Sometimes you feel happy and confident about what you’re doing. It feels like you will surely achieve what you want. But there are also times you become doubtful about yourself. The picture of your success becomes blurred and you start feeling down. You aren’t able to take productive actions. I also sometimes get into this state of self-doubt. It takes the time to come back into that rhythm of enthusiasm which motivates you and image of your success become visible again.
Self-confidence and self-doubt cannot coexist. But there is no definite cycle in which they come. From my own personal experiences, I have learned that if you know about the source of a problem, you can deal with it in a better way.
Self-doubt is more often triggered by certain sources. If you become aware of them, you can save yourself from their impact to some extent. Here are the sources of self-doubt I have found to be common in people’s life including mine and how to avoid their effect.
(1) Influence of Group Psychology
Group psychology is the term used to describe the tendency of a person to do what his fellow group members (or majority) are doing. This is an inherent instinct developed into our mind. Its primary aim is to save us from any potential danger or risk and to keep us in the safe zone.
Every person is more or less influenced by the group psychology.
Have you heard someone saying, “A lot of people are doing this, it should be right for me too.”?
But the truth is that what majority does isn’t always right. For example, the majority doesn’t set high goals and fail a number of times to achieve grand success.
Our minds are developed but that instinct is still there which pushes us to do what majority is doing. That is the reason why we feel doubtful of ourselves when we’re doing something different from other people even if it is right and what they do is wrong.
Stronger the mind of the person the less he/she is influenced by the group psychology. On the other hand, weaker/average minded people are not able to sustain the feeling of self-doubt and prefer to do what majority does. It is the plain truth that strong minded people are very less in number.
What you’ll prefer to be?
(2) People Around You
Most people around you don’t have any specific goals, the reason being the lack of all or some essential qualities like vision, determination, discipline, confidence etc. They have mixed opinions about someone (you) who has set serious goals and is working on them.
Many of them who are jealous of you will try to put you down. Some who don’t believe you can be successful will keep on telling you that in one way or the other.
While some of your good wishers who don’t want to see you in the problem will again keep on advising not to think so big.
Whatever be the motive of people, behind what they say to you, it has a strong tendency to create self-doubt in your mind.
But you have to believe what you think about yourself and not what they think. Let me remind you that if you let that self-doubt overrule you, you will fail. So you have to overcome it.
(3) Observing Other People’s Failure (the past and/or present)
As you have serious ambitions now, you’ll look for others in past/present, who also had/have the same or similar ones. You know who succeeded but you can’t ignore who failed.
Observing other people’s failure can create self-doubt in you. But you have to see what mistakes they did which lead them to that result and make sure you don’t repeat them.
Learn from others instead of creating doubt in your own ability. Another way to help yourself is to observe what made people successful and learn how that can be useful for you.
(4) Your Own Past Failures
If you are working on a big goal, it’s possible that you have seen small or large failures on the way. And we all know failures are learning lessons.
But sometimes we forget lessons, start worrying and doubting ourselves. It is our tendency that we start having future expectations on the basis of our past experiences.
But you need to understand that your results are going to be in proportion with what you expect.
An important fact to remember is that all the major achievements were made after many failures. So if you fail, it is not the unique case with you. You’ve to keep moving.
(5) You’re Doing Something that’s Never Done Before
So you’re working on a brand new idea or something never accomplished, right?
But nobody did it earlier, how you will?
These questions will be thrown at you by other people as well as yourself. Your natural response would be to doubt yourself. It happens.
But I guess you know that everything was once done for the first time by someone. I mean everything, be it the invention of the electric bulb or the airplane, or a simple wheel during ancient ages.
And nobody knew in advance whether it was possible or not. Most of the people didn’t even believe it. Faith makes things happen. And those who had faith succeeded. You are going to be the next one!
(6) Your Own Thoughts
You know that positive and negative thoughts trigger respective mindsets, one having self-confidence and other having self-doubt. But as you know our mind doesn’t go in the same direction always.
It also focuses on how things can go wrong sometimes. It is natural. Our instincts want us to be safe and reduce any potential danger.
But we already know what are the risks involved and what our target is. And if we keep on thinking about the possibility of failure, we can’t keep that enthusiasm.
Whenever negative thoughts come to your mind, just analyze what they are about and their meaning. See what they are conveying. But don’t let them dominate you for long.
You don’t have to struggle to suppress them. Just distract yourself with something which makes you feel confident in your abilities or have some positive self-talk. It’s really helpful.
As I mentioned in the start positive and negative cannot coexist. If you feel self-doubt for any reason try to fill your mind with positive emotions instead of trying to remove negative ones. Once your mind is dominated by self-confidence, self-doubt cannot sustain.