Yesterday, we talked about self-doubt and some questions you can ask yourself to help determine if you’re struggling with the issue. If you’re reading this, then the chances are that you have realized that you are suffering from a case of self-doubtitis. Yeah, I made that up.
It’s not really funny, though, if you constantly second guess yourself and lack the confidence to make decisions, do things that you’ve always wanted to do, can’t handle compliments, and so on.
So what are you to do? It’s not like that, just because you realize you doubt yourself all the time, you can get rid of the problem with a snap of your fingers.
That’s what this post is about. I’m not saying it’s going to solve all your problems, but it will give you the first steps to overcoming self-doubt.
Tips for overcoming self-doubt
1. Realize that you’re not alone.
One of the most important things to overcoming practically any problem is to realize and accept that you are not alone. Somewhere, someone is experiencing the same thing you are. Specific circumstances may be different, but you’re in the same boat. That may not be of much of a consolation at the beginning, but the more you think about it, the more you gain courage. If I am not alone, I can do this.
Another angle is realizing that you have people around you who care for you. In this sense, too, you are not alone. You may think they do not give a [insert something somehow inappropriate here], but they do. Try reaching out – even if only tentatively. You might be surprised at the support you get.
2. Practice saying “STOP”.
Once you’re aware of your second guessing and negative thoughts, you can say NO. You can say STOP.
The battle you’re fighting is with your mind. You have the power to control what you think, even if it seems too difficult.
The good news is that the mind is something that can be trained. So, every time you find self-doubt creeping in, train your mind to say NO. You may fail – maybe many times. But the trick is to keep on trying. And trying. And trying.
The more you do it, the more it will become a habit, and self-doubt will not hinder you.
3. Just make a decision.
Remember that, in the previous post, I mentioned having difficulty making a decision as a sign of self-doubt? Well, here’s one way to deal with it.
Just make a decision.
“Indecision is fatal. It is better to make a wrong decision than build up a habit of indecision. If you’re wallowing in indecision, you certainty can’t act – and action is the basis of success” – Marie Beynon Ray
Whether you make the right decision or not, at least you have moved on from the crossroad. You’ve let go of the stress that comes with indecision.
4. Don’t always look to others for validation.
It’s normal to ask for the opinion of others. In fact, it’s healthy up to a point. Feedback is essential to making adjustments, which are integral to growing as a person.
However, it’s a totally different story if you are constantly asking others what they think before you do anything, what they think of your dress, what they think of your plans to go on vacation, what they of your plans to apply for this job, and so on…
You’re not here to live for what other people think. Stop caring so much about what they think and instead, pay more attention to what you think and feel.
Do you want to go on that luxurious vacation you’ve been saving up for? Then do it.
Do you think you did the right thing by not doing your colleague’s task for him even though he got upset? Then don’t worry about what your other colleagues may think of you.
Ask for feedback, but don’t rely on it.
5. Start journaling.
Perhaps the most important thing you can do to overcome self-doubt is to record your activities and thoughts. Remember diaries? And, no, I don’t mean broadcasting how you feel on Facebook.
Journaling has been proven to provide a host of benefits to mental and emotional health. It clarifies your thoughts and emotions. It shows you what you’ve achieved. It shows you when you failed. All these, put together, will help you realize what you’re made of and what you can do.
When self-doubt starts plaguing you, your journal can be your anchor – solid proof that you can overcome.