You’ve made the commitment. You’ve done your research. You’re ready to go… then that sibilant voice whispers in your ear you’re doing what? You know it won’t work! You know you’ll fail. That’s all you ever do. Fail, fail, fail!
Doubt. Insecurity. Hesitation. The voice goes by many names but its impact is the same. You begin to question the research. You waver in your commitment. You hesitate, procrastinate and vacillate. Doubt’s best friends, anxiety and depression might stop by for a house call and suddenly you’ve got an unwelcome frat party going on inside your head led by that devious and dastardly doubt.
So what can you do when doubt shows up wanting to throw a kegger and disrupt your plans? Why not try the following to kick out doubt:
Recognise doubt for what it is
Feelings of doubt and insecurity might first manifest as something else entirely. You might feel overwhelmed by the task before you. Perhaps you’re irrationally angry that there isn’t enough time to get stuck into it. If you question these feelings you may discover they are just masking your own self-doubt. If you question your feelings and uncover doubt congratulate yourself. You’ve made the first step in conquering it; you’ve unmasked it.
Seek a second opinion
Once you’ve recognised that you doubt yourself where this task is concerned, do yourself a favour and seek a second opinion. You already know you’re struggling with doubt, so why then trust your own opinion as to the reality of the situation? You may see things skewed, or with dubiousness clouding your judgment. Ask an impartial outsider what they think. Do they believe in you? Why? Why not? Arm yourself with second opinions.
Take some time out
Doubt can magnify the more you dwell on it. It’s insidious like that. The more you think about it, the more you doubt. So take time out. Time away from the project, the plan, the entire situation. You might not have the luxury of taking a week or even a day out, but at least find an hour. Remove your mind from the issues at hand entirely. Watch a movie. Read a book. Go out with friends. When you return to the issue, you may find clarity returns with you.
Plan and prioritise your next steps
Doubt cripples. Doubt mires. Doubt hobbles you like Kathy Bates hobbled poor James Caan in Misery. One of the best ways to overcome the sucking quicksand of doubt is to carefully and decisively plan your next steps and prioritise your ‘to do’ list. What do you need to do next. What do you need to do next to succeed… to put doubt back in its box. Make the list. Prioritise it.
Finally, there’s only one last action to overcome your doubt;
Heard of a little brand called Nike? Remember their slogan? JUST DO IT!
There is nothing in the world that can slam down doubt like success. At the end of the day, just do it.
So the next time doubt creeps up to the doorstep of your mind and promises to wreck your inner sanctum and leave you with nothing but angry parents and a carpet cleaning bill, kick that doubt to the curb and throw a high faulting’, successful, grand ball of success instead.
*I am currently working through my own doubt (only at step one, recognition) so I thought it timely to share my little remedy to conquer doubt. What do you do to kick out doubt?