This voice taunts you whenever you set a goal. It criticises you when life gets difficult. It beats you down when you struggle to stand up against its running commentary.
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You know you shouldn’t let self-doubt bother you, but it’s a sneaky critter. Sometimes, you just can’t contain it and it slips past your barriers.
And self-doubt is greedy. When it’s loose, it devours your confidence, strips logic and reason from your mind, and steals happiness from your heart. In return, it leaves you with only fear and insecurity.
The more you fight your self-doubt, the more it fights back. However, with self-knowledge and understanding, you can use self-doubt for your benefit.
“When you doubt your power, you give power to your doubt.” Honore de Balzac
Identify and ease your doubts.
Learning how to recognise when your self-talk takes a turn for the worse is crucial. When you hear yourself saying, “I can’t,” or, “I don’t know,” or, “What if,” a red flag should go up.
Instead of telling yourself, “I can’t do X,” say, “I can’t do X yet. But I’m working on it.”
Or if you start wondering, “What if I fail?” you can respond by saying, “Then I’ll try again.”
Doing this transforms a negative situation into an opportunity for growth. In the end, it’s about giving yourself a chance.
Stop listening to toxic people.
Toxic people are convinced that everything is impossible, and they are quick to shoot down ideas. They’ll poison your mind into a state of hopelessness.
Don’t let them steal your energy just because they’ve lost theirs.
Instead, surround yourself with supportive and passionate people who can both inspire you and bring out the best in you. You can find them among friends, family, books, or blogs.
They will lift you up when you feel down and help you see the bright side of your darkest fears and doubts.
Recall your successes.
This one is tough. When you’re down, you’ll more easily remember the bad instead of the good. And oftentimes, the “rah-rah” pep talk just doesn’t cut it.
So, I suggest writing a list. Grab a piece of paper or small notebook, or open a blank document. Now write down your successes, big or small.
If you’re a bit bashful about your achievements, ask someone you trust to tell you the great things they think you’ve done. It’s refreshing and a great confidence boost.
And finally, keep your list with you at all times. It will help you find your way back to yourself whenever you get lost.
But know that it’s not something you have to fear or resent. Your doubts are only thoughts, not your future.
Sure, something may go wrong. But if you never try, you’re losing an opportunity to improve your life.
Are you willing to risk that instead?