If believing in yourself is considered the major cause of success, self-doubt is the main cause of failure. Overcoming self-doubt is for sure part of your development of believing in yourself.
We have seen that without self-esteem is impossible to believe in yourself. You have also to overcome negative thinking and external factors. Nevertheless, you may believe that you don’t have the means to better yourself or that you don’t deserve a better life. You can have roadblocks that are impeding your self-belief to blossom.
You first you have to identify what’s holding you back. Here are three common self-doubt traps that can keep you from living out your true potential.
Do you look around and feel like everyone else has a handle on life but you? This is a common feeling, especially in our digital age. Maybe you have a friend on Facebook who always seems to have a clean house – or an old school buddy that now is a general manager in a big company. But you don’t see what her house looks like when the kids have the flu and she didn’t do any laundry – or that your school buddy has a failed wedding and his children don’t want to speak with him.
Seeing your friend’s good days can leave you feeling like you’re a failure because your house doesn’t look clean all the time or you think you have a poor job.
When you’re on social media, you’re constantly exposed to the best side of someone’s life. You rarely see the ugly parts, too. It’s important to remember this when you’re scrolling through your news feed.
Overcoming self-doubt requires overcoming comparison, because comparison will continuously feed your sense of scarcity and failure in some part of your life.
How to stop comparing yourself? If you are thinking too much to other people’s fortunes, follow Marcus Aurelius advice. If you can’t help but compare yourself to others, play doing it the reverse way: count your blessings, and imagine are what are other people’s problems in their own life…
Overcoming self-doubt requires having faith in yourself and your values. Andrea Patrick in a smart post remembers the three thoughts that will bring you forward with this: you’re unique, you’re prepared, you’re intentional.
You don’t need comparison, you just need getting back on your path.
Agreeing with Negative People
“Stay away from negative people. They have a problem, for every solution.” – Albert Einstein
This is partly similar to what we discussed when examining external factors that can invalidate self-belief. This one focuses on what your friends and negative family members tell recurrently you about yourself in an unsupportive way.
Sometimes some of your current relationships will keep you questioning yourself and will gradually undermine your sense of self-esteem. This can happen subtly by making unkind remarks and then retiring these remarks as jokes. They may demotivate you commenting on a project very important for you. They may focus you on a series of good reasons your goal is hard to achieve and you may not be able to address all that it takes.
Negative comments will mine your self-confidence and overcoming self-doubt requires their appropriate management.
How to deal with negative comments?
If you have an underlying true deep relationship, you must go for an honest conversation; this will be a good way to upgrade this relationship to a newer level and you should look for this clarification as soon as possible.
Otherwise, there are a few options to address your annoying friend:
- Just shorten the conversation and talk about something else;
- Often these people have a kind of unhealthy passion for negative talking and you can readdress this passion towards a different topic; for example recent events in the neighborhood, political affairs, economic crunch, and so on.
- Just agree with them and say it won’t work; then don’t talk anymore of your projects with them and follow your goal with other supportive friends.
Of course you should consider limiting how often you interact with these people and replace time with them with time for your self-care or more supportive friends.
Fixating in Past Situations
“Sometimes the wrong choices bring us to the right places” – Tucois Ominek
Your past is a problem when it shapes your present. This happens far more than we realize. Negative situations in your past can make it hard for you to believe in yourself. Maybe you were in a toxic relationship with a partner who verbally abused you. Or you grew up with an alcoholic parent. Maybe someone bullied you in middle school or you had big occasion but you lost the opportunity of your life. Maybe you just failed.
Your past will take a toll on your self-esteem and crush your confidence only if you don’t take action.
Staying in the past and not taking action will fixate you there. Overcoming self-doubt requires you win over your past, stop ruminating thoughts and get back to the present.
If you’ve been in a bad situation in the past, you’ll need to re-train your thought process. There are two essential points in getting over your past situations: overcoming failure and getting back on track.
Overcoming failure requires focusing on what was right, on the resources you however have and what you are learning. I’ve dealt with this in greater detail in my How to Rebuild Self Confidence After a Confidence Crisis in 3 Mindset Steps post. If things are very hard, you may need the help of a therapist or life coach to help you deal with painful situations from your past that are keeping you stuck.
Then you have to get back on track. Stop talking about the past, start acting in the present. This means taking any action forward, despite what you thought was a failure. Think to what you were trying to accomplish when you failed, refocus your direction and go for a baby step you can do right now.
Keep in mind that failure leads to success, because failure is the best teacher. You are now stronger and learned from your errors. Remember that sometimes the wrong choices bring us to the right places, and then go ahead.
Even if it takes a lot of work and time, you already know that you can change your thoughts about yourself from negative to positive.
A positive self-belief requires a correct discipline on others-belief, which means not comparing to others and not accepting negative suggestions from others. In addition, it requires unlocking from your past so you can get back in the only time in which you can take action: the present.
When you detach from other people’s thoughts and from your past, it will be easier for you to focus on your positive qualities and you’ll start finding easier to believe in yourself.
Overcoming these roadblocks is pivotal to your success and understanding what obstacles you are going to find will help you to win your challenge.
You can find more tips on overcoming self-doubt in my recent article: How to Stop Doubting Yourself: Discover How to Combat Self-doubt for Good with These 9 Strategies.
To find reflections and exercises to apply all this to your life, start believing in yourself and start overcoming your self-doubt, enroll in my free 5 day start believing in yourself challenge. Just click on the image below and subscribe.
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See you next time!