One of the most exhilarating things you’ll ever do is to take a giant step toward achieving a life-changing dream or target. It’s one of the most scary too. No matter how excited we are about a new life shift, we always start to second-guess ourselves once the excitement wears off. The nagging voice within our heads is starting to tell us we are not as good as we think. It seeks to tell us that our work is not good enough, and that we will fail.
Whether it’s our own thoughts or the input we get from others, the slightest bit of disappointment will fast develop into a self-doubt monster. Often as soon as we make a decision, that happens. Other times it lingers under the surface, waiting to pop up somewhere along our path.
If left unchecked, this initial whisper of doubt will develop into a tinge of fear that ultimately turns into an appalling fear. We start to think we were nuts to believe we could do it in the first place and seriously think about giving up.
These emotions are recognised as the crisis of confidence. Giving it properly is one of the single most important variable that distinguishes those who fulfill their dreams from those who simply give up and settle for a mediocre life. Here’s what you can do to stop taking you back from your trust crisis.
1. Celebrate the wins.
Your poor mood can build a vortex of negativity — feeling down, you begin to see stuff in your world that’s wrong, which, of course, just makes you feel even dimmer. Break this feedback loop by deliberately taking action to illustrate your accomplishments. Remembering the wins is vital so you can curb some self-doubt.
2. Keep around positive friends.
In the pressure cooker world, it is hard to remain positive; it is even harder if you are surrounded by negativity. “In ‘How to Believe in Yourself in the Face of Overwhelming Self-Doubt’ on Tiny Buddha, Melissa Ng advises being vigilant with whom you associate yourself. When restoring your confidence, stay away from toxic people who say ‘No’ or ‘You can’t.’ I also divide people into two groups—-your ‘critics’ and your ‘cheerleaders.’ Keep those cheerleaders close.
3. Let yourself feel the discomfort
Try not to neglect the manner you feel. Burying or covering up your self-doubt by convincing yourself that “everything’s going to be okay” could momentarily soothe you, but it’s not a long term solution.
Recognize your worries, and let yourself feel the pain. Pick yourself up by your bootstraps and do something about it until you’ve had enough time to understand your feelings. The least you can do is to wallow in self-pity, take the position of the victim and make decisions based on your fears.
Most things that are worth doing don’t come easily. Some discomfort is not only natural but often necessary. Take your time and feel the pain. Then get up and move on. When you succeed, it will make your victory that much sweeter.
4. Get Out of Your Head
When the voice in your starts telling you that you’re not good enough, you need to shut it up. Find something you enjoy doing and throw yourself into it. Lace up your sneakers and go for a run. Practice yoga, meditate, read, dance, have sex. Whatever you do, do it with presence, pushing the negative thoughts and feelings out of your mind.
If you find that your mind is still racing, stop what you’re doing and choose another activity. Keep it up until the voice has been silenced and your mind feels clear.
5. Find a Support Structure
A positive support structure is critical when making a major life change. If you don’t already know other people who are going through the same situation, start looking for some. Check out some local networking events, Facebook groups, or even Meetup.com. Connecting with like-minded people can help you explore new ideas. It will also give you insight into the kind of self-doubt that others are experiencing.
Look for a mentor to advise you. This should be someone whom you admire and respect. Try connecting with industry leaders or others who have already had success in achieving goals similar to yours.
Beware of looking towards family or friends when you’re having a crisis of confidence. Venting to someone who will add fuel to your fears will make you feel worse. Instead, look towards those who understand what you’re going through and will give you the support you need.
6. Know your beliefs & principles.
Often a crisis of trust comes when you know that you don’t invest your time and effort in a way that’s consistent with your core values. There’s nothing worse waking up and discovering you’ve strayed from your principles.
What’s cool though, is that you can opt to get the wrong thing right and hit the reset button!
Do you know the three core principles that you hold? Does it know your clients and staff? Starting with identifying core principles for your companies helps you (and your team) find the drum you ‘re going to beat on your way to success. This drum holds the bumpers up while you go ahead and crash!
As important to knowing that you and your team are fully aligned with your defined core values is understanding the value you bring to your customers. Stop trading time for money and evaluate the short and long-term value your product or service has. Factor in the unique customer experience you provide and be able to articulate your business’ unique value proposition. Understand your actual costs, put your profits first, and ask for what you deserve.
7. Ask for help.
So much easier said than done, right? Put your ego aside and realize you will not be the only person in the history of the world to be able to do everything all by yourself. Stop being a martyr – ask for help.
Not sure who to ask? Start building relationships and be purposeful with surrounding yourself with those that support you. Just a warning, this may not be your close family and friends. It’s not that they want you to fail, it’s that they are fearful for you and they can’t even fathom taking the action you are, and it may come across as not being the most supportive. Dive into your community’s entrepreneurial community and start connecting with others that are doing the same thing you are, acting despite the fear! Find those that are smarter than you and develop your network so that you have peers and mentors that can be there for you. Start looking for experts that you can contract with to do the things you aren’t the expert in or the things you need to stop doing to grow your business.
Please also make sure you have a support system for the dark days. When a crisis of confidence triggers depression, anxiety, or self-medication. Ask for help.
8. Seek Clarity and Revisit Your Game Plan
When the crisis of confidence hits, ask yourself why you chose your path in the first place and why it’s important to you. Write down every single thing you come up with. Keep adding things as they come to your mind and refer back to this list every time you feel like giving up.
To build a game plan use the clarification you learned through this exercise. Divide it into realistic tasks to complete over the coming year, month, and week. Divide each weekly list into two or three items which can be done every day. Every time you cross anything off your list, you take steps toward achieving your main objective.
A crisis of trust is not something that goes away straight away. Some people can beat it in only a few days, while others can take weeks, months , or even years. Know your particular trip is special and there is no time limit to feel better. Take measures every day to create trust, and don’t give up everything you do. You can do it!
Check out my related post: Why is humility the new smart?