Self-doubt and negative self-talk are two very real factors when it comes to people not pursuing their passions. I know for myself, it is something I have always struggled with. We have all been there, we have this great idea, or something we really love, but we let our own insecurities and self-doubt get in the way of ever achieving it or even pursuing it.
It is one of the many reasons I put off starting a blog for so long, and also one of the many reasons I was always afraid of trying new things. It is so easy to talk yourself out of pursuing something, and so easy to come up with a million reasons why you can’t do it. That little voice inside your head keeps telling you it’s too hard, that people will judge you, that you will probably fail, that you’re not good enough to achieve it.
That little negative talking, self-doubting voice is the ultimate killer of dreams, and I am going to tell you how you can overcome it for good. Personal growth is so important, so when you are listening to that little voice constantly telling you that you’ll fail, how are you ever going to grow as a person and become better? If you continue to listen to your own negative self-talk, you will never step outside of your comfort zone and achieve great things. So, if you struggle with self-doubt like I did, follow these steps, work hard on overcoming that negativity, and open yourself up to a world of possibility.
6 Ways to Overcome Self Doubt & Be More Confident
1 | Stop Using Self-doubt as an Excuse
Like I mentioned above, it is so easy to get caught up in the vicious cycle of self-doubt and negative self talk. I use to (and still do at times) have this irrational fear of failure. I was so scared of failing that I held myself back from trying anything new. If I did actually try something new, I wouldn’t dare tell anyone, because I was scared if I did fail, they would judge me, and that left me with no support system or accountability, which often led me to failure. (vicious cycle, I know). BUT, eventually I become so accustom to not trying new things that it became normal for me.
I became bored, and uninspired in life, and I was using the “There is no point in trying, I will fail anyway” as an excuse to stay inside my comfort zone . Luckily, I broke out of that rut and realized that I enjoy personal growth and personal improvement and that in order to achieve either of those things, I had to leave my very cozy comfort zone, take a few risks, and stop being terrified of failure. But most importantly, I needed to stop using my fear of failing as an excuse. And that is exactly what I did.
Anytime I felt overwhelmed with a new decision, I took a step back and said to myself, “okay what is the worst that can happen?“, and “what is the best that can happen“, and almost always, the good outweighed the bad. Try and look at the bigger picture, and if you really want something in life, tell your self-doubt to bug off and just go for it. What is the worst that can happen? Someone will judge you, you may fail, you may not like it? So what, at least you tried. Learn from your mistakes, and try again.
Blogging is a perfect example in my own life. I was terrified to start a blog. But, I pushed myself to do it, and even though their has been some challenges and days I have felt like throwing in the towel, it is also something I am extremely passionate about and is now a large piece of my life. I am so happy I pushed myself to simply try.
Related Reading: 10 of the Best Ways to Step Out of Your Comfort Zone
2 | Create a Plan
Okay, so maybe you have an awesome idea in mind that you want to pursue, but your terrified you will fail. Or you simply have no idea what you’re doing or where to start. Well first of all, news flash, that is how most amazing things start. The best thing you can do is make a to-do list, create a plan and give yourself some structure and guidance.
I started this blog without any clue what I was doing, but as I go, I learn more and more. But there is also so much more I want to learn and so much more I want to do. So to avoid overwhelm I created a plan. I utilize my awesome planner and I make a to-do list of everything I want to accomplish. Instantly, after making a list, I feel better. Sometimes all my list says is “figure out how to do xyz” but just giving myself some structure and writing everything down makes me feel in control again. Don’t let lack of organization or lack of planning be the reason you give up on your goal.
The best thing I have done for myself is to start using a planner! Check out these awesome options to start using your own:
3 | Just Start
I have wanted to start a blog for a long time. There was always an excuse, usually consisting of the idea that my blog would never be successful, or fear of failing, or thinking that maybe my friends would judge me. I let those negative thoughts hold me back for a long time, until one day I said screw it and just went for it.
The thing is though, for months after I decided to go for it, I made plans, and read so many articles and tutorials on starting a blog and blogging in general. I always told myself oh, after I read this, or do this, I will be ready to start, but you know what, those were just excuses to put off actually starting. The only way to start, is to start. I still haven’t read all of the thousands of Blogging pins I pinned on Pinterest, but I make it a point to read some every now and again to keep learning new things. All I needed to do was figure out where to start, and just go for it.
