Self-doubt can be debilitating. It can hold you back from pursuing your dreams and living the life you really want. Self-doubt can also make it hard to complete necessary daily tasks and make simple decisions.
The good news is, it is possible to overcome self-doubt and quiet that negative self-talk. Here’s how:
1. Take Charge Immediately
When inner doubts start to creep up, many people let them spin out of control and fully take over. Once this happens, it’s incredibly difficult to regain control.
It’s important that you take charge immediately and stop the negative talk as soon as it begins. In your mind, speak to yourself and say something like, “No. Nope, we’re not gonna do this.” Should the negative talk start up seconds later, talk to it again and put it in its place. Doing this interrupts your thought patterns – which are basically thought habits – and eventually your inner self-doubter will realize you’re serious and retreat.
2. Remember, You Can Always Make Adjustments
Many times, people are so fearful of making mistakes, they take no action toward their goal. But reaching a goal should be thought of as going on a wonderful car trip. You have a map and a basic route planned out, but along the journey, you may decide you want to hop off the highway and try a scenic byway instead. You may decide to backtrack and stop at that cute little souvenir shop. Sure, all of these changes to your initial itinerary may add a little time to your trip, but you’ll still get to your destination. And you’ll get there with more photos and T-shirts and wonderful memories!
Trying to plan every single move you will take to get to your goal can be exhausting and impractical. Just take the first step, then another, and then another… and remember, you can always change your mind and adjust along the way.
3. Talk to Someone
Self-doubt can easily become distorted and exaggerated when you keep all of your thoughts to yourself. But, when you speak to someone and let those thoughts out into the light, you have the chance to hear how exaggerated they may be. Also, talking about your doubts with a therapist who is supportive is a great way to gain a fresh perspective.
If you or a loved one is afflicted with self-doubt and is interested in exploring treatment, please contact me today. I would be happy to speak with you about how I may be able to help.
Chelsy A. Castro, JD, MA, AM, LCSW