Know you’re not alone.
First, acknowledge that everyone has doubts. It’s isolating to believe that you’re the only one suffering from a lack of confidence. You’ll sabotage your success if you feel like an outlier.
The best way to gain confidence is to do what you are afraid to do.
Stop worrying about what others think.
When you spend all your time and energy trying to manage other peoples’ perception of you, you’ll get stuck in an inadequacy loop. There will always be someone who appears to be doing better, getting further or having more. Do not benchmark yourself against others’ accomplishments and possessions.
Set immediate goals.
In addition to adopting ambitious, long-term goals, remember to establish attainable, short-term ones. It’s easy to let doubt creep in when your big goals aren’t immediately realized. By achieving smaller goals along the way, you can constantly bask in frequent wins.
Surround yourself with the right people.
No person is an island, as the saying goes, and that holds true for your business life as well. Keep the people who encourage you close and seek out their feedback on a regular basis. Distance yourself from individuals who are always pessimistic toward you, your business and your future prospects.
Take a break.
If you are feeling overwhelmed by what you perceive as not going so well, take some time away from that project and focus on something totally different. Sometimes shifting our focus away from what we are stuck on helps us take a new perspective when we come back to it.
Doodle, scribble, paint with your hands. Put on your favorite music and move around.
It’s easy to get lost in a sea of self-doubt when we forget to take care of our own needs.
Make sure you have enough play time (away from work to balance the work and play). Be sure to stay hydrated with plenty of water throughout the day, get enough sleep, and eat healthily.
Keep a gratitude art journal where you pick a picture out of a magazine or from online and choose one to three things a day that you are thankful for.
Connect with others.
While it is important to strengthen your self-love muscles, it is just as important to get the support you need from others. Whether this is from friends, family, or a professional therapist or coach, getting reassurance or help from others can make a big difference.
Sometimes just the reassurance that you are not the only one who gets stuck or has moments of self-doubt can help you shift a “why me” attitude.
Take time each day to remember accomplishments, even small ones and actively choose to view the world around you in a positive way.
Always look for alternative interpretations of situations that didn’t turn out the way you wanted. Things happen that are outside of your control, irrespective of your involvement.
Be decisive but don’t fear a change of mind.
When the time comes to make a decision, do not overexpend your energy dithering. In most cases, your first gut feeling is probably the right choice, so make a decision and move on.
But do not be afraid to change course if, down the line, you realize it wasn’t the right choice after all. That might seem like a contradiction, but it is not.
It’s all too easy to become overly caught up in negative thoughts, which left unchecked can spread to all aspects of your life. Break the cycle immediately. A few ways to try to exit this self-destructive mental loop include taking a walk, moving on to another project or doing exercise. Experiment and find the technique that works best to quell pessimism before it consumes you.
Face your fears.
Finally, do not let fear or self-doubt dictate how you lead your personal life or operate your business. Regularly evaluate the worst-case scenarios as well as the risk-reward ratio and face the things that scare you head-on.
People who are afraid to fail never move forward or grow, personally and professionally. The more you push yourself, the more you’ll realize what you are capable of. Eventually, you may even be able to reverse the negative effects of self-doubt and use it to challenge your limitations and achieve greatness.
Do Something that Scares the Shit Out of You Every Day.
- Get your ass to the gym
- Smile or High-five 5 total strangers
- Go to a Toastmaster’s meeting and give a speech
- Start running or even do an Ironman
- Take the plunge and pursue that big opportunity you’re scared about
- Go up to that person you’ve had your eye on and ask them on a date