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5 Ways To Stop Self-Doubt From Crippling Your Motivation

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5 Ways To Stop Self-Doubt From Crippling Your Motivation

Ever had that feeling of doubt that just pops into your mind when you need to think most clearly? Or that niggly voice that keeps whispering that you’re not good enough, or that you really don’t know what you’re doing, especially when you really need to stay motivated?

Or you might be making fantastic progress, until you start to question yourself making it a bit more challenging to get going again. If so, you’re definitely not alone. We’ve probably all been there at some point or another and although it might not be something that we openly talk about in public, it’s definitely happening behind the scenes.

Even Maya Angelou said – “I have written eleven books, but each time I think, Uh oh, they’re going to find out now. I’ve run a game on everybody, and they’re going to find me out.”

So how do you stop self doubt from crippling your motivation? Here are 5 ways to stop the self doubt:

 

1. Keep a diary

It’s easy to forget all the great stuff that you do, especially if you’re in the habit of finishing one thing and just going onto the next – so have a go at keeping a diary. It’s a great way to reflect on all the things that you did great and what went well in a particular project or activity. It’s also a nice way of blowing your own trumpet – especially if blowing your own trumpet doesn’t come naturally to you.

“The only person who can pull me down is myself, and I’m not going to let myself pull me down anymore.” – C. JoyBell C.

2. Try not to compare yourself to others

This is often easier said than done especially in todays world of social media. It’s not hard to get caught up in thinking that everyone else is doing better than you. Unfortunately this is a habit that needs practice to break, but a great way to do this is to genuinely wish others well, and go back to focus on what you’re doing. You never know what’s going on behind the scenes anyway, and comparing yourself to them is doing no-one any favours. So keep working on your own journey.

 

3. Surround yourself with cheerleaders

The people you hang around with are so important, so make a conscious effort to surround yourself with positive people. The cheerleaders of the world. The people who really do want to see you succeed and do well. Yes we all have friends (or family) that are negative so rather than cutting them out completely, just don’t see them when you need a pep talk.

 

4. Get some me time

Time for you is so important. This could be a time slot once a week where you focus on your development, planning or reflection. Or it could be a hobby that you want to pursue to give you some time out. Either way, giving your brain a break is a great way to keep yourself on track.

“No matter how challenging things get, never stop believing in yourself. Self-doubt is nothing but a highway to failure.” – Edmond Mbiaka

5. Talk about it

Finally, talking about how you feel can work wonders. It doesn’t mean you’re a failure. It doesn’t mean that the niggly feeling is true, and it doesn’t mean that you should stop what you’re doing.  Instead by sharing how you feel with friends and colleagues you might be surprise at how many people are in the same place, and together you can boost each other along.

What ways have you used to stop self-doubt from crippling your motivation?

Barbara Nixon specialises in Leadership and Management Development, helping Business Owners and Managers get the most out of their teams and themselves, and to be the best Boss they can be. She does this through one to one coaching, E-courses, and bespoke management development programmes and is passionate about practical solutions that really deliver. Visit her at http://www.barbaranixon.co.uk and grab your free download on the 7 Essential Tips to Being the Best Boss You Can Be at http://www.barbaranixon.co.uk/beingboss

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12 Comments

12 Comments

  1. Kaleem Jabar

    Nov 30, 2016 at 7:41 pm

    I just stumbled on your Article

  2. Bhavin Ashar

    Feb 5, 2016 at 10:12 am

    Thanks Barbara. Very short but powerful message. Very true a message. No 2 is easier said than done. No. 1 I have been always procrastinating but shall work right now on it.

  3. matata m.

    Feb 4, 2016 at 12:12 pm

    Hi Barbra , i love your post and it has really inspired and empowered and given me a new breathe of air

  4. Richie A. Corpez

    Nov 11, 2015 at 9:02 pm

    Not only Doubt cloud our imaginings as the brilliant author had put it cripple our motivation, it also kills our passion to succeed . Great pieces of advice Barbara Thank you for such a good read article 🙂

  5. Brittani

    Nov 9, 2015 at 7:53 pm

    It’s rare that I read a post, especially one with a list, that I agree with every single point. But with this one, every single point resonated with me. Such a great reminder. Thank you for writing this Barbara! And thanks for sharing!

    • Barbara Nixon

      Nov 10, 2015 at 9:20 am

      Hi Brittani, Thank you so much for your comment. I’m so glad you liked it. x

  6. Carol Berry

    Nov 9, 2015 at 1:29 pm

    I like the idea of keeping a diary. I have kept one as a food journal before but not thought of keeping one as a motivational support. I will certainly give this a try.

    I also like motivational quotes. I also find motivational CDs helpful. You don’t have to actively listen to them but you are taking in their messages subconsciously.

    • Barbara Nixon

      Nov 10, 2015 at 9:26 am

      Hi Carol, Glad you like the idea of a diary. I find it helpful, hope it works for you too. Great idea with the motivational CD’s. Thanks so much for sharing x

  7. Thapelo

    Nov 5, 2015 at 8:24 pm

    Excellent post. I like the diary idea. I never thought of it that a diary could serve as a reflecting tool.
    I personally deal with self-doubt by repeating motivating quotes by famous achievers. Then i think about such quote (thoughts) till i get into the real essence behind the quote. By that time any doubts would have cleared off from the mind and my motivation juices will be flowing once again. Thank you, great post indeed.

