This past week I had a session with a client during which she mentioned something that really struck me. That is, she had recently experienced some doubt – in herself, in the process, and in her ability to actually reach a goal that feels so freaking far away. Her admission struck me, not because I found it odd or unusual, but because this sort of doubt is something I’m intimately familiar with myself.
It is one of the most frustrating places to be – feeling stuck, unsure what you’re doing is working, lacking belief in yourself that you can reach your goal, and lacking confidence and faith that this goal, this amazing vision you have for your life, is even available to you in the first place.
Did I mention I’ve been there, and some days still am there?
The good news is, this doubt is a mindset that can be shifted given the right tools. As the saying goes, if you can change your mind, you can change your life.
Below are some of my favorite tools for working through doubt.
Focus on, and reflect daily on, small wins.
Humans, by nature, have a tendency to focus on the things that are undesirable. This is called the negativity bias, and evolutionarily, helped humans hone in on possible threats in order to survive. But now, focusing on the things that aren’t working will not only very rarely keep you safe from immediate danger, but it will distract you. It will keep you feeling discourage, or worse, bring you results you don’t want (as one of my prior mentors drilled into me, what you focus on grows, even if what you focus on is not what you want to happen).
Instead, work to focus on small wins (which encourage and motivate you to keep taking positive action), as well as helpful and positive personality traits you possess that will enable you to reach your goals.
For example, I am a dedicated and determined individual, and I made a great choice this morning by enjoying a veggie omelet which I know is helping to nourish my body and stabilize my blood sugar so that when I see my doctor next month, I will have better blood work and will hopefully be able to reduce my dose of metformin.
On that note, set very small, incremental, attainable goals that contribute towards your larger goals.
Just to reiterate, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and discouraged when you only consider how far you have to go and how it seems like you’ll never. freaking. get. there.
Focusing on achieving one small step at a time will help ease this overwhelm and frustration, and also give you those small wins to celebrate to keep your confidence and motivation up!
Use positive affirmations and visualizations.
I have been using positive affirmations regularly for the last month or so, and can say that, at least in my personal experience, they are helpful. That is not to say that they are magic genies (but I visualized myself a millionaire with 6 packs abs and a smokin’ hot husband this morning, and affirmed that I am, so why isn’t it working?!).
Positive affirmations and visualizations will, however, help you focus your mind on the positive (seeing a trend here?) and wrap your head around the possibility that what you desire for yourself is actually possible.
See your goal, believe it is possible, feel it in your bones, and you’ll be much MUCH more likely to follow through on the action required to reach it.
Become aware of and rewrite negative self talk.
This one is huge. Negative self-talk can literally sabotage your greatest intentions, and you might not even know you are doing it!
Start to pay attention to the voice that lives in your head. Catch yourself when that voice starts to ramble anything that is not helping you move forward toward your goals (you don’t know what you’re doing, this isn’t going to work, you don’t deserve this, this is dumb, people will think you’re dumb for doing this . . . ), and consciously work to correct the self talk to be more positive and encouraging (perhaps I don’t know *exactly what I’m doing, but I’m seeking help and open to experimenting until I find what works, I deserve this as much as anybody else, this is good for me and those around me, I have people in my corner who support me . . . ).
Connect to source/universe/God, whatever. Practice faith.
I can truly only speak from personal experience here when I say that having faith and trust that the universe will provide for me what I need, when I need it, has been a game changer in working through my doubt.
Of course, I’m well aware this sort of faith is not for everybody, but it does help to feel that something bigger than you is on your side. It allows you to let of of control, lean into the experience, and trust that you will be taken care of.
Did you find this article useful, insightful, or inspiring? If so, please share to help others benefit from this information as well 😀
Health and happiness,