Self doubt is a very common killer of dreams. Like a vine consumes anything in its path and chokes the life out of it, self doubt creeps in slowly and takes over our minds; self doubt can paralyze us and prevent us from making any beneficial changes, and stops us from taking meaningful steps to increase our happiness. If faith is the angel on our shoulder, self doubt is like the little devil that tells us that we can never achieve what we want. If you are tired of living the way you are, if you are sick of being too stuck in your ways to make changes and live a better life, know that there are ways to remove self doubt from your life and unlock your full potential.
Practice removing or replacing your negative thoughts.
I call this technique relentless positivity. Just like a starving hunter relentlessly tracks their prey, we must learn to treat the sanctuary of our mind with the same urgency; each negative thought that is allowed to enter into our mind adds to the predominating atmosphere of our self esteem. The more negative thoughts we allow to take place, the more negative our self view will become, and the more negative our self view becomes, the more negative thoughts we will think. Like a snowball rolling down a snowy hill, our thoughts will add to our self esteem, and negative thoughts will attract more negative thoughts.
There are several different techniques that we can use to prevent the accumulation of negative thoughts in our mind.
Thought replacement- each time you think a negative thought, immediately replace it with a positive thought or affirmation.
Example: “I can’t do it” becomes “I can do it”, or “I have everything I need to achieve what I want in life”.
Thought destruction- Each time you think a negative thought, logically list all the reasons why the negative thought is wrong.
Example: “I don’t have enough money” can be met with “I can save extra money each month until I get enough money” or “People with less money than me have done this, so I can too.”
Thought minimization- Each time you have a negative thought, practice making fun of the voice, or minimizing it’s power over you.
Example: “You aren’t good enough” can be repeated over again but with a very high pitched and annoying voice (like a person who just sucked in helium), or we can picture a clown telling us we aren’t good enough.
We should frequently reaffirm to ourselves that we have what it takes to reach our goals and achieve our dreams. Simple statements like “I can do it” or the famous “Every day in every way, I’m getting better and better.”, can add strength to our self esteem and improve our self image. We may not believe what we are saying in the beginning, but the more we practice these affirmations, the more they will start to implant themselves in our minds. Practice affirmations in your own mind, out loud, in writing, or spoken to ourselves in the mirror. Affirmations should be done throughout the day: morning, afternoons, evenings, and nights.
Visualize and imagine future or past success.
The next time you find yourself doubting yourself or your abilities, try visualizing a time in your past where you were successful at something. It can be as simple as picturing a good grade on a test that you thought you were going to fail, but by frequently reminding ourselves of our past successes, we will realize that future success is possible as well.
Additionally, when you are facing a challenge or negative thoughts, you can try picturing the thing you are doubting yourself about, and picture yourself being very successful. If you are doubting your ability to go to school, picture yourself receiving your diploma, visualize yourself studying and getting good grades, and picture yourself asking questions in class and learning a lot of information. If you picture it in your mind, its going to be a lot harder to believe that it isn’t possible.
Watch others who have done the impossible.
Books, videos, movies, interviews, and articles by and about others who have achieved the impossible can be a powerful reminder of our own power. For example: take Steve Jobs, he was a college dropout, a hippie, and basically just lost in the world. The adopted son of a middle class working family, he overcame all odds and created the technology powerhouse of Apple Computers. One small man overcame huge adversity, difficult odds, followed his passion, and created a financial giant. There are a ton of stories about people who came from nothing, maybe even from lower than where you are now, and they created massive success and opportunity. If others can do it, so can you!
Remind yourself you aren’t alone.
Remind yourself that many others have achieved success, and many others have overcome greater obstacles than what lay before you. Somewhere in the world, someone is facing the same challenges that you are and they are smashing through them into success. Doubt is just a little voice of fear in your mind, that’s all it is. Even highly successful people doubt themselves sometimes, its ok, nothing is wrong with you, you just need to learn to believe in the power sleeping inside of you!
Cut out ALL negative voices and influences.
If you have a dream, and you have a friend who constantly criticizes you, then cut that friend out of our life. If you don’t want to end a good friendship tell them point blank: “I have this dream, and if you can’t encourage me or offer me help in my path, then I don’t want to speak about it with you”. If you must deal with negative people, or people who don’t believe in you, don’t try to convince them you can do it, just don’t talk to them about it. Keep your dreams to yourself if the people you share them with doubt you. You doubt yourself enough already, you don’t need others doing it to you too.
So don’t tell people what you want to do in life, just show them! Cut out negative stories, cut out the news, cut out negative people, stop watching T.V. and reading depressing information. Just cut it out. There is enough negativity living inside of you already, don’t let any more in. You must be relentless in this practice!
All of these techniques can be powerful practices that help you release fear and self doubt and achieve your potentials. You are POWERFUL, you are enough, you can be GREAT, you just have to see it for yourself. When you look in the mirror, refuse to see the script that others have written for you, refuse to picture anything other than the beauty and wonder of who and what you are. You can do this, practice these techniques and create a positive inner environment. Build yourself up and increase your self esteem a little bit each day and eventually you will become a tidal wave washing through everything in your way.