Five Great Steps To Overcome Doubt
Most of the times that we get stuck in life, and our progress and opportunities plateau are times we are being controlled by our own doubts. These doubts predominantly occur while trying to accomplish a mission called ‘life success’, where we are trying to fulfil ourselves in either business, private or spiritual realm.
It’s normal that on our journey we run into many cross roads and need to make a decision on which direction to head. There is no safe road in life, and our journey is the sum of all the roads we travel and decisions we make. I think this is when we fear taking a wrong turn may ruin everything, and it’s this doubt that can paralyse us into not making a decision at all. I believe everyone experiences this situation at some point in their life, however how does one move forward when faced with doubt?
“If you want to achieve success then don’t doubt your dreams.” – Ryan D’souza
We all have dreams, and our dreams can sometimes start to fade as we get challenged by life’s unexpected situations but for most of us our dreams almost never disappear. One is never too old to dream or create a new dream. Our daily lives are constantly saturated with thoughts. Thoughts of the future, thoughts of the past, and thoughts of the present. We all would like to recognise these thoughts to try and uncover what the next move should be. To know whether you’re at a good place, if you could have your dream job, chosen the right partner, a different place to live or maybe even better friendships. We all have doubts in our minds and would love nothing more than the voice in ours heads to distinguish itself as the voice of intuition and whisper to us what our next move should be.
“There is a voice that doesn’t use words. Listen.” – Rumi
But what happens when you fail to recognise your own intuition?
What happens when you start to doubt your knowledge?
Or when you start to doubt your faith?
You must remember its normal to experience speed bumps, hiccups and sometimes even train wrecks in life. Don’t be troubled by this. This is an opportunity to learn, grow and build confidence in yourself. Because if you never take off the training wheels and dare to try you will deny yourself some of life’s greatest experiences and lessons.
One of the biggest triggers of doubt is undoubtedly fear. Fear makes us doubt ourselves, and when we live in fear we start to doubt ourselves even more, which causes more fear. Until you reach a stand still called analysis paralysis, where the fear of making a decision is too great because of the doubt we have in our own decision making. I think you’ll agree with me that this is a very dangerous cycle. I understand that in theory this sounds easy to comprehend and the solution obvious, however when faced with doubt it isn’t always so clear what the next best move should be.
Here are my 5 techniques to overcome doubt.
- Have faith.“If you are going to doubt something, doubt your limits.” – Don WardFaith helps remove all doubt. Once you have a vision of what you want and have faith in it, this will give you the faith and strength to get there. Faith is a commitment. Remember you wouldn’t have the desire in your goals if you didn’t have the ability to achieve it.
- Doubt can only be removed by action.Always do something. The only wrong choice is not making a choice. As Martin Luther King once said “If you can’t fly, then run. If you can’t run then walk. If you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.” or as Albert Einstein said, “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you have to keep moving.” Always choose an action because any action, even the wrong one will help you grow.
- Don’t invest in doubt.Overthinking will never solve any problems. Sometimes when you move away from the fog of a situation you can see it from a better position. So take a step back and look at the situation from a different perspective and you will find the answer.
- Make decisions from a position of love.Before making a decision practice taking 10 deep breaths. Physiologically this will increase the oxygen in your body to help you relax, feel more peaceful and gain more clarity.“There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance. We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create. Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life.” – John Lennon
- Don’t be afraid to fail.Stretch outside of your comfort zone. If a fisherman casts his line 100 times to try and catch a fish, and only catches one on his final cast he has failed 99 times but is still successful.
The truth is sometimes in life we’ll have to let go of some people, change our job, change where we live, isolate ourselves in order to understand ourselves better and trust our gut that we are doing the right thing. Sometimes we’ll out grow people, sometimes we’ll out grow places, and sometimes we’ll out grow situations that keep repeating. We cannot be scared to clear our vision and make a move.
There is an outstanding quote by Meryl Streep who once shared a picture of herself when she was 27 saying: “This was me on my way home from an audition to King Kong where I was told I was too “ugly” for the part. This was a pivotal moment for me. This one rogue opinion could’ve derailed my dreams of becoming an actress but instead forced me to pull myself up by the boot straps and believe in myself. I took a deep breath and said “I’m sorry you think I am too ugly for your part but you’re just one opinion in a sea of thousands and I’m off to find a kinder tide.” Today I have 18 academy awards.”
“If people doubt how far you’ll go, go so far you can’t hear them anymore.” – Michele Ruiz
We’ve all had moments like Meryl Streep in our life where we feel we were too “ugly” for someone, not good enough or not “special” enough, and it made us doubt ourselves. The fact is that life is a wonderful adventure of rich experiences, but life does not last. It passes, and doubt paralyses our ability to move, and then when you stop moving, all the precious moments that you could live in that moment disappear. Like the unused credit we received from a gift card but instead from the beautiful energy of the universe.
So as you continue on your journey I employ to feel the fear and make a decision anyway. You are the captain of your own destiny.