Can't Stop the Feeling
I got this feeling… inside my bones… however, it is a little different than the one Justin Timberlake sings about. Mine is one that has plagued me throughout my entire life and creeps up on me every now and again: self-doubt.
The feeling that you are not good enough, that you will never get where you need to be. The one that holds you back from doing great things because you feel you might never be able to deliver. The one that scares you shitless. I heard its quite common.
So how do I get through my self-doubt? Well, it is never the same. Self-doubt is sneaky… it adapts, it tricks you and you have to change your approach in order to keep it from seeping back into the spotlights of your consciousness.
Here are some things that have worked for me in the past. I mix them up is a Molotov Cocktail against self-doubt.
FLIPPING THE FEAR
The reason we typically doubt ourselves is because of fear. Whether it is the fear of failure, of being ignored, or even being ridiculed. Fear stops us on our tracks. Self-doubt manifests itself as a way to protect us from getting hurt. It paralyzes us so that we can stay in the comfort of our current situation, even if that situation sucks. The trick here is to reverse the fear. To use it to YOUR advantage. If you are afraid to submit an editorial to NYT because you think that no one will read it and it will be a waste of time, flip it. Flip so that the fear of the consequences of NOT sending in the editorial are direr than if you didn’t. If you don’t submit this editorial you will never write again… or Tammy in Brooklyn won’t be able to move on with her life since you failed to inspire her with your editorial, or that you are missing out on someone reaching out to you for a book deal.
Here, think of it like this. If you do not do this, it will bring in more problems than it’s worth. Just like if you miss the deadline to turn in your taxes. People are scared of the implications of not filing their taxes on time. What if you applied the same urgency to the submission of your editorial as you do to filing your taxes? The fear of not doing it will be greater than the fear to do it. Push forward. Make it happen.
Everyone has had success in their lives. EVERYONE. Whether it was a project you excelled in, a group of friends that have always stuck by each other, being a parent, being a son, we have all excelled at some point.
Go back to that time. Think about how you were able to do it. Revisit the situation. Chances are you had doubts about your worth in those situations as well. But look at you, you were able to push through the doubt and succeed. Why would this time be any different?
KNOW THAT EVERYONE IS DOUBTING THEMSLEVES
You know that whole thing about actors picturing people in the audience in their underwear to alleviate some of their jitters. This is kind of the same approach. Know that people out there are just as insecure about something as you are. People might show confidence on the outside but the truth is that we all have self-doubt. It is a protection mechanism to avoid change and disappointment. Stupid survival instincts. So, when you are walking down the street, look to your neighbors and know that they have doubts too. You are not alone. And if everyone has doubts, what do you have to lose?
RELY ON YOUR A SUPPORT NETWORK
Finally, find yourself a support network. It does not matter how much you will yourself to believe in you, having someone that cares about you and TELLS you that they believe in you is a life changer. I am lucky enough to have amazing partners that believe in me no matter what. They remind me that I am great and that I know what I am doing. And that it is ok to have doubts. They reassure me that it is going to be ok even when it is not. Having that unconditional support will set you free.
Now take these tips and add them to your tool belt and the next time you are feeling that you don’t have what it takes remember that it’s all in your head. The truth is that you are just as good as any of us. And if that is the case, then why not give it a go?
Andre Mello is a Business Coach and is scared shitless 90% of the time. He has been in coaching and leadership for over 10 years. If you would like to connect with Andre please visit www.wysecoaching.com.