Self-doubt is the killer of dreams. The voice of doubt usually starts as low whisper, but if you don’t learn to silence it early it gets louder and louder. It can rob you of your ability to try new things or take risks. The voice of doubt can cause you to fade into the background because you lack the confidence to allow your ideas and feelings to be heard. It can also cause you to not accurately see your accomplishments and your growth.
By definition, self-doubt is a lack of confidence in yourself and your abilities. It is a feeling most of us will experience many times in our lifetime. However, how we recognize and ultimately fight to overcome our own self-doubt is the key.
Fear is doubts big sister, and you have to confront her in order to grow out of her shadow.
How do you know if you’re plagued by self-doubt? If you answer yes to any of the below questions, you may be a victim.
Do you question your abilities constantly?
Do you fear applying for promotions or new higher level positions in your career, because you are worried you aren’t qualified?
Do you have a persistent feeling of not being good enough?
Do you avoid situations that would require you to stand-out, in fear of how others will perceive you?
Do you fear that you don’t have what it takes for people to take you seriously?
Silencing the voice of self-doubt
Doubt is usually attached to fear. Fear is doubts big sister, and you have to confront her in order to grow out of her shadow. The first step to fighting self-doubt will require you to take some time to work on naming your fear, exploring why it exists and work out a plan for overcoming it. Once you confront your fear, attacking your doubts becomes a lot easier.
Secondly, make sure the doubt you are feeling is your own. Our family and friends mean well most of the time, but sometimes they can be the worst people to discuss your dreams with. They often project their own doubts and fears onto you, either in an effort to protect you or to keep you from leaving the comfort zone they have placed you in their life.
The self-doubt you might be experiencing could be coming from all of the extra voices around you. As I wrote in a previous post about the golden rule of silence, the need to seek approval constantly can be damaging on a personal level. To fight self-doubt, try seeking your own counsel more.
Finally, it’s important to recognize a little bit of fear and doubt is normal but you can’t allow it cripple you. Our normal response to the unknown, or new experiences that are outside of our comfort zone, is usually anxiety and/or fear.
However, we learn the most when we challenge ourselves to grow beyond what we are used to. So as the saying goes, feel the fear and do it anyway. Don’t let the voice of doubt make you a prisoner to stagnation. Fight self-doubt by making a commitment to not let those feelings limit you or keep you stuck. Make a conscious decision to stand strong, even if at times you feel weak.
If you want to grow, you have to let go of the self-doubt and power through.
*This post originally appeared on girlgetit.com and has been reposted with permission.