Heartfirst Real Talk from Jess.

How to K.O. Self Doubt

As William Shakespeare brilliantly put it, “our doubts are our traitors“.  Yet even while knowing this, many of us continue to let negative thoughts control our behavior and limit our possibilities in life. We may not even know we’re doing it, as an endless stream of thoughts runs throughout our brains each day; but the longer we hold on to self-doubt, the greater its power becomes.  It takes conscious effort to discard thoughts of self-doubt.  But we can and we ought to, because ultimately our mindset and attitude not only affect – but create – our life.

In order to become our best selves, we need to consciously let go of thoughts that hold us back and to embrace those that empower and inspire us.  Here are some useful tips to help you power through negativity and to armour yourself with positivity and strength.  You’ll find that with just a bit more self-awareness and practice, your inner light will shine that much brighter – and your potential for happiness and success (whatever these mean for you) will be that much greater.

How to Knock Out Self-Doubt:

1/ Acknowledge.   That’s right: own your negative thoughts.  (Ignoring them will just cause them to resurface and grow in importance.)

2/ Double Punch Back.  Think of 2 positive qualities or alternatives for each doubt, worry or negative thought.  (It’s always better to double up on the positives because sometimes it takes more than one of them to counteract a negative thought.)

3/ Remember The Two W’s.  In order for great things to happen in life, you need to understand two things at a deep level: you are worth it and you are working for it. Believing you deserve to be happy and successful is a must — and as long as you’re committed to continually working toward your goal, there’s no reason you can’t accomplish it.  Remind yourself of this when you begin to worry or doubt yourself.

4/ Consciously Let Go.  Once you’ve acknowledged your self-doubt, given each one a double punch back (#2) and reminded yourself that you are worthy and working for it — it’s time to actively let go of the negative thoughts. (Note: Don’t over think this: think of it as a simple exercise.  Once you’ve experienced positive results, you’ll be encouraged to continue and this process will feel more natural.)

photo: Miguel Bruna

Remember that you’re not alone in feeling weighed down by doubt at times.  It’s comforting though to realize you have the ability to decide how much importance you give negative thoughts.  As with most things, you’ll improve with practice; discarding negative thoughts when they pop into your head will eventually become second nature.

As always, positive change begins and ends with you.  It requires that you trust yourself and that you’re willing to do the work (for some, the above steps may feel strange but minor; for others it will be much more challenging).  You don’t need to dive into them with full blind faith but you do need to take sure-footed baby steps in order for them to be effective.  If and when letting go of self-doubt feels too difficult or overwhelming, just focus on #3 and remind yourself: “I am worthy and I’m working for it.”  💯

“Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will.” –   Suzy Kassem

* Song For This Moment: “Worry” by Jack Garratt.  

Related Articles:

“Don’t Let Caution Turn to Cowardice”, article in Entrepreneur.

“Seven Strategies To Control Your Thoughts”, article in Mountain Moving Mindset.

“Do We Have Control Over Our Thoughts”, article.

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