I have no idea what possessed me to sign up for a half marathon in Iceland. I should have been cozied up by a warm fire, admiring the view of waterfalls outside my window. Instead, I was about to run up and down a mountain range in the rain. Because apparently that’s what I do for fun. As I arrived at the starting line for the race, my heart sank. I looked around and observed that every single person getting ready to run had a massive daypack on their back, full to the brim with snacks, water bottles and hiking poles attached to the side.
I looked down at the five energy gummies I was clutching in my hand, about to tuck inside my pant pocket, with shame and embarrassment. I didn’t have a backpack or water and had most certainly forgotten my hiking poles at home (to be honest, I don’t actually own any.) My self-doubt was THROUGH THE ROOF! I couldn’t breathe and suddenly felt so unprepared. I turned to my mom and sister who were traveling with me and flat out said “I can’t do this, let’s just leave.”
Yet, as I stood there allowing my fears to literally paralyze me in place, I forced my hands up into the air and took a long, slow, deep breath. Displaying my form of a power pose allowed me to think more clearly. Why was I letting my fears and self-doubt get the better of me?
I ran a half marathon almost every week, I never brought extra snacks or water and I most certainly didn’t need hiking poles. Yet, because everyone around me had these things, I had immediately doubted myself. Even though I knew what I was doing.
My inner voice can be brutal, unnecessarily cruel, and my biggest critic. It brings futile self-doubt and hopelessness into my head. Don’t be like me when you’re preparing for something epic!
I want you to know that you are a hardcore badass. You wake up early, go to bed late, and get things done. You are a professional and you know what you’re doing. It’s your turn to shine. You’ve spent countless hours learning new skills and perfecting them. So why on earth would you allow self-doubt to creep in and take that all away?
I’d like to share eight ways to overcome your self-doubt and negative inner voice. I’ve used them to help motivate and encourage myself to keep moving forward no matter what challenges I may face.
Daily Words of Positive Affirmation
Positive affirmations are meant to be used in any situation where you’d like to see a positive change take place in your life. .This can be done in a number of ways. There are apps, YouTube videos and even scripts that you can print out to use on a daily basis.
I simply look in the mirror every morning and tell myself that I can do hard things. Whatever obstacles I may face, I will overcome them and become a stronger person. Looking myself in the eyes allows me to acknowledge that I am human and have feelings. Recognizing that I am worth it and will get through the day in one piece.
When I get ready for bed, I look myself in the mirror again. I acknowledge that there were tough times during the day but that I got through it. Tomorrow I will be a better person because of the things that I learned and accomplished today.
I always finish with the words “I am enough.” Despite the self-doubt and the negativity I have faced, I know that tomorrow will be worth it. Because confident, strong, and intelligent women do not give up.
Rely on Your Support System
For me, the easiest way to eliminate self-doubt is having backup. When I was preparing for my race in Iceland, my sister and mom were both there to talk me off the ledge. They reminded me of what I had accomplished in the past and what I was capable of in the moment.
Having “your person” by your side, whether it be a spouse, partner, parent, sibling, or friend is crucial to overcoming your self-doubt. Someone who knows you personally and will be by your side no matter what. When things get rough and you’re on the brink of giving in or moving on, having support is vital to your success.
They will remind you that sure, it’s been a sucky day and things haven’t gone your way, but you can’t give up. You are a beautiful, powerful woman and you have so much potential that you’d be wasting if you threw in the towel now.
There may be times where you don’t feel like you have a support system. You may feel completely alone and abandoned. In those moments, remember that you are never alone!
There are people in your corner you may not even know are there. I want you to know that I’m here for you! I understand the feeling of hopelessness and frustration in the midst of accomplishing greatness.
Please don’t give up. Take the time to regroup, take a long nap and get back up. We can do this together! You can do hard things, because you are a strong and confident woman.
Every Single Person Feels Self-Doubt
You heard me right. Every. Single. Person. feels self-doubt. It doesn’t matter how successful or happy someone looks. Each person is facing their own struggles. During times of self-doubt, keep in mind that you aren’t the only one who’s had a setback.
Every successful entrepreneur, mother and businesswoman has had days where they don’t think they can move forward. Something has gone wrong and it seems hopeless.
What makes them stand out from the crowd? They push their self-doubt to the curb. They turn their potential into reality, because they know they are worth it and that giving up is not an option.
Ask for Help
Self-doubt thrives on loneliness and despair. If you’re struggling with a particular project or problem, speak up! No one can help if they don’t know what problems you’re facing. In a world driven by technology, there are limitless resources to help you.
Whether you hire a tutor, take a course, or ask a friend, asking for help is vital to learning, improving and moving forward.
Every expert was once a beginner. They understand the process and the journey you are going through and will be better able to help you achieve your goals.
You can’t improve unless you learn from those who came before you. Most of the time, they are eager to help others who are in the beginning stages of learning the skill they have mastered.
Celebrate Your Small Successes
You ran a mile without stopping, you finally coded the homepage of your website, or you put your eyeliner on in a straight line for the first time. CONGRATULATIONS! You should definitely celebrate!… (I’d be on my way to Trader Joes by now, for a pint of Cookies and Crème Light Ice Cream). Small wins lead to bigger victories.
You need to celebrate them all. Acknowledging that you can do great things, big and small, will help to overcome the self-doubt in the back of your mind. If you’re able to take the first step, the second is going to be that much easier. Just keep moving forward and acknowledge that you are great!
Get Outside Your Comfort Zone
Pushing through self-doubt when you’re in the midst of learning something new can be difficult. Self-doubt is usually at its peak at this point. However, once you’ve learned a new skill and something has suddenly become less difficult, you start to feel comfortable.
Adding to your newly found talent can be traumatizing. Your brain suddenly remembers the painful memories of the last time you were outside your comfort zone and begs you to retreat back to its safe space.
This is when your self-doubt will begin to try and creep back in. Don’t let it! If you’ve been able to accomplish something great once, chances are you’ll be able to do it again. Always be willing to learn and improve. If I’m in my comfort zone for too long, I know it’s time to step up my game.
When you’re feeling self-doubt, write down everything you’ve accomplished in the past week, month or year. Even the smallest accomplishments should be written down.
Once you’ve finished, go back and read all the impressive things you’ve achieved. Big or small, you’ve moved mountains you didn’t think you could have a year ago.
Showing yourself what you’ve accomplished in the past to prepare you for what’s to come will help to inspire you. I promise this will really give you the extra boost of confidence that you may need.
Enjoy the Process
Ugh! This is the hardest piece of advice for me to give to others. I am literally the worst at being in the moment. I am an impatient person at heart and want everything to be done right this minute.
Unfortunately for me, most things worthwhile take time. Needless to say, I’ve had to practice patience more often than I’d like to. However, in the moments of self-doubt and despair, I always seem to find a silver lining. Things never end up being as bad as I initially thought.
The self-doubt always melts away and eventually the process has been completed. I’ve been able to achieve my goals and look back to see just how far I’ve come.
No matter what you may be facing, don’t let self-doubt cloud your judgment. Please remember that you are a freaking goddess that can accomplish anything you set your mind to.
When things get tough, don’t face it alone. Recruit those who you hold most dear to help get you through. I am here, rooting for you. You have an entire community here to cheer you on! Remember, YOU ARE ENOUGH!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ann is the founder of Ann Plans Travel. She’s dishing out all the best tips and tricks for maintaining health & fitness goals while living the good life on the road! She shares her experience of how to create the perfect marriage between healthy living and travel while maintaining a positive self-image along the way.