How many times have you found yourself excited about achieving a goal only to give up before you have even started?
How many times have you had an inspiring idea but then talked yourself out of it?
Many of us carry self-doubt without even knowing it. We believe we are not good enough to have the life that we want, or to go after the goals we desire, and this mindset keeps us forever stuck.
Research has even shown that by the time the average person has reached adulthood they have heard the word “no” 50,000 times as compared to ”yes” 7,000 times.
Self-doubt is definitely programmed from a young age and is also linked to feelings of self-esteem and self-worth. When we don’t believe we are good enough, smart enough or pretty enough, it can really influence our entire lives.
The good news is that there is a way to transform self doubt into self belief. It takes practice and awareness, but in just a few short months it can radically change your life.
Here is how to conquer self-doubt:
Step 1: Start Practicing Self- Love
The foundation of self-belief is really self-love. Many people have a hard time learning to love themselves but truly it is the most important step.
Learning to love yourself is really about learning to accept yourself, flaws and all. You don’t have to be “perfect” or some mythical version of yourself in order to deserve your love.
One of the most effective techniques for loving yourself is saying “I love you” 100 times to yourself while you stand in the mirror. This confronting exercise can stir up a lot of resistance and even pain, but as you keep saying the words, eventually they become true.
Step 2: Practice Self- Compassion
Self-love and self-compassion go hand in hand. Often we are very kind to others, but forget to treat ourselves with this same level of kindness.
When you are kind to yourself it helps you to feel more confident and resilient. This in turn, makes you believe in yourself more and limits your feelings of self-doubt.
Whenever you find negative thoughts arising, consider switching them to be more loving and compassionate and see how that shifts things.
Step 3: A Can Do Attitude
There is absolutely no reason why you can’t go after your dreams and fulfil your desires. After all, the limitations you give yourself are the ones you get to keep!
When you limit yourself it makes it very hard to go after your goals and dreams. Instead, adopt the “can do” mindset and know that there is a way to achieve all of your dreams. You may need to do some hard work and have patience, but there is no reason why you can’t get to where you want to be.
There is no such thing as success without failure, but if you can focus on always finding solutions rather than getting bogged down by your problems, there will be nothing you can’t achieve.
Step 4: Stop Seeking Validation
This is really about trusting yourself. When you find yourself seeking validation from others or asking everyone for their opinion you may need to stop and reconsider what your intentions really are.
While it is fine to seek advice from others at times, if you are continuously looking for reassurance then you are never going to develop faith in yourself.
Rather than seeking opinions from everyone, learn to trust yourself. You may not always be right but you will always learn something.
The more you trust yourself and follow your own instincts, the easier it will be to transform self-doubt into self-belief.
Step 5: Forget What Other People Think
Everyone is going to have an opinion about what you should or shouldn’t do, but the truth is that none of that really matters.
Very often we stop ourselves from going after our dreams because we are afraid of what other’s may think. This mindset also makes it easy to belittle our own dreams and wishes and chalk them up to nothing more than a fantasy.
Sometimes it can feel safe to stick to the status quo to avoid judgement, but in the long run this is not really going to serve you.
Worrying about what other people think will only hold you back. Instead, know that you true friends will be supportive no matter what.
Step 6: Don’t Be Afraid of Failure
Everyone has moments of failure, however this is not a bad thing! Failure is a very powerful teacher and is almost imperative on the road to success.
When failure happens, and it will, try to see it as a learning opportunity rather than a disaster. Failures can be hard but they always make you stronger.
When you believe in yourself, failure becomes part of the journey rather than an obstacle.
“She was unstoppable, not because she did not have failures or doubts, but because she continued on despite them.”- Beau Taplin
Step 7: Take Action
The final step to shedding self doubt and believing in yourself is actually taking action. If you really want to overcome self-doubt you need to start taking steps in the direction of your dreams.
Sure, your inner critic may try to stop you, but ignoring those negative voices and acting anyway can be extremely liberating.
Choosing to take action in spite of self-doubt is the most courageous thing you can do and a sure sign that you believe in yourself.