Doubt destroys lives.
You don’t think so? Well let me expand.
When you’re looking at moving outside your comfort zone, what’s the one thing that’s stops you from doing so?
When you want to ask that lovely new work colleague out, what stops you from doing so?
When you want to take up a new activity but have no one to go with, what stops you from going on your own?
When you want to ask for a promotion but keep putting it off, what stops you from asking?
Doubt robs you of a better life.
Doubt robs you of a happier life.
Doubt robs you of more rewarding relationships.
Doubt robs you of enjoying the things that make you want to sing!
Doubt robs you of pursuing your dreams.
Doubt robs us of so much of life’s enjoyment and the absolute shame of it all is, that very few of us are actually aware of its destructive nature or how it’s holding us back from living the life were meant to live.
Doubt is based on fear and more often than not it is based on the limiting belief that ‘ I am not good enough’ or on low self worth (I don’t deserve it). If you keep telling yourself you aren’t good enough, guess what, you will continue to (wrongly) believe that you aren’t good enough and doubt yourself in most areas of your life.
The only person stopping you from going to that evening class on your own is you. The only person stopping you from asking your work colleague out is you. The only person holding you back from that promotion is you. And why? Because you doubt you’re good enough. You doubt your self worth.
On a positive though – the only person that can get you that promotion or date is you. Most of us immediately come up with reasons why we can’t do something – some of us can shove these reasons to one side and ignore them – whilst many of us actually believe the hype! And guess what, the crap you tell yourself – ‘I cant do that, what will people think?’, ‘I can’t do that, everyone else is so much better at it that me’ – is just that, crap!
So change your inner dialogue. Challenge your ego. Is what it tells you really true? STOP doubting and START living!
When you notice that you begin to look for reasons why you shouldn’t do something, STOP that train of thought and immediately look for all the reasons why you CAN do it. You could be amazed at just how many reasons there are to do something. And then focus on how you would feel if didn’t do it and explore how much better you would feel if you had the guts to do it (much better I am guessing).
When you begin to see that it is your own self talk (who’s is the voice in your head?) that prevents you from enjoying the things that you want to do, you can begin to STOP listening to the negative and start to list all the reasons why you can do it – and you can!
The first step in overcoming self doubt is noticing your internal dialogue that keeps you contained within that stifling comfort zone. When you notice it – challenge it. Is it really true? It it’s something you say to yourself all the time without questioning it – question it! And then talk yourself into doing what it is that you want to do. And besides, things rarely turn out as bad as you imagine them.
Last Saturday my local rugby team were playing their last game of the season and I usually go with my sons but both were busy and I’d run out of possible subs. I was gutted. I was going to miss the final game of the season and I was bloody annoyed! Going on my own didn’t even cross my mind – are you mad? Billy no Mates – what would people think?
So I blamed my lads for being to busy and began to torment myself about how I’d miss out. I was drowning in self pity and then it hit me. No one was stopping me from going to the game, only me. What a revelation!
I began to question my self doubt. Who said I can’t go on my own? Why would I be worried about what people think? And would people actually care if I was there on my own? I thought about how bad I was feeling about not going and how great I would feel if I did. I could not believe that I hadn’t even considered going on my own.
I jumped off my bed and went! And guess what? Did anyone look at me oddly? Well I’m not too sure as I was totally absorbed in what turned out to be an incredible game. Did I feel uncomfortable? For a few minutes when I arrived but that quickly vanished. At the end of the game (they won!) I was lucky to get a photo with my son’s favourite player.
I walked away from that experience with such a buzz. I had stepped out of my comfort zone and whilst it seemed daunting for a very short while, I felt amazing after. I was so proud that I had taken the opportunity to do what I wanted to do, despite the fact that I doubted I could go on my own. Result. I felt amazing and I have made a promise with myself to continue to push myself outside of my comfort zone and to enjoy my life more fully.
So next time you stop yourself from doing something you really want to do because you doubt yourself, challenge that voice in your head. Sometimes it really isn’t your friend! And each time you push yourself outside of your comfort zone, it will get easier and you will feel better. Believe me I know.