So that is my advice, if your chasing a goal or a dream, and you keep saying to yourself “after I finish this book I can start” or “once I complete this course I can start”, stop waiting, find your starting point and just go for it. Once you start, you will be so much more aware of what you need to do and how to achieve your goals.
PS: If you are thinking of starting your own blog, I have the perfect place for you to start! Click here to follow my step-by-step tutorial on starting a blog.
4 | Stop Playing the Comparison Game
Something that has always sucked me into a cycle of self-doubt, is comparing myself to others. It never ends well, so avoid it at all costs if you can. I have the perfect example from when I was growing up. I always considered myself a pretty good drawer. I never took it super seriously, but I enjoyed it and I doodled and sketched quite a bit. Then I started hanging around with a friend of mine (actually my best friend to this day) and she was like an AMAZING artist. She could draw so well, and she was super creative in so many other ways. So, at 14 years old, what do you think I did? I compared myself to her, and I knew I didn’t even come close to having her talent, so I slowly stopped drawing. Now, she has no idea about any of this, but it is the perfect example. I let my own self-doubt get in the way of something I really enjoyed doing. I could have asked her to show me some tips or I could have recognized that our styles were just different, but I let that comparison consume me and I let it ruin drawing for me.
There are so many areas of life that this comes into play. Comparison has no positive side. You are your own person, and you don’t need to be as good as anyone else because you are already good enough in your own way. I notice this a lot now that I started blogging. I will be on another bloggers website and I hear that little voice telling me my blog is not nearly as great as the one I am looking at, or that I will never achieve what they have with their blog, and you know what I do, I leave. remove myself from the situation and I do something else, and then I work even harder.
Comparison consumes you, so don’t let it get that far. Remove yourself from the situation, and remind yourself of 3 to 5 positive things about yourself, your journey, how far you have come, etc. and then work your ass off to achieve YOUR goals. Most of all remember you are your own person, and trying to be like everyone else or as good as everyone else is pointless and boring.
Authentic people are the best kind of people, so never let your comparison to someone else stop you from doing something you love, or change who you are as a person.
5 | Take a Time Out
If you find you’re having a bad day and seem to be consumed by self-doubt, negativity, and comparison, take a time out. Even if you have a giant to-do list, it is worth it to take a time out and focus on something else.
Actually, just earlier this week, I was consumed by overwhelm and self-doubt, I felt like I had a million things I wanted to complete and nothing was working for me. I took a step back, I went to the gym, and then I sat outside in the sun and read a book, and it was exactly what I needed. I came back to my project that was driving me crazy before, and I had a refreshed mind. I was able to concentrate and get my whole to-do list done. The frustration and negativity I felt earlier that day were gone, and everything went so much smoother.
Sometimes a good time out is all you need to clear your mind of that self-doubt. Don’t let a little overwhelm get in the way of going after your goals.
6 | Your Opinion is the Only One That Matters
Now, I don’t mean you should ignore constructive criticism or never ask for feedback, because those are both very important aspects of achieving goals and improving yourself. What I am saying is, not everyone will understand your journey. If your friend pokes fun at you when you mention starting a side business, just keep in mind that reaction is probably more about them then it is about you. No one else has to understand why your going after your dream, only you do. People may question your journey, but do not let their lack of understanding deter you from chasing your dream or passion.
You do not have to follow anyone elses path in life. Listen to your desires, and go with them. Society in general sets standards viewed as “normal”. Think marriage, university, children, etc.. But who says we have to follow that path? I 100% believe you should follow whatever path feels right to YOU. Want to travel? Do it. Want to focus on building a business? Do it.
It is your life and the only opinion that should sway any decisions about your life is YOUR OWN.
So, there you go! The above strategies are the ones I used to overcome my own self-doubt and fear of failure. I hope that you can incorporate these strategies into your own life and also overcome your own self-doubt and negative self talk. I hope these strategies help you get one step closer to stepping outside of your comfort zone and achieving something great!
I hope you learn to love self-improvement and personal growth the way that I have come to love them, and I hope they improve your life they way that have improved mine. To help you take it one step further, I have created a FREE 6 part email course to help you truly overcome your self doubt and gain the confidence you need to go after your dreams! Click below for more details:
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I would love to hear what strategies you use to overcome self-doubt! Leave me a comment and let me know.