By Ellen Borowka
– Have you found that sometimes it can be so hard to believe in yourself?
– Do you think you will fail before you even try?
– Do you settle for something less than you are capable of or desire in your life?
I have and I’m sure that I am not alone. These doubts and fears can be so paralyzing, so overwhelming that sometimes they become the obstacle we end up fighting against. At times, we may let these doubts push us to lower our aim for what we want. We settle for something less or stay in unchallenging, unhappy, unfulfilling situations only because they feel safe or familiar. Does this sound familiar? Then have I got a story for you!
I remember when I was considering whether to go to graduate school, but I almost didn’t go. I had many doubts, like “it’s too late to go back to school”, “I’m not smart enough”, “I’ll fail”. Yet, my friends and family encouraged and even pushed me to try and I did. Today, I have a Masters in Counseling Psychology, and I work with companies to assist their staff and management to be more successful as well as have greater job satisfaction.
So, what are some ways to overcome the doubts and to start to trust in yourself? Here are some tips:
Build & utilize a strong network of people
It’s much easier to endure and win a race when you have people along the way to cheer you on. We need each other to get over the bumps and around the curves of the road. People who tend to be the most successful in life are those who reach out to others for help. We don’t have all the answers, all the information, and others can help provide different options and support. Some to include in your network would be: friends, family, co-workers, mentors, clergy, counselors, etc. An important element is who to choose to be a part of your support system. Look for those who can support your growth with compassion and honesty.
Persist to the end
Don’t allow yourself to rationize why you should stop or not try. Don’t give up or allow yourself to think you are trapped in a situation. Some put aside their dreams or their needs, because they think they have reached a dead end. Look to your resources to pull yourself out of that. Further, some even decide to be a victim or martyr, and tell themselves that it is someone else’s fault or they don’t have what they want or need. Avoid such destructive and useless roles. Keep looking for ways to move beyond the doubts. There is a way around the obstacle.
Dive in deep
Fears and doubts are usually attached to deep issues – beliefs about ourselves and others that we have picked up from our family, culture or society. It can be helpful to explore these areas to not only gain insight, but to break through an impasse. It’s not pleasant to look in our emotional and mental mirror, but something helpful to remember is to keep a balance when taking a mental inventory. While it’s important to be candid with yourself on what needs to be worked on. At the same time, don’t beat yourself up about your flaws. We all have imperfections – even those who just seem to sail through life without any problems. We are human and part of that humanity is to learn and grow through issues. Some places to start are: Self-help books, support groups, counseling, journaling, art, music, church or temple.
Visualize the ‘impossible’
We have all heard how powerful the mind is. The possibilities are greater than we can even imagine. As the White Queen said to Alice in one of Lewis Carroll’s books, Through the Looking-Glass – “Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast”. Then she counseled Alice to practice such a necessary skill. So, it’s no surprise that how we imagine a situation or project might go can greatly impact us and how we will do. On the other hand, when we push ourselves to visualize success – incredible things start to happen. Just as powerful is what we say to ourselves every day. When we tell ourselves that we will fail, then it’s more likely that negative consequences will occur. Strive to halt such negative and hurtful self-talk. Rather than beating yourself down for a mistake or flaw – work to alter this inner voice to acknowledge your strengths, your talents, and your intrinsic qualities. Even directly combating negative issues, like if you tell yourself the same negative things before starting a project then push yourself to appreciate something about yourself.
Doubts can have a way of dissolving when we can look to a power that is greater than ourselves. This can mean many things to many different people like God or love, the universe and so on. Learn more about that power and what it means to you. Integrate it more deeply into your life and explore your spiritual qualities where strength can come from to overcome the doubts.
Breaking through the doubts – to believe in yourself and all you can achieve is possible. Use your resources by looking to those around you and deep within yourself. This will aid you in winning the race. A race where you have all you need within to finish. A race where you have already won before you even begin.
Permission is needed from Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC to reproduce any portion provided in this article. © 2014 This information contained in this article is not meant to be a substitute for professional counseling.
Ellen Borowka, MA, Senior Analyst of Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC and her organization constantly remain focused on their mission statement – “To bring effective insight to your organization”. They do this through the use of in-depth work style assessments to raise the hiring bar so companies select the right people to reduce hiring and management errors. They also have a full service consulting division that provides domestic and international interpersonal coaching, executive onboarding, leadership training, global options for expanding your business, sales and customer service training, operational productivity improvement, 360s and employee surveys as well as a variety of workshops. Ellen has over 15 years of data analysis and business consulting experience and is the co-author of the books, “Cracking the Personality Code” and “Cracking the Business Code”. To order the books, please visit www.lighthouseconsulting.com.
If you would like additional information on this topic or others, please contact your Human Resources department or Lighthouse Consulting Services LLC, 3130 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 550, Santa Monica, CA 90403, (310) 453-6556, email@example.com & our website: www.lighthouseconsulting.com.
Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC provides a variety of services, including in-depth work style assessments for new hires & staff development, team building, interpersonal & communication training, career guidance & transition, conflict management, 360s, workshops, and executive & employee coaching. Other areas of expertise: Executive on boarding for success, leadership training for the 21st century, exploring global options for expanding your business, sales and customer service training and operational productivity improvement.