.Self-doubt can be a troubling and persuasive voice that holds you back.
It holds you back from seizing your opportunities. It makes getting started or finishing things harder than they need to be.
It can sometimes be useful as it helps you to soberly see your current limitations or simply recognize a half-baked or bad idea. But mostly, it holds you back.
So how can you get around that, how can you keep your self-doubt to a minimum? In this article I’ll explore a couple of habits that have helped me to decrease that destructive inner voice.
When your inner doubts bubble up, be quick. Don’t let them spin out of control or grow from a whisper to a stream of discouraging sentences. Instead, talk back to that doubtful part of yourself.
In your mind, say or shout something like:
- Stop it!
- That’s just stupid and not true!
- No, we are not going down that pointless road again!
By doing so you can stop that inner self-doubter from taking over. And after you have talked back you can refocus on the possibilities and reconnect with the optimistic side of things again.
Look to the past and awash yourself in the memories.
Another good way to to handle the self-doubt when it creeps up is to look to the past. To be real with yourself and ask yourself: how many times when I doubted myself or feared something would happen did that negative thing come into reality after I still took action?
The answer for me and probably for you too is: not very often at all.
Self-doubts are most often just monsters in your head that your mind may use to keep you from making changes and to keep you within the comfort zone. If you look to the past and see how well things have gone many times despite those self-doubts then it become easier to let go of them or ignore them and to focus on the more likely positive outcome and to take action.
Talk to someone about it.
When you keep your thoughts on the inside they can become distorted, exaggerated and not very much in line with reality or reasonable expectations.
This is very much true when it comes to self-doubting thoughts.
So let them out into the light. Talk to someone close to you about your self-doubts.
Just letting them out and saying them out loud can often help you to hear how exaggerated these thoughts have become. And by talking about those doubts with someone that is supportive you can get a change in perspective.
Keep a journal.
Keeping a journal can be helpful for many reasons. When it comes to self-doubts it can help you to:
- Keep a realistic record of your life. And help you to remember the positive things and successes you have had if you are prone to remembering things with a negative slant.
- Let out your doubts and thoughts into the light. The journal allows you to do that in way if you have no-one to talk to about your problem or if it is something you do not want to share with someone at that moment. Doing this can alleviate some of the doubts as you let them out of your mind and on to the paper or computer screen.
- Think about an issue and to gain clarity. It is often easier to alleviate fears and doubts and to gain clarity if you have an issue laid out on paper or in a computer document rather than if you try to go through it all in your mind. By making lists of pros and cons, going through your thoughts and emotions and similar events from the past and by writing down different perspectives on the issue it becomes easier to find solutions and to see your challenge in a clearer and more level-headed way.
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