We often feel discouraged about ourselves when we have self-doubts, and sometimes, it’s enough to stop us from reaching our goals. The fear of failure often prevents us from trying in the first place. But if you don’t try anything, all you can ever do is try and fail so there is no point in having these thoughts anyway. And being afraid of failure doesn’t mean that you should never try anything; it just means that you should only take a chance on something when the odds are good that things will work out.
Here are some practical tips on how to overcome any self-doubts you may have.
1. Think of the worst case scenario and prepare for it
If you can come up with the worst possible outcome then you should already be prepared for it. That way, there is no reason for self-doubt because in your mind, everything will be taken care of as long as you know what that outcome is. Then all there is left to do is succeed and every other scenario will be a bonus. So instead of worrying about failing, think about what the worst case scenario would be and then figure out what to do when that happens—and then move forward!
2. Think about all the ways to succeed
If you know for sure what the worst case scenario is and it seems like it’s going to happen no matter what you do, then think about all the other ways for things to turn out well instead of worrying about all the bad things that could happen. It may not be realistic that everything will work out in your favor 100 percent, but if you have a backup plan in place, even if things don’t work out as planned, at least you won’t have any regrets because all your bases were covered.
3. Set small goals
Even if you can’t accomplish the impossible, it’s still important to set small goals that seem attainable. And sometimes it’s better to do something and fail than do nothing at all. You may have set your sights too high from the start, but you can still learn from your mistakes. For example, you can decide on a goal for yourself like writing a poem for five minutes or getting up every morning for 20 minutes to read instead of waiting until you have time to read in bed.
4. Reduce the pressure
There will always be some kind of pressure on you to attain your goals, but reducing the pressure will help you think more clearly and can help prevent self-doubt from creeping in. For example, maybe you have a writing goal for every day and every time you miss a day or can’t write as much as usual, you feel like everything is falling apart. You may not be able to write very much every single day, but at least you can make progress even if it’s not what you wanted to do. And when that happens instead of thinking that nothing is happening at all—instead of thinking there’s no point—you get a sense of accomplishment.
5. Share your goals with others
If you have some goal that you want to achieve, it helps to have someone else’s support in that endeavor. Maybe you want to lose weight or maybe you want a new job. If you tell someone else about your goal and then ask that person for support and encouragement along the way, it could help motivate you to succeed. And if things don’t go as planned, at least there will be other people who are supporting and helping you instead of thinking things like “What’s the use?” And knowing that someone cares about what you can do will help bolster your confidence to make changes.
6. Don’t compare yourself to others
One of the biggest reasons for self-doubt is comparing yourself with others. It doesn’t work because you are not them, and even if you were, you have your own path to follow that is different from everyone else. Some people may have all the confidence and natural ability needed to succeed in a certain area, and then there are others who need to work hard at it, but in the end, it’s up to you if you want things to turn out well or not. And it may seem like other people are moving forward while you’re standing still, but then again maybe they are standing still too.
7. Change your attitude
Another way to overcome self-doubt is to change the way you think. You may feel bad about yourself one moment, but then change your attitude so that you don’t think it’s true anymore. And there are things you can do that will help bring out more positive thoughts instead of negative ones, and those thoughts in turn will have an impact on what you do and ultimately how you feel about yourself in general.
For example, start telling yourself that even if something doesn’t work out today or today isn’t perfect, it doesn’t mean it can’t happen tomorrow or later on down the road. And even if it doesn’t turn out your way, it doesn’t mean you didn’t try or that there is no point in trying again. It just means that things don’t always work out the way you have envisioned, and that’s OK.
8. Eliminate distractions from your goals
Distractions come from everywhere and can lead to failure because when you get distracted from what you are working on, it causes so much upheaval in your mind that you feel like you have lost sight of what you need to do. Distractions can sabotage your goals and prevent you from thinking clearly, and self-doubt and negativity can creep in because it seems like nothing is happening.
Self-doubt is an overwhelming feeling that you can’t control. It’s not a bad feeling, but it’s not a good feeling either. You can try to avoid it as much as possible, but once you feel like you have to face something, then there is nothing that can be done about it so you just have to go with the flow and see what happens. If you start off with a self-doubt scenario in your mind, then it will be harder to overcome because the more possibilities running through your mind all at once, the more likely that self-doubt will take over and destroy whatever confidence you had before. If you think you need more help, you can also consider going for anxiety therapy and mental health services to help you overcome feelings of self doubt.
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