Do you think this is the road to the highway? Do you think this diet suits me? Do you think this dress looks good on me? Do you think I am doing good in life?
Whenever a sentence begins with “do you think”, you know there is enough doubt in the mind to last a lifetime. Dealing with doubt is not easy, as you have to actually understand where the doubt is coming from, and accordingly, remove it from the very roots. Doubts in our mind act as our biggest enemies. Even before we try and enter the battleground, these doubts declare us to be the losers.
A person with doubt is almost necessarily going to fail, and that is a fact.
Let me tell you about a recent doubt that crept my mind, before writing the book “Get Everything Delivered.”
So, while I was contemplating whether or not to write the book, the small voice inside me started doubting my capabilities. Do you think you know everything?- this doubt started growing big in my mind. I thought it will go away but, with time it just kept growing and before I knew the project got stalled.
When I discussed this with a friend, after a few weeks of stalling it, he told me- if you don’t do it now, you will never know whether it was meant to be a success or not.
I came home, sat down in the night, and while working on some stuff, I realized that my friend was indeed telling the truth. Let me tell you what made me believe in what my friend told me about self-doubt.
So, while contemplating, I came around this story in my mind, a blast from the past.
A flashback from my past experience on self-doubt
So, once my boss decided I have to handle a particular project. I was kind of new to leading a team, and to be honest, I was not doing a good job about it then. I did not know why my boss, despite knowing my capabilities, decided to give me the chance. He called me to his room and told me how he wanted me to handle it. I was fearful, and it was obvious. He thought a little pep talk would do the job, and motivated me. However, nothing worked, and I was in self-doubt even when I walked out of the cabin.
I was reluctant to take it and thought about what if I did not do well. The “what if” stayed with me through the beginning of the project. I was not confident, and it was visible. The client was never satisfied with what I did, and it took the doubt to another level. Eventually, after a rocky start, the project hit a roadblock, and the client withdrew stating, they needed a change of account manager or, they will give the project to someone else.
My manager had no other option but to get me off the project. However, before getting me off, he decided to have a one-on-one with me. He told me “Atit, you are a capable person but, if you keep doubting your capabilities, even if you do good, you won’t be able to achieve what you need to.”
I realized then that my doubt had led me to become a failure, and in reality, I was not a failure. That’s when I decided that the book, for all its worth, has to be written now. Even if I don’t succeed, I won’t regret not having written it.
So, I took out my laptop, opened the document, and started writing it.
Today, I know I made the right decision to ignore the doubt.
What did I do to clear my doubt?
- I stalled the project for the time being
- I talked to the friend and heard him out
- Finally, I decided to contemplate both my doubt and his advice and followed the path my heart said was right
What I am trying to say here is that doubts are normal, and some of the doubts may be good advice too. However, you will never know if following your doubt is the right way to glory or not if you don’t stop for a while, take a deep breath, and actually understand which road to take.
Here, I will take you through the ways in which you can look at the doubts, and resolve your issues.
So, what does self-doubt do to you?
- With doubt, comes the lack of clarity. You are not sure if you should take the road you have just planned or not. You have a good idea but, then you feel it is not so good after all. You begin trying to find flaws or, in most cases you have already listed out the flaws that exist in the idea. Though you know which path to take, you avoid it because your mind is full of doubts
- Doubt gives you the best chance at procrastination. You intend to complete the task but, then the doubt takes over and you don’t get a chance to do it. Instead of actually working on the task, you take the road that leads to procrastination. You start saying you need to think about the idea, and never manage to work on it
- The confidence that you had in the idea and on your own self, dwindles with the self-doubt that crept in. When you doubt yourself, you also doubt your intentions to actually make it big or to actually work on the idea. Self-doubt can lower your self-esteem and your chances of doing something with your life
While scrolling through the twitter this morning, I found an interesting quote that lured me to share it here which talked about exuding the inner-strength to win over self-doubt.
Y’all remember when I wrote this piece with all the audacity & nerve??? Me neither, so I’m reposting it… ’cause how dare I slick call myself out like this??
•#selfdoubt #poetry #poems #micropoetry #writingcommunity #blackwritercrew #blkcreatives pic.twitter.com/tfG1kubUOw
— e. b. w. (@_ebwpoetry) August 4, 2019
At a point when you are overcomed with self-doubt, you ought to resist the temptation of ignoring it or going with one of the many points discussed above, and actually work on resolving the issue at hand. Here are a few ways that you can achieve it.
- Don’t overthink. That’s the first step to acting on your idea and winning the space. You ought to stop thinking and start acting as soon as you can if you want to win over the world with your idea. In case of self-doubt, take that five-second break, relax, take a deep breath and then begin your work. The five second timer will be your biggest booster and will help you take the leap of faith
- Your instincts don’t lie, which is why you need to stop and listen to that gut feeling and hear what it has to say. Whenever you have a doubt in whatever you are doing, make sure you sit for a while, listen to your instincts and do what it asks you to do. The logical side might be saying whatever is true but, you ought to hear all the voices before you make the decision
- There are times when the fear of being ridiculed will take precedence. If that is the case, make sure you don’t allow it to happen. A rejection or ridicule should not stop you from trying. The success of your attempt will make them realize their folly
- Who can be a better critic than your own self? However, there are times when this critic can actually work against you? This critic will actually ruin your chances of doing something big and gaining a fat chance of winning. That’s why it is time to shut your ears towards the inner critic and channelize the inner strength to overcome the self-doubt
- Always remember, your progress is not always going to be incremental. There will be times when the progress stagnates, and you need to find a way to get around it. So, if you have hit a wall, don’t be afraid. You can always turn the table
Self-doubt is a common thing, and you might find out that in many cases it exists in normal circumstances also. However, overcoming self-doubt is the most important thing. You need to sit back, relax, think through your idea again, and finally identify if you want to go with the solution or idea that you have in mind or not.
To discuss how to best overcome self-doubt or, to have insights into ways in which self-doubt can ruin you personally and professionally, connect with me via email or phone. We can also discuss how doubt can hinder your chances at getting things delivered.