24/07/2014 08:47 BST | Updated 22/09/2014 06:59 BST

Tackle Your Self Doubt

The A-Z Challenge: D is for Doubt. Shift negative to positive alphabetically.

No matter how confident or how successful we are, almost all of us have moments of self doubt. We hear that little voice inside our head, saying, 'I can't!' 'I'm not capable!' These small phrases may seem harmless but they're not very encouraging, are they? By questioning our capacity and our ability, we give doubts validity, a chance to grow. Have you noticed how doubt often picks holes where there are none? Have you also noticed how doubts often become self-fulfilling prophecies? That's because doubts overshadow our confidence and scramble our head. Then we find ourselves making mistakes. Believe you can't and you most likely won't!

Sometimes we convince ourselves before we start that that, we shouldn't even try! All it takes is one small doubt to give up and to send our dreams and aspirations into a tailspin. Simply put, doubts sabotage you. They do not nurture or serve you. So if your doubts are getting the better of you, stop underestimating yourself. Stop letting self doubt stop you. Stop letting past failures make you doubt your future abilities.

As William Shakespeare aptly wrote:

"Our doubts are traitors..."


Come on now, the next time you see that doubt coming at you, tackle it. After all, what is doubt? It's just a thought, so don't give it a second thought. Stop that thought. Try following these 4 Steps to Tackle your Doubts:

1. Challenge your doubts.

What's it stopping you from doing and being? Do you gain anything from the doubt? Where is it coming from? What would life be like without doubts? Get hold of the doubt, hold your ground against it and take it down. Alternatively you can step over the doubt or navigate past it.

2. Believe in yourself.

When in doubt, make belief; because with doubt, no doubt, you're resisting trust. So get really good at trusting and supporting yourself. Trust that you have the right qualities and capabilities within you. Believe you can and you most likely will.

3. Shift the doubt.

Confidence is just a thought away, so think better, think stronger thoughts. Think: 'I have the capacity to do whatever comes my way.' 'I am capable.' 'Anything is possible if I put my mind to it.' Play with your thoughts and see how different ones affect your confidence. You can get into a pantomime mindset anytime of the year, and every time you hear 'Oh No, You Can't!' say to yourself 'Oh Yes, I Can!'

Let's say you're going for a job interview and self doubts begin to creep up on you... what to do? Take a moment to think: 'Look, I can do this. I've got the relevant experience and qualifications. Even if I don't get this job, it's OK. I'm going to give the interview my best shot. And anyway, at least I'll gain some valuable interview experience.' Remember, every minute you spend in self doubts is a minute you could have invested in planning, preparing and thinking constructively.

4. Take action.

Every time you take action in opposition to doubt, you become better at challenging them. So go for it. Then even if your doubts materialise, it's not the end of the world is it? Think of when you first learnt to walk, how many times did you fall? If you had let frustration and disappointment beat you, you'd still be riding around in a pushchair! All you have to do is learn from the experience, check what's not working, re-evaluate your strategy and try again!

With skill and determination leave your doubts behind and give yourself the best chance of success with stronger, more confident thoughts. Learn to maintain self trust, no matter what.

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