Self-doubt can be defined as a grouping of thoughts that create feelings of insecurity and low confidence in one’s abilities to do something. Often times, when we get outside our comfort zone and into unchartered territory, our mind can sometimes swerve into this unhelpful line of thinking. At that point, our inner voice can gnaw and ask unhelpful questions like “What if I suck at this?” “What if I mess up in front of my peers”, “What if I can’t figure it out?” “What if I fail?” this list goes on……

This line of thinking often lends itself to an increase in anxiety, upset, and even depressed moods. I have worked with clients who have been endured weeks of these intense negative emotions. If you are unable to overcome these emotions, the likelihood of quitting increases. Others who may be filled with self-doubt might not quit but will end up ruining several weeks in this obsessive mode and will often have a rough start to the new venture. Self-doubt is very draining if you don’t know how to handle it, so let’s look at some ways to lower the volume on this goal killer.

1). To sharpen your skill-set, be willing to fail

 In order to improve we often times have to find out what doesn’t work by at first messing up. A worthy fail is failing while attempting to do the thing you really want to do. When we fall down and get back up, we gain strength and knowledge. This knowledge about what doesn’t work, later leads to success.

When babies learn to walk, they fall hundreds of times, and the core strength they get from all this falling and pushing themselves back up is what helps us all walk for life. If we indulged in self-doubt as toddlers, many of us would not ever walk.

2). Compare yourself to your own progress, not others

 It is so easy to fall into the comparison trap. When you notice yourself going there, re-focus on your own scorecard. Are you learning and improving from the last time you checked in? See how far you have come and highlight all the lessons you have learned along the way. Give yourself a high five. If you haven’t improved, then resist the urge to beat yourself up, and keep going, Trust that you will learn key lessons along the way.

3). Resist the urge to quit

Often times when we don’t know how to process negative emotion, we want to remove the situation that we believe caused it. Remember that it is your thoughts that are creating this feeling, not the circumstance. Instead of giving up, try to work through those feelings. By contrast, quitting will just limit you even more and will prove that you can’t do it. This is an unworthy fail – failing ahead of time instead of working through these negative feelings.

4). Reach out for support

 If you are really struggling in this area and are not feeling like you are measuring up, reach out to a friend, a family member, a coach. A coach can help you uncover the disabling thinking patterns and help you create thought patterns that are supportive and promote growth in a way that you may not be able to access on your own.


5).  Don’t take yourself too seriously and have some fun

 To disrupt some of this inner turmoil, take a break from them by finding some humor in your thinking and have some fun with your setbacks. Take a break and hit a movie, a hot yoga class, or have lunch with a friend who is not involved in the new venture to find remind yourself that there is more in your life than this opportunity that you are doubting yourself on.

6). Don’t worry about what other’s think about your performance

 What other people think about us is really none of our business. It really has more to do with their thoughts about us, than us as a person. 10 people could all have a different opinion of our performance because we all have such varied thinking and backgrounds.  So, steer your focus away from what is going on in someone else’s mind.

7). Self-Coaching

 Managing your mind in my opinion is the most important skill you can possess. Knowing that thoughts create your feelings, you become the watcher of your thoughts. Write down the thoughts that are creating your low confidence and stress. Remind yourself these thoughts don’t serve you are optional. Coach yourself through it knowing that the worst that can happen is a negative feeling, and you can feel any emotion appropriately.

Try these out the next time self-doubt emerges. Know that this is all normal because growing is hard and you can do hard things my friend. If you, or someone you know needs coaching in this area, don’t hesitate to reach out for support—->

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