How to Overcome Self-Doubt

Ever wake up, the sun is shining, the birds are chirping, coffee is perfect, no wrinkles in your clothes, and everything is just great? Me too.

Ever wake up with the weight of the world on your shoulders, its grey outside, coffee isn’t working its magic and it seems you just can’t get anything right? Yeah, me too.

The good days are great, and we enjoy them. But when we get those not-so-good-days, we tend to remember those a little more sometimes. They just carry more weight and are harder to shake off. And it can make it seem like there are more of the dreary days than the good ones.

When we have those days, we start to question ourselves. Why doesn’t my life have any meaning? And God help us if we get on social media. All these people talking about how great things are, we start to believe that we are the only ones that get ambushed by life and everyone else lives these perfect, fairy tale lives. “What’s wrong with me?” we think.

If I’m honest, I had one of those moments writing this blog. I had so much to say. I wanted to get it so perfect. All these clever phrases, and well-timed puns. But when I looked at it, it was just a bunch of words. And as the saying goes, “when you have too much of something, you have nothing.”

So, I doubted myself. All I wanted to do was put some words down that just might help people. But I couldn’t even do that. I had to take a step back. Look at the big picture. “Keep it simple,” I said to myself. Reset my compass and get off the X.

Little steps, not huge leaps. That’s how I make a difference. If I want to change the world, I have to start with myself. And that’s what I did. I got off the X. I got out of that self-doubt negativity, and decided to start the blog over. So far, I’m happy with it. Let’s see how it goes.

Self-doubt is a killer. And it starts so small. A seemingly insignificant decision, or even a word we say to ourselves can start an avalanche of negativity. To get out of that, we have to stick to the fundamentals.

For me, I get into my daily routine. Make myself right-sized. When I doubt myself, usually I’m making things far too big, allowing myself to get overwhelmed. Bring it back to bite size chunks. I can’t change the world other night. BUT I can change MY world right now. I can have a positive effect on my family, on my community. And actions have a ripple effect, both positive and negative.

Never forget, we are examples to others. And we never know who is watching. It’s likely as simple as what I do with my shopping cart at the grocery store. If I take mine to the return, someone may see that, and decide to do it too. The opposite can happen too, if I just leave it in the lot, someone might decide, “if he doesn’t take it to the return, I don’t have to either.” And that ripple effect, applies to everything; parenting, communications with our spouses, how we lead our teammates. What kind of example are you setting?

This is the effect we have those around us. Negativity is contagious. But so is positivity. And if I’m not comparing myself to others, and I’m keeping my goals the right size, chances are, I’m having a positive effect.

We all have a different process. And we progress at different rates. Just because we aren’t at the same spot as someone else, doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong in my life. It just means I’m progressing at a different speed, and that’s ok. Progress is progress. And that’s important to remember. I often say it, “It is all about moving the needle in your life.” As long as the needle is moving, no matter how small, that is progress.

So, remember, when those doubts kick in, when you find yourself on the mental X, take a breath and keep it simple. What I mean by that is, for me, I try to be where I am in the moment right now. Let me explain. The past happened; I can’t change it. The future is determined by decisions made in the present. Right here, right now, what can I do in my life to get from negative to positive? What can I do to get off the X, right now?

Even in the deepest, darkest life ambush, always remember, you have a choice. You have a choice to choose positivity over negativity. Choose to find some positivity. Movement is life. We move through pain; we dwell in misery.

Get off the X, set and work towards small goals, stop comparing yourself to others, and set that good example for yourself, your family, your friends and your community.

You’ll be amazed the positive impact you will have and how your mindset over time will shift from doubt to hope.

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