At one point or another, we all question whether or not we are doing enough, making enough money, or if we are going to be “successful” enough. A small failure makes you question yourself and your abilities and, next thing you know, you feel like you aren’t good enough or smart enough to do anything. And that’s about the time you stop trying. Self-doubt is a very human response to all the challenges life throws your way. Even still, it doesn’t have to stop you from overcoming obstacles and reaching your goals.
So, how do you turn things around and stop your inner critic from getting louder and standing in the way of your dreams? These tactics will help you do just that. If you apply these disciplines everyday, your mindset is sure to get a makeover. Shift your mindset and you can (and will) conquer your self-doubt – leading you to being a much happier, confident you!
1. Keep moving forward
Self-doubt will tell you, in its sweet little voice, things like, ‘you know you’re not good enough, so why even try?’ or ‘what are you doing, they are going to laugh at you’ with each thought, grinding away at your confidence, until you make a choice, to either believe it and do nothing or listen and decide to do it anyway! It’s all about whether you believe your self-doubting thoughts or not. Obviously, the easiest option is to give in and quit. The better option would be is to hear it, understand that it’s there as a test and keep moving forward. Keep moving even when things go wrong or you don’t feel inspired because you believe enough in your art and yourself.
2. Don’t believe what others say about you
Most of our self-doubt stems from things others have said or the way other people have made us feel. Stay true to your character and don’t let anyone bring you down. Know your strengths and don’t be afraid to showcase them. Be your authentic self and the positive people who are meant to be in your life, will show up for you. You’ve probably heard that what other people think or say about you actually has nothing to do with you. Believe it. People form opinions of other people based on their own values, strengths, limitations, etc. The way they see you is their own perception, and perception is not fact.
3. Raise your self-awareness
Self-awareness is one of the most powerful personal development tools in your arsenal. Make use of it by understanding the root causes of your self-doubt. What specific situations trigger bouts of self-doubt? If it’s a lack of skill in an area, resolve to do something about it. For example, it may be a fear of delivering presentations. Or it may be anxiety at having to make cold calls. Just about anything can be learned. Go out there and get the training you need, or get a coach to help you.
4. Focus on past successes
Psychologists have discovered that how you remember your past determines how you feel about yourself in the present. Do you focus on the negative—the failures you’ve experienced? Or the positive—the successes you’ve engineered? Your answer has a big impact on what actions you’ll take next and how well they’ll turn out for you.
5. Set immediate goals
In addition to adopting ambitious, long-term goals, remember to establish attainable, short-term ones. It’s easy to let doubt creep in when your big goals aren’t immediately realized. By achieving smaller goals along the way, you can constantly bask in frequent wins.
6. Stop asking for validation
Seeking others’ input and advice is helpful. However, if you are in the habit of continuously asking others what they think before making decisions on important matters, you might be weakening your faith in yourself. For example, if you’re working on a presentation or undertaking a new project, and you continue to change what you have created based on feedback you receive, you might end up losing your voice and the end product becomes a diluted version of you. Take some advice, but at some point, make a decision on what feels right to you.
7. Take care of yourself
Eat, sleep and be happy. Your daily habits have a whole lot to do with your overall well-being and the way you feel about yourself. If you eat and sleep well, chances are you will be better prepared and motivated to tackle your goals. Self-care is nonnegotiable. Do something nice for yourself every single day. Schedule in some much needed “you time”, get plenty of sleep, change your eating habits to be healthier and clean…and be on your way to feeling like your best self again.
8. Trust your values
When you know what you stand for and what is important to you, it becomes easier to make decisions that are aligned with your values, with what matters to you. Self-doubt cripples our ability to make important decisions—knowing yourself and living your values is one of the best antidotes to self-doubt.
9. Surround yourself with the right people.
No person is an island, as the saying goes, and that holds true for your business life as well. Keep the people who encourage you close and seek out their feedback on a regular basis. Distance yourself from individuals who are always pessimistic toward you, your business and your future prospects.
10. Prepare yourself and do your best.
Taking the necessary steps to be prepared for certain things throughout your day will make a huge difference in the way you feel. Most people would agree that when they’re prepared for things, they feel more confident. If you feel more confident, your self-worth will improve. If your self-worth improves, your self-doubt minimizes. It’s all connected. Start at step one. The rest will come easier than you think.