Quite a while back, I received the following message from a dear reader:
“Sometimes I feel so motivated to accomplish my dreams and other times I completely doubt myself. I also feel like I am alone on everything I do. To be honest I don’t know if it’s the best feeling to have.”
I could SO relate to this comment. I knew exactly the feeling, and yet I’ve been sitting on this comment for a long time, not responding. At the time, I felt totally lost in the same feeling and not quite sure how to go about overcoming self doubt myself. I’ve been in career limbo for literally years now, knowing that I was on the wrong path, but too mired in self doubt to go after what I really wanted.
But I have FINALLY beat this doubt thing down. I have learned how to beat self doubt and I’m about to take a giant leap into the unknown.
Here are the five things that have helped me to overcome self doubt about making a HUGE life change:
How To Beat Self Doubt
1. Become Confident That You Are Going After The Right Goal For You
Here’s the tricky thing about self doubt. Sometimes your doubts are actually valid. Sometimes your doubts are a sign that you are about to take the wrong turn.
So the first thing to do when you are doubting yourself is to become crystal clear about who you are, where you want to go, and why.
Here are some questions to think about:
- Do you know your personality type? Do you know your strengths and weaknesses? Do you know what makes you happy?
- Do you know what your long-term life goals are and what kind of life you want to lead?
- Are you trying to reach a goal or make a life change, because it’s in alignment with who you are and what you want?
- Are you excited about the change (even though you have some doubts)?
If you are going yes, yes, yes in response to these questions, you can be confident that you are doing the right thing and remind yourself of that every time the doubts make an appearance.
If you are not able to answer with all yeses, then maybe your self doubts are something to pay attention to. Maybe you are making the change for someone else. Maybe you are making the change because you feel like it’s expected of you or because other people think you should.
Related: How To Make Your Brain Happy
2. Ease In With Baby Steps
Big changes can be… well, BIG. And scary!
It’s no wonder that doubts pop up.
But big things can usually be broken into small parts. A long road consists of many tiny steps.
Once you are clear on your big goal, break it into tiny doable steps. The tinier the better. And then take one little baby step at a time.
The more little steps you get under your belt, the less scary it becomes. The less you will doubt yourself.
3. Let Yourself Be A Beginner
Big changes can also be HARD. The road to your goal might not be perfectly straight. There may be wrong turns, potholes, burned bridges… It might take you a while to become comfortable driving on this new road.
The key is to expect these obstacles. If you really want to reach your destination, anticipate the obstacles and face them one at a time.
Let yourself be a beginner. Let yourself stumble. Let yourself make mistakes and learn from them.
And never ever ever compare yourself to someone who is further along on the road. Never ever ever compare your beginning to someone else’s middle.
4. Surround Yourself With Encouragement
What about the lonely feeling my dear reader brought up?
Most people you encounter on a daily basis probably aren’t making big changes like you are. Maybe they gave up on their dreams a long time ago or their dreams are totally different from yours. Maybe they are even discouraging you. Maybe they make you feel like you are dumb for even trying.
But you are hardly alone in dreaming of something better, of going after a life you actually want to live. There are many of us. We are here. Sometimes you may even find us quite accidentally in real life when you share about your dream in conversation. Or you might find us in books or blogs or podcasts or online forums.
We are here.
We are here and our voices can help drown out your self doubts.
You are not alone.
5. Resolve To Move Forward Anyway
Guess what? Even after you do all four of the things above, you will STILL have doubts. At least if you are an overanalyzer like I am.
But guess what else? You can just let them be. See them as a normal part of the process. I mean how often is anyone 100% confident about anything?
I doubt myself all the time. The difference is that I no longer let the doubts control my actions.
And neither should you.
Let the doubts come and go.
Just don’t let them stop you.
Your dreams deserve to be pursued.
(Pssst, if there’s a topic you would like to see me write about, you can send me a message here.)