For years I noticed I was following the same self-destructive pattern—I would have these great ideas, write them down, start to plan them out, and then I would hit a wall.
Instead of climbing over the wall or busting right through it, I would stop. I would sit and stare at the wall and list out in my head all the ways to get that wall out of my way. The problem, I would only think about what needed to be done instead of actually putting those thoughts into action.
Then, the self-deprecating pity party would begin. I’d put on my black party hat, find a dark corner to brood in and wonder why I just didn’t have the skills to take the next step.
Okay, I don’t really have a black party hat, but you get the picture. Nothing was ever accomplished this way and my self-esteem fell lower with each pity party I threw myself.
The problem was that I would let the voice of self-doubt completely take over my thoughts and consequently, my emotions. I would give her center stage, all other voices would quiet down while I gave her permission to steal, and the biggest problem of all …
… I would believe her!
So how did I finally get through this?
I told self-doubt to take a hike and I let self-confidence take her place.
Replace your old habits with new ones.
Get rid of those old habits that are in your way and replace them with new habits. New habits equal a new you! With each new habit I created, self-confidence grew louder and louder until she was the voice at center stage. Creating a new habit doesn’t happen overnight and trying to create several new habits at once is only going to set you up for failure. The best approach is to tackle one habit at a time. I like to schedule just one habit a month and start small.
For example, if you want to start working out more, just start with 10 minutes, three times a week. The next week, make it 15 minutes. The next, 20 minutes, and so on. Before long, you’ll be working out consistently and you’ll start to see the results of your new habit.
You can start making changes right now and each small change you make, you will notice that self-confident voice inside you is also growing louder. It’s telling you that you can do this. That you were made for this.
Set your self up for success.
We all have goals, that’s what keeps us moving forward. In order to determine what is needed to reach those goals, we have to have a clear visualization of what those goals are.
Make a list of your goals, not in your head, I mean actually take a pen and paper and write them down. Trust me, this makes all the difference in the world.
Be specific. Don’t just write down “make more money,” write a specific goal such as “Make $100,000.” Now take your list and next to each goal determine how much time you think it will take to accomplish this goal. That goal of making six figures just became “Make $100,000 in the next 12 months.” Some goals might only need a few hours of your time and others might take years. That’s perfectly fine. You need to know how much time to allow yourself to accomplish these goals. Be realistic and tailor it to you. Don’t beat yourself up if you decide a goal is going to take you a month to accomplish, but that one girl you know accomplished it in a week.
Stop comparing your journey to someone else’s. You are unique and doing things authentically is what will make you stand out.
The next step is to take those goals and add them to your planner. Fill them in where they belong. Assign the weekly goals to a specific week and the monthly goals for a specific month. Your job is to accomplish these goals. Make them a priority in the times you’ve scheduled them and in no time you’ll be crossing them off your list and adding new ones to take their place. While you’re at it, go ahead and start assigning a new habit to each of those months in your planner as well.
Okay so you have your list of goals and you’ve scheduled them, now what?
Change your thoughts.
It isn’t enough to just tell self-doubt to go away, sometimes you have to push it out of the way. How? On another sheet of paper capture all of those dark gloomy thoughts and write them down. I like to call this my shit list. Make sure you leave a little room next to each one because after your shit list is complete, you’re going to take each and every one of those sad, gloomy thoughts and you’re going to turn them into happier thoughts. Not sure how to do this? That’s okay, I’ve included an example for you.
Sad, gloomy thought:
I’m not smart enough to be a creative entrepreneur.
You can learn anything you don’t already know. Anyone can do this. Yes, even you!
The real trick here is visualizing yourself in a different light. You have to visualize yourself changing these thoughts and habits into more positive self-supporting actions. That’s why this list is so important. Any time self-doubt starts to take center stage you can look back at this list and focus on your happy thoughts. You can add to it anytime. The more you do this exercise, the more you will notice that a lot of your negative thoughts turn into positive ones.
Staying positive is key to overcoming your self-doubt and letting self-confidence take her place.
The most important thing you can do for yourself, though, is much easier than you might believe. Most of us don’t spend enough time and energy on this one thing but trust me, it is crucial!
Put yourself first by practicing self-care.
If you decide to not do anything else, this is the one thing that you must do!
There are many ways you can take care of yourself and whatever it may take in order for you to be the best you will be different from everybody else. Remember, that's a good thing. Your authentic self is your best self. Don’t waste your time trying to be someone else.
When I talk about taking care of yourself, I’m not just talking about making sure you’re showered and fed. I’m talking about taking care of yourself mentally and emotionally. The best way that I’ve found to do this is by meditating. Just taking that 10 minutes each day to meditate has helped my mental and emotional health so much more than I ever thought it would.
You could go for a walk outside, read a book, do some yoga, go for a run or bike ride, take a nap. The point is, you need to do something for yourself. Something that will clear your mind and help you focus. Without mental and emotional strength, everything you try to accomplish will be so much harder.
If you’re like me, you get lost in trying to take care of everyone else around you that you forget you have to care for yourself as well. Next thing you know, you feel so disconnected from yourself that it’s almost impossible for you to create anything authentic or make any progress towards your goals.
Do you want in on a little secret of mine? I schedule the time I need to care for myself first. Then, I schedule everything else around that. Why? Because if I’m not taken care of, I’m not going to be nearly as effective at caring for anything or anybody else.
This is all a lot simpler than you think. Changing your habits, visualizing your future self, and spending the time to actively work on and care for yourself will make a huge difference in your self-confidence. Take it one step at a time and while you’re at it, tell self-doubt to take a hike. You don’t have time for her shenanigans anymore, you’ve got work to do. Your future self will thank you.