    • Barbara Nixon

      Nov 6, 2015 at 11:40 am

      Hi Thapelo, Thanks so much for your comment. I love your idea of repeating motivating quotes until you get your doubts have cleared. Thanks so much for sharing. Have a fantastic weekend 🙂

  8. Kath

    Nov 5, 2015 at 11:46 am

    This is such a great reminder, thank you Barbara! I love the bit about cheerleaders – it can make such a difference and it isn’t always the people we think will be our cheerleaders. I have found it’s important to remain open to new cheerleaders to come into my life when I least expect it!

    • Barbara Nixon

      Nov 6, 2015 at 11:44 am

      Hi Kath, I completely agree. Cheerleaders really do make a massive difference, and yes you’re right – sometimes it isn’t always the people you expect. Love it when this happens 🙂 Thanks so much for your comment. I really appreciate it.

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Welcome to our new normal. A time in our lives that a year ago we certainly didn’t see coming that most of us probably wouldn’t have chosen for ourselves; but here we are. As the days away from each other carry on and more and more bad news comes our way, it’s easy to lose your motivation and waste energy doing things that aren’t helpful like worrying and fighting with people on the internet instead.

Nearly half of Americans report the coronavirus crisis is harming their mental health, according to the Washington Post. While many of us had routines set up to deal with stress in the past, the stress we are facing during this time is unlike anything we’ve experienced before. It’s easy to find yourself in a downward spiral, and that’s the most challenging time to stop the momentum and turn things around. If that’s the case, keep it simple and start to reach for little things to help you feel better and climb your way out.

Here’s a reminder of a few simple things you can do right now to start getting positive momentum going your way:

1. Find someone who was in a similar place and made it to the other side

Whether you’ve been unmotivated to workout, eat healthy, make sales calls or simply do anything, you can find someone who has been there and made it to the other side. Look up some great TED talks, go on YouTube and look up people that motivate you, google them to find their websites. There are short speeches and much longer talks all over the internet, you just need to find someone who you relate to that speaks to you.

2. Do something that you love

When we’re unmotivated, it’s easy to get out of the habit of doing what we love. Sometimes just getting out of bed or away from the tv feels like a chore. Think back to a time in your life when you felt great – what were you doing? What do you absolutely love to do that if you had the time, you would do all day and not realize any time had passed at all? 

Figure out a way to do whatever that is, or a modified version of it if it is something that you aren’t able to do at the present time. Spending time doing what you love will get your mind off of anything that is wrong and allow you to find inspiration.

“If something is important enough, even if the odds are stacked against you, you should still do it.” – Elon Musk

3. Don’t overcomplicate it

Keep it simple. When we’re stuck in a rut, we’ll give ourselves every excuse to not do something. Say you’ve gained some weight; you might tell yourself you need to find the perfect trainer and wait until you have time to cook your meals from scratch each night before you do anything else. Stop trying to overcomplicate it and keep it simple by finding one thing you can do right now, however small that may be. You don’t have to wait until the timing is perfect and the stars align for you to start moving in the direction you want to go.  

4. Get up and get moving

This is probably the last thing you want to do right now, but once you are up and moving, your blood will start flowing. The hardest part is getting started. Day one, get up and do anything to get moving. This is the hardest day if you haven’t in a while because getting up is really the hardest part. Day two, do a little more. Once you start, you’ll build momentum and get back in the habit.

5. Reset your focus

It’s so easy for worry to set in and for our minds to wander to places of what we can’t control. This is not motivating or helpful and we always have a choice to redirect our attention. There is always something we can do right where we are, so bring your focus to the solution instead of the problem and figure out the next step of what you can do. 

One step at a time. Step one, take your attention away from what you can’t control and what you can’t do. Step two, ask yourself questions like “What can I do?” and see what comes to mind. Follow through with the answers you find.

6. Listen to your favorite music

Not much can lift our spirits and put us into a positive vibration more than our favorite music. Feel free to sing along. Find a song that pumps you up and make that your theme song. Put it on anytime you feel down or unmotivated.

7. Expand your knowledge

“In times of change, the learners will inherit the Earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.” Quote by Eric Hoffer. In times of change, there is great loss but also great opportunity. Continually learning opens you to new opportunities and leads you to paths you may not have otherwise found.  

“Work like there is someone working twenty four hours a day to take it away from you.” – Mark Cuban

8. Meditate

If you’re already a meditator and got away from it, take some time to come back to it. If you’ve never tried, it can be as easy as setting a timer for five minutes (or less, feel free to start with one or two minutes) and focusing on your breath. Listen to the inhalations and exhalations. Silently say to yourself “in” as you inhale and “out” as you exhale. Even taking a few minutes to do this can help you to calm down and allow your mind to refocus.

When we’re unmotivated, our momentum starts moving in the other direction. Slow down that momentum by trying one of the ideas above. Once you’ve slowed down the momentum, get it moving in the right direction and you’ll be well on your way.

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