It is quite common for us to experience feelings of doubt and worry when there is a change in our current reality or when we are going for something new in life.
Just think back to that last time you worried about something or when you had doubts about creating an outcome you wanted — what do you think caused you to be worried or start doubting yourself?
First, let’s define what they are.
What is Doubt?
Doubt is a feeling of uncertainty, a lack of conviction or belief that we will achieve the outcome we want. Doubt is an imagined reality. While it is quite normal to experience doubt from time to time, if it is not addressed quickly, it can cause some serious problems.
What is Worry?
Similar to doubt, worry can be defined as negative thoughts or feelings which arise in response to either a real problem or an imagined problem. It has often been said that worry is negative goal setting.
If we think of anything that is bothering us at this present moment, it can often be defined as worry because we’re imagining a reality that is causing is to generate negative thoughts or emotions.
What are the costs of doubt and worry?
For the purpose of this article, I will use doubt and worry together in order to keep them relatively broad. If they are not addressed quickly, it can lead to:
- Frustration and insecurity.
- Lower self-esteem and self-confidence.
- Lack of motivation to pursue the more important things in life, like our dreams and passions.
- Feelings of despair or depression.
- Overwhelm and highs levels of stress.
The good news is we can use doubt and worry to our advantage by simply switching our focus. We can use them as fuel to get to the outcomes we want.
Here are five things we can do whenever we start experiencing feelings of doubt and worry so that we can quickly turn our attention to what matters most to us and continue creating the results we want.
- Acknowledge what you are feeling then question it. We have to first recognise that we’re actually experiencing feelings of doubt and worry. Then we can ask ourselves, “Is this doubt or worry actually true?” We can also ask deeper questions like, “What is the real issue or what am I fearing right now?” or “What am I assuming about the situation or event or person?”
- Accept that your doubts and worries are all imagined. Most of the things we fear are made up and they very rarely translate into actual reality. Instead of using our imagination to create negative mental pictures, we can harness the power of our imagination to create the picture of the outcomes we want.
- Switch your focus to the outcomes you want. Our focus creates our reality. Rather than focusing on negatives outcomes, once we acknowledge and accept we’ve actually imagined future negative outcomes, we can ask ourselves, “What do I want instead?” For example, if an experience with a person caused doubt and worry, then we can ask, “What experience do I want to have with this person instead?”
- Set a new standard for yourself. Every time we experience doubt or worry, we are strengthening our mental muscles. As we get through each of those experiences, we should continue to reinforce to ourselves that we’ve overcome our doubts and worries and we will continue doing so in the future. That should help us set a new standard of performance and how we think of ourselves.
- Ask for support. Sometimes it just comes down to asking someone for guidance. It can be as simple as saying, “Hey, I’m going through this right now…what do you suggest could be going on and how can I overcome it?” This is why having mentors, coaches or trusted advisors is so important as they can often help us turn things around quickly.
Doubt and worry should not limit us in any way. If we can start using them as a source of motivation or fuel to do something different, we will continue making progress in life. If we don’t turn things around quickly, the consequences can be serious and really affect the quality of our lives.
Question: What is another easy way to overcome doubt and worry?
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