Doubt is such a powerful, yet underrated thing. What I mean by underrated is that it often is not suspected as the culprit of why achieving goals (and even simply going through life) is such a difficult process sometimes. It’s the worst. Because it is underrated, it’s almost easier to fall victim to it.
Doubt is volatile. It’s the first step on the path to failure. It leads to a whole host of other issues and insecurities that get in the way of living a happy and fulfilling life, achieving what you set out to.
Comparison is one. Doubting your own abilities, worth, etc. often leads to thought processes that resemble something like, “wow, so-and-so is so awesome. I could never do that”, “wow they are so fit. I’ll never look like that”. Those thoughts can be about anything and come in any form. When we don’t catch doubt when it’s happening, it leads to feelings of inferiority to others. Let’s get one thing clear. YOU ARE NOT INFERIOR TO ANYONE, NOR ARE THEY INFERIOR TO YOU. We all have different skill sets, and abilities that are DIFFERENT, not LESS. Comparison is a waste of your time. Focus on you!
Doubt leads to guilt, especially in regards to achieving goals. Doubting your own abilities or worth allows the guilt of not doing “enough” or not being “enough” of anything to creep in. Enough of the “enoughs”! The guilt comes from a place of feeling like you’ve already failed. The truth that a lot of people have a hard time recognizing is that in pursuit of a goal, guilt is truly not necessary. Any progress is good progress, and it’s not worth your time to get caught up in whether or not you’ve done enough to get to your goal. YOU HAVE NOT FAILED, NOR ARE YOU A FAILURE. (Say it out loud). The guilt that you feel for not doing or being enough leads to a spiral of negativity and self-hatred. Take it from someone who’s been there, it sucks you dry of all your joy and confidence. How is anyone supposed to get anywhere in life when they are constantly telling themselves that they can’t do anything?
Often, when we doubt ourselves we don’t even realize it. We seek validation from sources other than our own self-love, and those sources come up dry 100% of the time. Seeking approval from others will get you nowhere. Seeking approval from society based on superficial factors (looks, money, etc.) will get you nowhere. Seeking approval from anything or anyone beyond yourself WILL GET YOU NOWHERE. That is where we learn how to feel like we don’t measure up because we are trying to live up to standards that aren’t necessarily made for us out of fear that we will seem like an “outcast”.
We all do it. To some extent, it’s unavoidable to doubt ourselves from time to time. But practically, it’s so important to catch doubt early on and replace feelings of doubt with self-love. This is easier said than done, and requires diligence. For me, it means telling myself out loud that I’m awesome every time I catch myself doubting. For others it’s engaging in activities that make them feel great (working out, meditation, getting outside, whatever). Find what you love about yourself and remind yourself of those things DAILY. That will help you change your mindset to a more positive and confident one, and soon enough you will be able to demolish doubt as soon as it pops into your mind. This may seem like common sense, but it’s important. Practicing good habits for mental and emotional health are equally, if not more important than physical health. There is a reason that so many people fall victim to insecurity, anxiety, depression, whatever it may be that keeps them from truly believing that they can do whatever they set their mind to. Once you believe you can, the success will follow. Yes, I know it’s cheesy, but it’s true!