Defeating the Voices of Doubt
Everywhere around there will be someone who tells you that it can’t be done. They’ll argue that you don’t have what it takes. That you’re foolish. That you’re following “childish dreams.” Any person who’s gone after something they want or believe in has had to swash through a sea of doubt.
It’s easiest for naysayers to sit back and tell others what they can and can’t do. To spread negativity while staying safely in their comfort zone. It makes them feel good to tear others down when they aren’t the ones putting their neck on the line. In reality, they have their own goals that have dwindled into “pipe dreams” that will never get done. They haven’t accomplished theirs, so why would they encourage you to accomplish yours?
This phenomenon is so real it even has it’s own name — crab mentality. It’s much easier to try and pull someone down than to lift yourself up and join them. That takes courage.
Sometimes the loudest voice of doubt is in your own head. It’s the most powerful. It knows you. How could your own mind be wrong when it’s been with you all your life?
That would be true if the mind was infallible, but it’s not. It, too, is susceptible to mistakes, fears, and self-defeating thoughts. It wants you to do well but at the same time protects you from being hurt if you don’t reach your objective. You have to fight through that defense mechanism — success is born out of risks and failures.
If we always believed our worst critics (ourselves included), George Foreman wouldn’t have become heavyweight champion of the world at 45 years old. Stephen King would’ve never published Carrie, and we’d have missed out on countless works from brilliant authors who faced multiple rejections. Every successful person has stories of hardships and non-believers that they’ve prevailed against.
I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve heard people suggest that I “give up” or “try something else” throughout my life. I know how disheartening it is to hear those words (especially from someone close), but you’ve got to trust in your abilities.
Building that self-confidence requires a game plan. Here’s my process that’s helped me get there over the years:
- Give yourself a chance. Even if you’re scared shitless and feel like no one’s on your side, don’t deny yourself the opportunity to grow.
- Whenever there’s a dream I want to make a reality, I write it down. Create a list of everything you want to do. Putting it on paper is a strong first step to bringing those goals to fruition, big or small.
- Choose the most attainable goal on the list and break down what you need to accomplish it. How much time will it take? What tools do you need? What will improve your chances of it happening? Write out the steps necessary to get it done.
- Act on your plan. Whatever you do, don’t half ass it. Sometimes we purposely underachieve to protect our ego so we can say “I wasn’t trying that hard anyway.” Give it your all until you’ve finished.
- Savor the triumph from completing that goal. Small wins provide substantial motivation to help you conquer the next mission.
- Repeat steps 1-5. With each consecutive win you will be smarter, stronger, and more powerful to take on new tasks.
Following these guidelines I’ve lost 70 pounds and kept it off for three years. I’ve competed in national gaming tournaments and overcome my shyness in talking to new people. It’s lead me to meeting the wonderful girlfriend I have today and allowed me to pursue my passion to become a dating coach. I’m not a unique case, I simply refused to give in to adversity and you can, too.
The one true way to defeat those voices is to prove it to yourself, not to anyone else. If you haven’t experienced success, what would make you believe you can? As they say, “seeing is believing” and you need those tangible victories to reinforce your confidence in yourself.
Take it step by step and you will get there. You’ll hit some roadblocks, you’ll have your failures, but if you pick yourself up and always persist, you can’t lose.
Need a hand coming up with your own game plan? Let me help.