Life isn’t easy. We get pulled in so many directions every single day, it’s only natural that sometimes we feel helpless, overwhelmed by our lack of control. Perfectly normal.
But a lot of us suffer from something far worse on a daily basis: a niggling feeling of not being good enough. We feel we are not equipped to deal with the challenges life throws at us. Since your thoughts control your actions, believing that you are inadequate leads to you holding yourself back.
Since that just plain sucks, let’s take a look at what you can do to rid yourself of crippling self-doubt and become your biggest cheerleader instead.
Confront your inner critic
Negative self-talk is what’s doing you in. You have to learn to silence or ignore the inner critic – and it’s a process, not an event. What I do to deal with mine is follow the advice of Alexa Fischer, the creator of the Speak Up course on Udemy. (PS I highly recommend this course if you want to become better at public speaking. I took it myself before my book launch and it helped me greatly.)
She says, “Meet your critic. Write down every detail to the chair that they sit on, the way that they walk, and the tone of their voice. Now give this critic a name. Introduce yourself to him or her and kindly explain that you will be working together from now on. This critic is inside you and the sooner you begin to work with this part of yourself, the sooner you will find the quiet confidence you need to sail through life.”
For reasons best kept to me, I have named my critic Hagrid. And yes, he is pretty much a carbon copy of the bumbling yet lovable character in the Harry Potter series. Whenever he begins to get unconstructively critical, I tell him that he had better pipe down as he isn’t fit to tell anyone what to do. Being so Hagrid-y and all.
Keep moving forward
Sometimes, the inner critic isn’t so easy to ignore. In such cases, it’s best to push through and do what you want to. Instead of letting fear paralyze you, work towards whatever it is you have set out to achieve – be it -pursuing your dream job, fixing or terminating toxic relationships, learning a new skill, etc.
Professor Sandeep Mishra says we ought to have a die-hard, adaptive attitude to achieve our goals: If God takes away my eyes, I’ll work hard and become a singer. If God takes away my voice, I’ll work extremely hard and become a painter.
If God takes away my hands, I will work harder and become a runner. Basically, I am gonna do something with my life that I am proud of – whether I have everything or nothing.
Get inspiration from others
Sometimes, the best way to turn on your confidence is to look for it in others. There are plenty of real-life inspirational stories all around us. Accounts of people who persisted against all odds are particularly motivating.
Author Alcatraz Dey sums up why. “There are handicapped and paralyzed people running marathons and triathlons out there. You know why? Because they want to. I see no reason why you should be holding back yourself to achieve your goals.”
The most important thing to remember is this: you are not alone. Most of us experience negativism all too often. All you can do to deal with unwanted thoughts is to confront them and keep moving forward. No matter how incapable you think you are to do something, value yourself, and just do it. That’s the only way to set yourself free to reach your potential. And to battle the monster known as impostor syndrome.
What do you do to eliminate your feelings of inadequacy? Let me know in the comments below.