Don’t Let your fear of what could happen, make nothing happen.
Overcoming self-doubt is something we all have to pass through at some point in our lives. Chances are you have entered the mental ring with self-doubt many times and have been beaten down with thoughts like, “I can’t do this”, “What if I mess up?”, “I’ll make a fool of myself” or “I’m not smart enough…talented enough…experienced enough” and so on.
We all have great inner power. The power is self-faith. You have to see yourself winning before you win.
- Arnold Schwarzenegger
Fear and doubt have left me in an immobilizing limbo far too many times to count, leaving me stuck between my dreams and any action plan of moving towards them. This place of limbo is where you enter the “second round” and you start beating yourself up for beating yourself up with thoughts like, “I know better than to self-criticize”, “I just need to do go for it”, “It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks, I’m doing it for myself” and so on.
Over the years I have met so many capable, talented and creative individuals who sell themselves short because of their own self-doubt. Out of fear that they don’t have what it takes to succeed, they put their dreams on hold, stifling their creativity and missing the opportunity to share their gifts with the world.
Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will.
- Suzy Kassem
When I first started my business I was overcome with so many fears. I was the first entrepreneur in my family so going out on my own had me questioning my sense of security and responsibility. It drove me crazy having so much passion and desire to share but wasn’t doing anything about it. Eventually it was that deep inner desire that tipped the scales and made me take a leap of faith. I still often feel self-doubt & fears, but I feel much more equipped to work through them now.
How can we build our strength to knock out our fears and doubts?
Here are my top 5 tips:
1. Overcome small fears on a regular basis
Take some baby steps! it doesn’t have to all happen at once. Work towards your goals in small increments. Let this build your confidence, so once you are ready to jump you will jump with full faith. When you feel doubts or fears creeping in- take action. Every time you take action when confronted with fears or doubts, you weaken their power and strengthen your own.
2. Don’t believe everything you think
Our fear-fuelled thoughts are nothing more than stories in our heads. Question your own thought process. Ask yourself if your thoughts are based in fear or in faith? Try to flip your perspective by saying to yourself, “What if I am totally capable of accomplishing this”?
3. Name your Inner-Critic
My amazing friend Twyla Gingrich at Samya Yoga Healing, once took me through an amazing exercise that literally, makes your inner critic come to life. Think about those self-sabotaging thoughts, fears and doubts that plague you. Then draw out what you think this inner critic might look like. Once you draw him/her/it out, give it a name that best represents this doubting, fearful side of you. Next time your doubting mind comes out say to yourself, “Hey Fearful Franny, that’ll be enough!”. Sometimes naming your fear and giving it an identity brings to light just how untrue these thoughts are. It allows us to give some detachment from “doubting Debbie’s” thoughts and thoughts that are true.
4. Let your passion be bigger than your fear
What are your dreams? Why are they so important to you? In my heart I knew I had to share yoga in my own way. I wasn’t sure how that would look. My faith and trust in knowing that Yoga can really help people find peace was what pushed me through all of my “what ifs”. I let my excitement and my “why” (the reasoning for my mission) become bigger than my fear. I took action and followed where my passion directed me.
5. Find your supporters
I owe so much of facing my fears to those who have supported me and my dreams. Find your motivators, the people who believe in you, your inspirations, your cheerleaders. These people are pivotal to creating a support group around you. These people are the ones you can share your doubts with and have them remind you of how capable you really are. I am so indebted to my awesome support team!
What tips do you have for overcoming fears and following your heart? I want to hear from you!