1. We’re scared to stop the doubts.
When I really started to think about my dreams and goals and what was holding me back from them, it was my fear of failure, rejection, imposter syndrome, and success. Because I didn’t really know what success looked or felt like.
And it’s understandable to be scared, but you can’t let your fear hold you back from taking action.
We all have doubts about whether we’re “good enough”. We think that one day - once we’ve achieved this or that or get to a certain milestone - that the doubt will just melt away, but it doesn’t really work that way.
We have to decide to stop doubting ourselves and decide that we are good enough and have what it takes (because you do).
"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.”
- Marianne Williamson
You can’t run away from fear, but you can start showing up. And once you start showing up, you’ll realize that rejection is not the end all be all.
Just because someone in your past doubted you, doesn’t mean you have to spend the rest of your life doubting yourself too.
2. We believe the stories others have told us.
We think we don’t have the experience, the knowledge, the talent, the network, the … whatever it is you think you need.
And so we say to ourselves, “We’re not ready.” Well… when will you be ready?
If not now, when? If not you, who?
So start telling yourself a different story.
Don’t have a portfolio? Build one.
Don’t have the clients? Find some.
Don’t have the network? Go out and connect with people.
If you don’t like the story you’re living, change it. (Spoiler alert: No one’s going to do it for you.)
Just because someone else believes their story to be true, doesn’t mean you have to believe in their story too.
Because if you believe something like “Other people are ‘luckier’ than me”, you’re not going to work as hard as you could be working… because you’ll think, “What’s the point?”
Yes, some people might be lucky. But the majority of those people whom you think are so “lucky” have worked really, really hard to get to where they are. It takes a lot of inner work to work through your own biggest blocks (and we all have our own set of mindset blocks and limiting beliefs).
3. We hang out with people who doubt themselves too.
We’ve all heard the saying, “We’re the average of the 5 people we hang out with.”
So if you’re hanging out with people who don’t believe in themselves, chances are you would feel pretty uncomfortable feeling confident in yourself. Essentially, you doubt yourself to make the people around you comfortable. The sad truth is people who aren’t confident in themselves don’t like hanging out with people who are.
So maybe that means you have to let some people in your life go. (And no, that doesn’t make you a bad person.)
If you find yourself sinking, you have to let go of the weight that’s holding you down.
Don’t spend your time around people who make you feel bad about feeling confident or good about yourself. You should feel confident. You’re awesome.
4. Doubting yourself makes you feel ...comfortable (to a point).
If you’re like the most of society, you’ve spent a good amount of your life feeling inadequate. Like you need to constantly prove yourself and your worth to the world. So you keep doing more and more and more until you’re burnt out and ready to throw in the towel.
It’s uncomfortable to believe that things will work out, because maybe things have never worked out for you in the before.
Doubt is familiar. It’s safe, and it keeps you playing small.
You don’t have to venture that far out of your comfort zone.
But is living in doubt and fear really safe? Is it giving you the life you want?
Spoiler alert: Your doubt doesn’t make you special (it’s everywhere in everyone) and even more so, it doesn’t help you grow.
What if you decided to be patient with yourself? What if you looked at the long term picture, instead of basing your emotions and feelings off of what’s happening day to day?
What if you just decided things were going to work out? (As opposed to being ready to list every excuse under the sun of why it might not work out.)
Want to know how something might not work out? Keep telling yourself it won’t work out. There’s no fasting way to kill your own dreams that than.
But if you are ready to have things work out for you, tell yourself that it’ll work out for you. List all the reasons why this is going to work out for you. We believe in the stories we tell ourselves, so believe in yourself.
5. We’re addicted to our negativity.
I know, because I was addicted to my own negativity and the lame excuses I was feeding myself for why I couldn’t do x, y, and z for many, many years. And even when I was aware of my own negativity, I wanted to hold onto it and push away anyone that got in the way of that. Because it was the only thing I knew and the only thing that felt safe.
It was easy to say, “Oh, I don’t think I can.” or “Oh, that’s not for me.” or “Oh, it’s easy for them.”
It’s easier to list all the reasons why you think you can’t do something than to actually do it - because then you’re in new territory when you feel safe in your old one.
But here’s the thing:
Doubting yourself isn’t going to get you your dream job.
It’s not going to help you become the person you want to be.
And it certainly isn’t going to help you grow or do anything worthwhile.
Taking consistent action and achieving sustainable, long-term results requires you to believe in yourself and what you’re working towards.
You are going to have bad days. Fear is going to try to scare you out of it. Rejection is going to happen - and it’s not just going to be one or two rejection. And there will be people who will be more than happy to doubt you and make you feel like you can’t and shouldn’t believe in yourself.
But living a life full of doubt and fear is far more uncomfortable than doing things outside of your comfort zone. At least the latter will help you grow and become a stronger, braver, and more exciting person.
“Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will.”
- Suzy Kassem