Self-doubt is one of our biggest gremlins, as I like to call them. It’s a little monster in your head that loves to wreak havoc, tell you you’re not good enough, and coerce you to settle for less than you’re truly capable of achieving.
And it’s so powerful, it has the ability to hijack the life and career you desire.
Feeling a sense of doubt can begin at an early age. The first seven years of a child’s life sets the stage for what comes later. But having a positive outlook and encouraging self expression is a key to unlocking the fear from within.
So I’ve come up with 14 reasons why you should never let doubt win—two for each day of the week: one to mull over while you drink your coffee every morning, and one for each night before you go to bed.
I encourage you to put them on sticky notes, write them down in different places, or jot them in a journal—any way to remind yourself of them on a daily basis. But if you prefer to just read through them quickly, please take this one truth with you: Doubt can only win if you let it.
Here are the 14 reasons to NEVER doubt yourself…
1. Everyone else doubts themselves too! Even the people who appear to have their lives together. So stop letting other people’s success make you think, “He’s one in a million” or “That could never happen to me.” Because that person was thinking the same thing all along—he just didn’t let it get in the way.
2. Doubt hangs from the family tree of Worry and Fear. And it’s a tree that never bears fruit.
3. Anyone who ever tells you that you can’t accomplish something has already succumbed to doubt in his or her own life. They’re trying to infect you.
4. Marianne Williamson said it best in her book, A Return to Love, so I’ll just leave this one to her. “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine as children do. It’s not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own lights shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
5. Knock knock. Who’s there? Doubt. Doubt who? Doubt you’re gonna get anywhere in life because you have nothing to offer! —Why would you ever let that inside?
6. Belief prevails, either way. You may as well use it to your benefit.
7. It takes courage and tenacity, a steadfast work ethic, an ironclad will, the sincerest passion, clarity of vision, and a mission you truly love to work up the nerve to face down self-doubt. So as soon as you get past it, you’ve already got all those other assets going for you.
8. If you allow it, doubt will kill your dreams before failure ever gets a chance.
9. Doubt is the medium we use to draw our limitations. Without it, the future is truly a boundless canvas.
10. No matter the material outcome, when you overcome self-doubt, a process of growth and strengthening takes place that quiets the voice of fear. This makes it a little bit easier to overcome the next hurdle. And the next. And the next…
11. If you allow yourself to be crippled by doubt, you’ll never get the chance to say, “I told you so.”
12. Shel Silverstein inspired us as children, but it wasn’t meant to stop there. So I’ll remind you: “Listen to the MUSTN’TS, child, listen to the DON’TS, listen to the SHOULDN’TS, the IMPOSSIBLES, the WON’TS, listen to the NEVER HAVES then listen close to me… anything can happen, child. ANYTHING can be.”
13. Taking a risk may make you look foolish in the end, but yielding to doubt will make you look…well, you’ll never know, will you?
14. I suppose some of us have to surrender to doubt, to make way for those who will reach their goals. So you’re either getting pushed out of the way, or you’re pushing your own way through. In either case, pushing is happening. And in either case, you’re going to get some bruises.