Believe in Yourself Challenge Day 2: The Perils of Self-Doubt

Have you ever doubted yourself? Maybe that seems like a silly question – because most people have doubted themselves at some point in their lives. The challenge? Many people never get past that habit of doubting themselves, and this can be a major contributing factor in what’s holding them back from achieving success.

Why do people engage in self-doubt? The reason?  It’s easier to doubt yourself than it is to believe that something – indeed anything – is possible. When you believe that amazing, positive, stretch-and-grow concept, it’s something that hasn’t physically materialized yet. It’s unfamiliar territory for you. Our built-in protection mechanisms tell us: “Reach for something that’s familiar – the unknown isn’t safe” and we use this as a reason to quit.

The unknown can also help us to come up with excuses – plenty of them! It’s easy to say:  “It won’t work because…”, and then insert whatever reason will set your mind at ease and put you back into your comfort zone. You can even find help from others in coming up with “helpful” excuses. They’ve plenty of them for you to choose from, and they’ll gladly help you out by giving them to you at no extra charge! If they didn’t believe in and adhere to their own excuses, they would be succeeding at their goals.

Sometimes self-doubt isn’t all bad, though – it can actually help us survive. For instance, if someone said – enthusiastically and with great conviction – that you could jump off a high cliff and not get killed, your self-doubt will immediately break into this train of thought and reassure you – with authority – that this is a really bad idea. Self-doubt can also sometimes guide you to not get into something that just doesn’t “feel” right, like a business opportunity that sounds much too good to be true, etc.

In most cases though, self-doubt is not something that will advance your life – instead it will hold you back and encourage you to take the easy way out – and you need always to be aware of that. Prepare yourself as much as possible for the unfamiliar situations, but don’t wait for everything to be “perfect”. Go forward with a strong belief that you can accomplish what you set out to do.

Try to structure your life so that you have exposure to more positive than negative energy. Use affirmations, support groups, self-study or audio programs, or whatever works for you to flush out as much negative energy as possible. Negative energy is what self-doubt is all about. The two forces – your ambition and your uncertainty – are opposing each other. If you have 100% negative energy that holds you back, it means you have 0% positive energy to move you forward. Therefore, try to tip the scale to as much positivity as possible and push the negativity far, far away.

The world is full of negative energy – it’s very unlikely that you can ever achieve 100% positive energy – but you can work towards increasing your exposure and retention of positive energy. You can reduce the time you spend listening or reading negative news, television and publications, and you can reduce (or eliminate) your exposure to negative people. Positive people do exist – you’re becoming one of them! You just need to continue working on a positive path, and extend yourself to find others that are walking the same path with a similar goal.