tells me to “plant my flag.” Yes, there has been a flag planted on the moon, but you didn’t plant it there. Start setting your daily bests and planting your flag wherever that might lie. Whenever you make a new personal best, pick your flag up and replant it in its new position. Constantly focus on your best and ways you can progress toward replanting your flag. Stop worrying about where others are on their journey.
4. Become a Decision-Maker
Oftentimes self-doubt arises when individuals are trying to make decisions. They might think, “Well… I could do Choice A, but what if I’m not able to execute? Choice B might be safer, but then will people think I am a slacker?…” This internal dialogue can go on for days and days without a decision in sight. I encourage you to stop overanalyzing every decision you make and start being a decision-maker.
You have to realize the outcome of most decisions lies in what you make of it. It is highly likely either choice you make will be a great one because you will make it great. Stop over-analyzing and make a decision. Kick that self-doubt out the window.
5. Surround Yourself with Positivity
We are influenced by so many external sources of information throughout the day. Try and think about everything you encounter before you even make it to work in the morning. You likely have already listened to music or maybe a podcast had a conversation with someone else, checked your phone for emails and social media alerts, and maybe even read a book or the newspaper. We are constantly getting information from everywhere. The information we let into our heads influences the way we think. Surround yourself with positivity. Listen to things that uplift you. Read content that motivates. If you know you are bad about comparing yourself to others, try to stay off of social media in the first half of the day. This will help you start your day with a positive mindset. Keep positive people around you. If you hang out with someone who is constantly complaining and speaking negatively, it will transfer over into your thoughts.
In addition to external triggers, you also need to focus on the internal ones as well. Be conscious of what you are thinking and saying to yourself. Do you speak down to yourself? Do you already think you are going to fail before you try? The first step to removing these negative voices is to acknowledge them. When you notice yourself thinking negatively say “Hello” to the thought and then introduce it to your little ninja friend, Confidence, to smack the living heck out of it!
6. Practice Gratitude
Last but not least, practice gratitude daily. You have so much to be thankful for. Even on the days where you think everything is going wrong, take a walk outside and notice all the trees and the clouds and the fresh air you are getting to breathe. There is always something to be grateful for. When you focus on the positives, you have less time to drown them out in your self-doubts. For every doubt that crosses your mind, combat it with a positive affirmation of gratitude. Once you get in a habit of this, your doubts won’t arise nearly as often.
Okay, friends! Those are my best hacks to get rid of your self-doubt. Practice them when you notice your doubtful thoughts beginning to arise. If you have any other tips you would like to share, share them below! I’d love to hear them. Until next time friends…
Upward and Onward,
Founder of Honeywave Creative