Doubting ourselves is a common feeling. We all do it from time to time - but when does it turn from an occasional feeling to a bad habit or an obsession? When we allow self-doubt to take over our lives. When each and every decision and progress in life is at a stand still due to the inability to let go and trust the process. When self-doubt takes over your faith and trust - in either yourself, others, a goal or project - you start to live a life based on fear rather than faith.
Here are 10 tips on how to conquer or deal with the feelings of self-doubt before it discourage you from living a happy and more confident life.
1) When in doubt - stop what your doing and let your feelings come to the surface - identify with your emotions before making a decision.
Break it down. But don't just feel it, tell yourself out loud "i'm feeling doubtful again" acknowledge it right away before it consumes you. When you acknowledge it, you are aware of it and are more likely to do something about it before it completely discourages you.
2) When in doubt - pay attention to patterns. What is making you feel doubtful again? is it fear? insecurity? uncertainty? Pay attention to how often these "monsters" stop you from progressing and then do the opposite. Take a deep breath and take action - this will require a little bit of courage, but you can do it! Trust the process that is laid out for you.
3) When doubt creeps in - remind yourself of WHY you wanted to act in the first place. Doubt has a way of pushing back our courage, our focus, enthusiasm and self -esteem right out the window when you allow it to. Replace your doubts with courage, determination and tell yourself "I will move forward - even if you exist" Then what? then MOVE FORWARD. TAKE ACTION. Sign up for that course, perform that show, walk down that aisle, or whatever it is you initially WANTED to do.
4) When in doubt, follow your intuition. Our doubts can be all imagined fears that paralyze our ability to make decisions or stick to it. It forces you to move back and forth like a sea-saw, but guess what? You're actually standing still on one spot - sometimes for hours, sometimes for days, sometimes for years! Follow your intuition- when you feel like it feels RIGHT - just proceed with your heart and don't pay any attention when your doubts starts to slither right back in. Your intuition is divine - use the gift to your advantage. Your doubts? The devil.
5) When you doubt yourself before say, completing a task, you're making the process a lot harder than it really is for yourself. Nothing is as bad as it seems. This can lead to emotional paralysis or procrastination -a lot of negative energy. Detach from your doubts - separate yourself and regain your independence. Who wears the pants? You or your Doubts? Are you controlling your doubts? Or is your doubts controlling you? (I know you know) so don't entertain the doubts inside of you - aim to know what's on the other side of your doubts. Hmmm...success? Listen to a motivating piece of music, remind yourself of your self worth, talk to someone (a friend, sibling) who loves you for who you are so that they can remind you of all the good stored inside of you. Step outside of negative feelings.
6 ) Seeking perfection is directly related to doubting yourself and vice versa. When you seek perfection, you hesitate to make a final decision which is usually followed up by doubt. You over analyze the situation or task at hand creating excuses so you don't have to make a decision. Similarly, when you doubt yourself, you walk backwards and continue to entertain the same insecurities over and over again attempting to perfect whatever it is you are attempting at. You try to seek perfection again and again, doubt yourself again and again - and so on. It's a vicious cycle!
So remind yourself that nothing and no one is perfect. There is no such thing as perfection (it's all in your head) because change is constant. You may not even like what you believe to be perfect a month later - but don't allow this to stop you from progressing. You might even love the outcome. Time is precious and this is how you GROW - by moving forward, challenging your own doubts and fears and testing yourself.
7) Replace "I WISH" with "I CAN." I wish lacks confidence, faith, sounds wish-washy and uncertain. Is this what you want to embody? No, i didn't think so. Use "I CAN" instead - in all your affirmations. "I CAN" complete this, do this, perform this, write this, say this, attempt this and so on. Why? Simple - BECAUSE YOU REALLY CAN - so empower your wishes and dreams and give them some confidence. Give them something to talk about. Something to live for.
8) Don't allow your doubts to discourage you - acknowledge the enemy inside of you and remember that if it's not intuition telling you to stop, than your doubts have NO SAY. Doubts are the little annoying voices in your head trying to make room where they are not welcomed. The more you invite it in, the more it will linger around.
9) Replace your doubts with faith - Anything is possible with faith and a positive frame of mind - and what's the worse thing that can happen? You'll fail? You'll learn something new? You'll grow from your experiences? Attempting something and failing at it is much better then doubting yourself and never moving forward. To have experience in life, you must learn how to take risks, make small decisions and stick to your guts. Doubt are nothing but stale rejected, second hand emotions that have nothing better to do but hinder your growth. Have faith in all your dealings and thoughts - believe in yourself with intensity of will. Will power requires you to trust yourself.
10) Doubt your doubts - if you are doubtful, instead of feeding the negative energy, instead of letting it take over your life, instead of never making a solid decision or action, instead of listening to it, entertaining it in your mind, allowing it to intimidate or scare you, DOUBT IT RIGHT BACK - and say out loud " I won't allow you to stop me again. I know what I am doing, I don't need you. I trust myself" Your doubts are not right, they are merely pent up fears that have taken the shape of insecurity.
Break free and break up your doubts by rejecting them!
V. S. Atbay