At one point or another, we all question whether or not we are doing enough, making enough money, or if we are going to be “successful” enough. I know this firsthand, as I’ve spent long periods of my young adult life in a persistent state of fear and self doubt.
When I graduated from college, I worked sixty, seventy, even eighty hours a week in a corporate setting climbing the proverbial ladder. In my mind, I thought that was success, even though it wasn’t what I truly wanted for myself.
I held onto dead-end jobs, toxic relationships, and draining friendships because I thought that if I left them, I’d be a quitter.
I doubted myself to the point that I was making my decisions based on what others wanted of me, not what I wanted for myself. I was constantly struggling with confidence and always second-guessing myself.
What I’ve learned from my experiences is that if I don’t nip the self-limiting thoughts in the bud right away, this “woe is me” mindset can become debilitating.
I’ve discovered a few things that help with self-doubt and boost my confidence that may help you too:
1. Stop comparing your accomplishments to your friends’ and colleagues’ accomplishments.
I find that I doubt myself the most when I’m comparing myself with what others are doing. When I compare my accomplishments to a colleague’s, I start feeling inadequate. Your colleague’s accomplishments are not a litmus test to grade your own success. One key thing to remember when you find yourself in this mental pattern is that everyone is on his or her own journey.
2. Forget about what everyone else is thinking of you.
Worrying about what other people think of you will continue to hold you back from doing something potentially huge for yourself.
3. Just make a decision and then correct your course as you go along.
Getting caught up in a decision is another surefire way to water the seeds of self-doubt. It’s very easy to get stuck in trying to make decisions. This back-and-forth thought process—questioning if you should go with option A or option B—can exacerbate self-doubt. What is the cure for this? Just make a decision already! Usually your first reaction is going to be your best since it typically comes from a place of intuition rather from the ego, and before outside opinions get in the way. “No feeling is final” and I feel the same could be said about your decisions. Just make a decision, and then fine-tune your course along the way.
4. Identify your biggest fans and then nurture those relationships.
No (wo)man is an island—meaning you can’t do it all on your own. Sometimes all you need is a little reassurance, and your biggest fans are the people who do just that for you.
You first need to identify your biggest fans—the friends, family members, and peers who think you’re the cat’s meow, and who have always been there for you. Friends who tell you that you’re awesome, just because.
What’s more, the factors that caused your self-doubt in the first place are not always the same ones that are maintaining it now. Perhaps bullying as a child caused your habit of self-doubt initially, but as an adult, your mental habit of asking other people for reassurance is what’s maintaining it.
So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. – The Holy Bible