OK. Let’s me start by telling it like it is. Self-doubt is a normal part of being human.
By Kristina Karlsson
We all experience it at some point in our lives, whether it's about our abilities, decisions, or worth. But in my vast experience, what separates successful people from those who remain stuck is their ability to understand, manage and harness the power of their self-doubt.
In this article, we'll explore some brilliant practical insights and strategies to help you overcome self-doubt and cultivate confidence to live your dream life.
1. Self-Doubt is Normal for Us Humans. Be Okay with It.
The first step in managing self-doubt is to accept that it's a natural emotion. We all have moments when we doubt ourselves, and that's okay. The key is not to let self-doubt paralyze you or prevent you from taking action. Remember, self-doubt is not a reflection of your worth or abilities. It's simply a feeling that comes and goes.
"As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
2. Have a Strong 'Reason WHY'
Having a compelling reason why you want to achieve your goals is a powerful motivator. It helps you to stay focused on your goals and gives you the drive to push through self-doubt and challenges. When you have a strong why, it also helps to put things into perspective and prioritize what's important.
"The only way to do great work is to love what you do." - Steve Jobs
3. Let Go of Perfect
Perfectionism can be a major obstacle to confidence and success. When you strive for perfection, you're setting yourself up for failure because perfection doesn't exist. Instead, aim for progress and improvement. Focus on doing your best and learning from mistakes.
"Done is better than perfect." - Sheryl Sandberg
4. Ease-Off on Trying to Please Everyone
Trying to please everyone is an impossible task that can lead to burnout and low self-esteem. Instead, focus on pleasing yourself and those who matter most to you. Be true to yourself and your values, and the right people will respect and appreciate you for who you are.
"Your time is limited, don't waste it living someone else's life." - Steve Jobs
5. Understand What the Worst Thing That Could Happen Is? And Know That You Can Cope.
When you're facing a situation that triggers self-doubt, ask yourself, "What's the worst that could happen?" and "Can I cope with it?" Often, the worst-case scenario is not as bad as we imagine, and we have the resources and resilience to handle it. Knowing that you can cope with whatever happens can give you the confidence to take action.
"Believe you can and you're halfway there." - Theodore Roosevelt
6. Know What Your Self-Doubt is Costing You
Self-doubt can hold you back from reaching your full potential and living your dream life. It can limit your opportunities, relationships, and happiness. Take a moment to reflect on what your self-doubt is costing you, and use it as motivation to take action.
"Don't let your fear of what could happen make nothing happen." - Unknown
7. Feel the Fear, Do it Anyway …and Start Before You’re Ready
One of the biggest obstacles that holds us back from pursuing our dreams is fear. Fear of failure, fear of the unknown, fear of what other people might think. But here's the thing: fear is a natural response to new and challenging situations. It's our brain's way of protecting us from harm.
However, sometimes our fear can be so overwhelming that it paralyzes us and stops us from taking action. We feel like we need to have everything figured out before we start, and that we need to be fully prepared for any possible outcome. But the truth is, we will never be 100% ready. There will always be some level of uncertainty and risk involved in chasing our dreams.
So, the key is to feel the fear and do it anyway. Acknowledge your fear, but don't let it control you. Take small steps towards your goal, even if they feel uncomfortable or scary. The more you take action, the more your confidence will grow, and the easier it will become to keep pushing yourself out of your comfort zone.
"Courage is not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear." - Nelson Mandela
8. Just Start…
One of the most common reasons why people don't pursue their dreams is that they feel overwhelmed by the enormity of the task at hand. They don't know where to start, so they never start at all. But the truth is, you don't need to have everything figured out before you start. In fact, it's impossible to have everything figured out.
The best way to get started is to take action, even if it's just a small step. Break down your goal into smaller, more manageable tasks, and focus on completing one task at a time. As you complete each task, your confidence will grow, and you'll be one step closer to achieving your dream.
Remember, the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. So, take that first step, and keep moving forward.
"Don't wait until you're ready to take action. Instead, take action to be ready." - Jennie S. Bev
9. Get Comfortable with Feeling Uncomfortable. Which Discomfort do you Want?
Success doesn't come easy. It requires hard work, dedication, and a willingness to step out of your comfort zone. But here's the thing: your comfort zone is where dreams go to die. If you want to achieve your goals and live your dream life, you need to get comfortable with feeling uncomfortable.
