Sometimes, no matter how much we want something or how hard we're working at it, we feel like we're just not getting any traction. Self-doubt starts whispering, "What if this is the wrong path? What if I've risked everything only to fail? What if I'm not good enough? What if...?"
Doubt and fear aren't necessarily bad things. We as humans have been designed to survive. Fear and doubt are the yellow flashing lights in our brains cautioning us to tread carefully. But that is all they are...caution lights, not stop signs.
We may see someone else succeeding in what we want to do and, rather than seeing that as proof that it is possible, we retreat and hide and beat ourselves up. We've allowed fear and self-doubt to stop us.
When you start to feel self-doubt take hold, go ahead and reevaluate where you are, but then you need to push through it by remembering why you started this venture, why you believed you could succeed, and have faith that you can do whatever it is you intend.
Here are five signs that you may be blocked by doubt:
You're easily side-tracked
When you get distracted, lose steam or move in a different direction, it is a sign that you are letting doubt stop you. This is the time to push through the discomfort and keep taking action.
Other people’s negativity affects you.
Sometimes the negativity is coming from those we love. This can be confusing because we trust and value their opinion; but remember, many people are afraid of change and they don’t want to see you hurt, so they warn you of potential dangers. Or perhaps it is someone who has given up on pursuing their own dreams and are telling you that you "can't" succeed where they failed. Don’t allow this to derail you. Thank them for their concern (or tell them to screw off or ignore them completely, whatever you feel best with) and move on.
You don’t ask for help – from the right people.
When we doubt ourselves, we need people to speak positivity into our lives. Find a mentor, coach, or friend who can pump you up when you feel flat. Someone who will not let you quit! The need for approval can kill our motivation. When our confidence is dependent on another person’s opinion, our mood is unstable and we are inconsistent. The reason I wrote "from the right people" is that it's true that misery loves company and it may feel more comfortable for you to find someone who is also not selling any books, complaining about the impossible odds of succeeding, and so on just because you want to feel validated. Those would be the "wrong people" to seek out. Remember, well-meaning people can throw you off track. Stay strong and believe in yourself and your mission. Inhale confidence and exhale doubt.
You have an unrealistic timeline--and use it as an excuse to beat yourself up
You see other people who are further along than you and it feels like you will never get there. There is a quote that says, “Faith in God includes faith in his timing”. This reminds me to be patient and trust that it will happen… at the perfect time. Remember… the time will pass anyway, so you might as well stay in the game and get the prize!
Obstacles trigger your immediate irritation and frustration
Doubt is annoying! When you find yourself agitated, sad, lacking energy or motivation, you need to go inside and ask yourself, “What is this feeling trying to tell me?” You can be moving along at warp speed and then something (or someone) throws you off. Remember… Obstacles will be a big part of your journey. Unfortunately, a necessary part. Each challenge is an opportunity to grow. Every roadblock contains valuable information that can help you succeed. Successful people view problems as lessons.
Being a soloprenuer is challenging enough without being your own worst enemy. If doubts have been blocking you from being fully passionate and committed lately, remind yourself of all the good qualities you have and the reasons you want to do this. If you've been hanging out with a lot of negative Nellies...kick them to the curb and gravitate toward those who are positive and successful in their own right. Remember to trust your path and believe that what is happening is pointing you in the direction you need to go.
Starve the doubts...feed your faith in yourself.
Amber Lea Easton
Amber Lea Easton is a multi-published author of nonfiction, thrillers, and romantic suspense. A professional editor and freelance journalist for nearly two decades, she created Mountain Moxie Publishing Services to assist authors in mastering the writing craft. Her memoir, Free Fall, is dedicated to spreading suicide awareness, has topped international best selling charts, and has been named by Dr. Prem as fourth on the "Ten Most Inspiring True Stories Everyone Must Read" list. Easton is also a speaker regarding parenting through trauma and suicide awareness. To discover more about Mountain Moxie Publishing Services, please go to http://www.moxiegirlwriting.com. For a list of all of Easton's books, articles and interviews, go to http://www.amberleaeaston.com.