-verb: *to be uncertain about; hesitate to believe; *to fear
-noun: *a feeling of uncertainty about the truth, reality, or nature; *distrust;
By its very nature, doubt itself is negative. It is something that denounces and turns down any thoughts of positivity or action-inspiring suggestion. If left unchecked, doubt becomes a mindset that keeps a person completely closed off from the world of up building inspiration, and it may keep one confined to a self-centered and destructive ego.
One of the most limiting things a person can experience in this life is self-doubt. It has the ability to keep you feeling locked away in a prison of your own insecurities. It can suffocate your freedom to explore and engage in new opportunities and adventures, and it may hold you back from ever achieving the very things that you really want.
I know of people who have literally given up on wanting anything at all, due to having such a high level of self-doubt! Having allowed their insecurities to escalate to such a point, over the course of their life, they eventually gave up on even considering that they had any level of freedom at all, regarding their own choices. Granted there are some who have valid history or medical diagnosis that can result in this type of incapacitating fear, but for the majority of the population that’s not the case.
As with anything that may be an issue, we first have to admit that it exists and that it’s a problem. It is a distressing situation, once realized, in which to find ourselves….as it causes a person to live a life that has been massively limited by the deceptive constructs that have formed in their mind. So, in order to gain command of self-limiting doubt, they have to want to fix or eliminate this problem. If we do not even have the desire to at least investigate the ability to overcome doubt, then we’re truly impossible to be helped.
A person happily living in a world of doubt, like a cancer, infects and dejects anyone who has even a shred of positivity to express. We may all know someone like that, much like a black hole; they can consume all light and hope, even glooming the atmosphere of a happy gathering. We usually tend to remove ourselves from such situations and rightly so. Often times however, we later realize that this may have been a call for help on their part. Unfortunately though, unless a person makes a conscious decision to change their mindset and seeks help in taking a more positive route, the victory over self-doubt remains ever elusive.
The Argument of Doubt
The main argument that people offer to encourage their own self-doubt is that they have either never been able to, or never witnessed ‘something’ happen. For example, if you try to encourage a person to become a confident public speaker and they harbor massive amounts of internal self-doubt, they will argue that ‘they have never been able to speak confidently in public before’ and so they just think that from their own point of view, it cannot be done. Another person, who doubts the ability of a friend or associate to come up with some new and enlightening invention, doubts it because he has never seen it done before and therefore thinks it simply cannot be done. In all cases of doubt, a person is living with a mindset that has experienced great limitation somewhere in the past.
Therefore, when we know this, we can implement strategies to conquer and eventually destroy these specific doubts. How do we do this? Fortunately, with a little work and the right amount of determination there is something that we can do to conquer this.
Although positive self-talk is important, studies have shown that we’re not all very successful at ‘talking’ ourselves out of certain mindsets without help. Action is usually a better means to accomplishing success.
- *Act your way out. –“It’s easier to act our way into a new way of thinking than it is to think our way into a new way of acting.” Many therapists would try to get their patients to downplay their negative thinking and start doing a certain action, even if it doesn’t feel right in the beginning. And even if you fail at first, action is motivating and it encourages us to try again; with every try, the chances of success increases and this refocuses our thoughts in a more positive direction.
- *A focus shift. –Psychologists have discovered that how we remember our past determines how we feel about ourselves and act in the present. So if we focus on the negatives or failures we’ve experienced, rather than on the positives or successes we’ve accomplished, our actions and results will be different. Remember each success is proof that what was previously doubted is really a possibility.
- *Celebrate small Wins. –Yes, small wins are motivating because we see real change and progress being made, which builds momentum. And those little changes can add up faster that you expect…similar to that old saying about “eating an elephant one bite at a time”. J Realizing that it’s the past thinking and self-doubt that created “the elephant” in the first place, now it’s going to take a new series of small actions to climb out of that limiting pit. So each tiny win acts as proof and creates a case for the opposite of self-doubt and insecurity.
We intimately and ultimately prove the self-doubting limitation wrong, and eventually the mind learns a newer and more positive way of thinking and approaching life in general. Now that it has witnessed firsthand, the undoing of all its limiting, doubting thoughts, make a habit of encouraging yourself to try your very best to witness or experience the very things that your mind may have previously doubted.
In order to do this we must keep creating a case for the opposite. What it really comes down to is taking small actions that you can succeed at, even if you don’t feel like it, and as each little action builds on the other, you will start to feel unstoppable and the success of beating self-doubt becomes a matter of when rather than if.
Eventually, the once ‘doubting Thomas’ mentality, is no longer the funk that darkens the skies of positivity in every situation, but the shroud is removed long enough for you to be considered successful at conquering self-doubt.