- Learn what a paralyzing emotion is and how to overcome it
- Discover how manufactured illusions of success can cause self-doubt
- Learn 4 strategies to completely overcome self-doubt
A clarifying quote from John McKay summarizing the entire intent of this article. He says,
“Nobody becomes great without self-doubt. But you can’t let it consume you.”
I say that this is a clarifying quote because it clearly articulates that self-doubt is something that we all experience throughout our lives yet the difference is how people relate to self-doubt. Some of us allow doubt to consume us, freezing us in a paralyzed state, while others recognized self-doubt for what it is and move past the doubt into the achievement that they desire.
For whatever reason, there are people who believe that the successful have some secret that the unsuccessful is not previewed to. Some think they have the secret sauce of life and as a result, they are able to accomplish their aims.
People who think like this are those who allow their circumstances to be the thing that defines who they are. It is as if they draw a circle made of doubt, fear, disappointment, rejection, shame, and remorse and allow that circle to be their entire world; they allow that circle to be who they are and limit what and who they could become.
“Doubt whom you will, but never yourself.” Christine Bovee
So here is the reality. There are countless people out there for one reason or another that do not want you to succeed. No really. They are not a figment of your imagination nor are you paranoid about someone out to get you.
We eloquently call these people haters.
And no matter how good you are or how successful you become, these haters will always be there to remind you of your shortfalls, missteps, and failures. I’ve said that everyone has a role to play in life and these haters are playing their role in the stage of life.
But why do I mention all of this?
Look. The existence of haters is a fact. Just like it is a fact that we require air to breathe and food to survive. They will doubt you; your friends will doubt you; your family will doubt you; your parents may even doubt; And all of this is ok as long as you do not doubt yourself.
Like Christine Bovee said – “Doubt who you will as long as you do not doubt yourself.”
Doubt could be the paralysis of today or it could be the catapult of innovation for tomorrow.
It is the choice of the red pill or the blue pill. You could live in the circle made up of the paralyzing emotions like doubt or you can be exposed to the wonderful and awesome world of exploring who you are and the purpose that you serve to become the greatest you that the world has ever known.
Paralyzing emotions are we are any emotions that will cause us to get stuck or paralyzed, unable to move forward in achieving our aims. These will include emotions like the infamous fear, the sneaky emotion of disappointment, the vicious emotion of rejection, and the spooky twins of remorse and shame.
Now that we’ve gotten the foundation out of the way, let’s discuss that 4 strategies you can implement immediately to overcome self-doubt.
“We live in a world filled with manufactured illusions, in which achievements appear to happen extremely fast and in which we’re fed false, inflated images.” – Bruce Frankel
#1 Your self-doubts are unfounded in reality.
As Frankel said in his quote, we are often fed with images of achievement without the context of the effort involved in obtaining that achievement. Social media would have us thinking that our progress is slow and our efforts are unattainable. So without that context, we are left to believe that these illustrations of achievement are easily obtained. When we fall short, based on these inflated images, we begin to lose confidence in our ideas, our efforts, those around us and ultimately ourselves.
None of us are strangers to this train of thought. We all have fell victim to this at some point in our lives until we realize the truth behind marketers’ stories of achievement.
To resolve this, we must stay grounded in our purpose. When we are completely committed to our purpose then it shouldn’t matter how others are achieving because we are secure in the journey that we are on.
Now, I acknowledge that this is easier said than done and that’s why your purpose must be your grounding. Short of that, we will always look to inflated images of success as the attainment verse the goals we are to achieve in our personal journey of achievement.
#2: What we must do is keep the momentum of achievement.
Momentum is the only cure that develops self-esteem that moves beyond self-doubt.
If you find yourself making excuses, procrastinating, finding reasons why you shouldn’t do things, then you are likely in full swing of self-doubt.
Establishing small goals that take you a bit out of your comfort zone and are achievable within a two-week window, is a surefire way to build up your confidence.
When you have enough of these accomplishments under your belt, the next stage is to up the ante. Take on more challenging goals that are further outside of your comfort zone. Continue to do this and before you know it, not only will overcome self-doubt, but you will accomplish things that you never thought possible.
Superman himself, Christopher Reeve, once said,
“A hero is someone who, in spite of weakness, doubt or not always knowing the answers, goes ahead and overcomes anyway.”
Hindsight is 20/20. The thing that you are avoiding doing is not as bad as your mind is making out to be. When you do the thing that you are avoiding, you will find that it wasn’t nearly as difficult as we talked ourselves into believing.
Even if we have past experiences as evidence as why we doubt ourselves, we cannot allow the past to be our shackles – preventing us from achieving our future.
#3 Bring Your Self Doubt Into the Light
Self-doubt is the silent killer. It sneaks up on you. It is masked itself as caution, paralysis of analysis, and extreme due diligence. All these things are good until you overuse them as a cover for doubt. When we’re able to bring self-doubt into the light and have the conversations about the things that we have doubt about, then we can have a rational discourse with someone and determine if our doubts are grounded in reality.
Through this conversation, we can become clear about the aspects of our doubt that is grounded in truth while discarding those that are illusions of our reality.
#4 Establish/Nurture a Quality Support System
The support system is who keeps you grounded. They are the ones who build your confidence and push you forward. When you want to draw back, they keep your mission in mind to keep you moving forward. They are the ones who you have rational discourse with to see what of your self-doubts are truly grounded in reality.
Now your support system can come in many ways, shapes or forms. It can be your friends, family, close acquaintances. It can be coaches and mentors that you have. It can be YouTube channels and books. It could be anyone and anything that you could conceive that you know has your best interest at heart to be able to move you forward in the goals that you put forward.
“Our doubts are traitors and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt” – William Shakespeare
You have the capacity to overcome self-doubt, especially as you use the strategies shared in this article and video.
Self-doubt is an emotion that we all face, every single person on this plant – past, present, and future. It is married to fear and both fear and self-doubt are traitors to the potential future that we could be afforded if we move past our fears…move past our doubts and into the future that we create with the boldness that we declare!