Self-doubt causes you to compare yourself to other people. You have a distorted viewpoint of yourself, you notice every flaw you have and you link them to a sense of failure. The interesting thing is, self-doubt is not just a result of having failed at many things. Self-doubt can arise simply from a fear of tackling the unknown and wondering about the way others will view you if you fail.
Self-doubt leads to putting everyone else on a high pedestal, seeing others as being capable of achieving anything and everything, but having low expectations of yourself.
If you harbour a lot of self-doubt, you begin to think that there is something intrinsically wrong with you. And that sort of thinking is dangerous, because you severely limit yourself. You talk yourself into thinking you're not able to change or get better - we fall into that "I was just born like this, I can't do anything about it" type of attitude.
If only we could get rid of that lack of confidence, we could see that we're perfectly capable of achieving the same things others do. Self-doubt is perception, not reality.
This is one of the worst aspects of self-doubt, as you likely would guess.
Self-doubt means you hesitate when it comes to folding your sleeves and working hard, because you don't think you can see good results from your work.
You're literally confined by the walls you build yourself. It turns into a kind of laziness, where you think "what's the point of even trying?". It is sad though, because in a way, when you carry so much self-doubt, you are lying to yourself.
Things are normally not as bad as we view them, and if we are persistent and determined, we can achieve a lot of the things we view as really, really difficult. But if you allow self-doubt to channel negative thoughts into your consciousness, then you don't even give yourself a chance. You write yourself off. You tell yourself, "no way, I can't do that" - even before you've had a go.
And that is a lie.
You make excuses of reasons why you didn't try, because you're scared of coming face to face with failure and then having to explain to yourself why you failed. That part can be quite scary. "I failed because I'm terrible at this, and I always will be."
You failed because you're human and that's what we do sometimes. And really, you only fail when you stop trying. So if you can push self-doubt out of the way, and stay positive, you'll solve that problem.
Self-doubt puts you behind bars. You'll never know what could have happened if you had believed in yourself more and therefore put up the necessary effort.
Another way that self-doubt ruins you is that it even makes you doubt your own achievements!
If you really don't believe you're capable of doing much, then when you do, you attribute it to chance. "Maybe I was just lucky" you say, or "it was because the circumstances were right".
Do you believe you can repeat your results or go on to do better things in the future? Not very likely. You still do not connect your results to the effort you put in, even when you should.
It's quite a distressing thought, that one can miss something that is right in front of their eyes. You start to be suspicious whenever good things start to come your way - "maybe they got it wrong... I can't be the right person for this job...".
Instead of being calm, grateful and reflective, you start thinking of all the reasons why your success might have been a mistake, and what will happen when everyone starts to "notice" your flaws the way you do.
Fear of turning out to be a disappointment prevents you from taking opportunities that come your way. Rather than taking hold of the situation and seeing how you can apply yourself, you flee from opportunities. You don't believe that you deserve the reward of your work, you're worried about being discovered as the fake you think you are.
Having so much self-doubt is not being humble, it's actually quite damaging.
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