This means embracing discomfort and pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone. It means taking risks, trying new things, and being willing to fail. But the discomfort you experience is not all the same. You can choose which discomfort you want. Do you want the discomfort of staying where you are, unfulfilled and wishing for something more? Or do you want the discomfort of growth, of pushing yourself to become the best version of yourself?
Choose wisely, because your choice will determine your destiny.
"Life begins at the end of your comfort zone." - Neale Donald Walsch
10. Build a Support Crew
One of the most important parts of living your dream life, and pushing through self-doubt, is to have support from people when you need it. Not as a crutch, but as wind beneath your wings.
As Louisa Jewell, author of Wire your Brain for Confidence: The Science of Conquering Self-Doubt says on my podcast Episode #173 – “surround yourself with people who will be realistically encouraging in support of you and your dreams”.
Often your family will try to overly protect you – or project their own limited thinking onto you – which results in either discouraging you or giving unrealistic encouragement. You need to find your tribe and meet with them regularly.
How can you get that sort of support in your life?
Find people who have done what you want to do. Read about them. Listen to their podcasts. Meet them for coffee. If you don’t know anyone, ask around. Find ways to spend time around those sorts of people. Seek out mentors. Go deeper into my Dream Life Community (...some on how ideas below).
The way I have found support over the years has been to join entrepreneurs’ groups, seek out mentors, take courses, attend workshops, join inspiring Facebook groups, create my own groups ...and to always be on the lookout to meet like-minded people.
Take some time to think about where you can find people to support you as you chase your dreams.
Take some time to think about what people you need around you to get the support you need to make your dreams come true. Ask yourself ‘who?’ Who has been through what I’m going through? Who has achieved what I want to achieve? Who understands? Who can help?
It’s very normal to feel fear and self-doubt if you haven’t previously done whatever it is you want to do. Surrounding yourself with supportive and encouraging people will be so helpful for you.
Jim Rohn says “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
The people we surround ourselves with are the biggest influence on our behaviour, attitudes and what we do and achieve in life. Who you are around strongly influences the course of your life. Choose wisely.
The truth is that social support makes you feel stronger and more confident.
That’s how powerful it is to have a supportive person or group of people behind you. It’s why I see such power from the community I’ve created around the Dream Life movement. People, helping people, helping people. It’s how magic happens.
"Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher." - Oprah Winfrey
Self-doubt can be a significant roadblock on the path to achieving your goals and living your dream life. However, by embracing it and harnessing its power, you can turn your self-doubt into confidence and self-belief and use it to propel yourself forward.
The keys are to have a strong 'reason why,' let go of perfection, ease-off on trying to please everyone, understand what the worst thing that could happen is, and know that you can cope, understand what your self-doubt is costing you, feel the fear and do it anyway, just start, get comfortable with feeling uncomfortable, and build a support crew.
Living a life free of self-doubt is not possible, but by taking these steps, we can learn to manage and overcome it.
Remember that everyone experiences self-doubt at some point in their lives, and it's a natural part of the human experience. By harnessing its power, we can transform our self-doubt into self-belief and live the life we truly deserve.
"Believe you can, and you're halfway there." - Theodore Roosevelt
I'd love to hear what resonates with you from this article and what your key takeaways and actions are - so leave your comments below.
And if you want to go deeper – and get my support and the support of a wonderful community to thrive despite self-doubt – here’s how I can help…
- Learn more about my Personal Growth / Book Club – GROW here… where in May we’ll be reading and squeezing the learnings out of Wire Your Brain For Confidence: The Science of Conquering Self-Doubt, by Louisa Jewell.
- Learn about my 12-Month Coaching Program & Online Course here… where we’re going deep on the topic of harnessing the power of self-doubt during May – and the amazing Joe Pane will be our Super Star Speaker.
Dream Life Founder
PS: Listen to this great Dream Life Podcast episode - #173 – WIRE YOUR BRAIN FOR CONFIDENCE: THE SCIENCE OF CONQUERING SELF-DOUBT, with Louisa Jewell - here...