An Obstacle to Success

By: Myrtis Smith

Whether you are starting a business, changing careers, or
heading off on an adventure, it is natural for a little
self-doubt to creep in. Do I really have what it takes to
do this? Will people take me seriously? What will happen
if I fail? Self-doubt can be difficult to overcome. It is
quite possibly the biggest obstacle that individuals must
conquer in order to be successful. The world is missing out
on many great inventions, talented art, and critical
businesses because of self-doubt. People question their
knowledge and ability to the point where they would rather
do nothing than to take a chance. But in the words of Mark
Twain: "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed
by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do.
Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in our
sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."

If you find your own self-doubt hindering your personal
progress, try these tips:

1. Listen to the people around you. Most of us have
friends and loved ones that we can count on to give us
honest feedback. Ask those people to tell you what they
think are your strengths and talents. You will surely get
a laundry list of things that prove you are more than
competent enough to pursue the task at hand.

But here's a
tip: If the people around you can't give you those
motivating messages, that's probably one source of your
problem; you need to upgrade your associations and
surround yourself with more positive, supportive people.

2. Review your track record. Look back on major
accomplishments in your past. Recognize what it took for
you to make those things happen and remember how it felt to
achieve a goal. One of my greatest memories is from the
summer that I completed a 3-day 60-mile walk for breast
cancer. I had sprained my ankle during training and it
never healed properly. When I think back on that experience
I remember my commitment to train every day and my
determination to complete the final day even though I was
limping most of the way. But most of all I remember how good
it felt to cross the finish line. I am able to use that
experience to push me through many difficulties that I
encounter today in building my coaching practice.

3. Identify exactly what you are afraid of. As long as
your self-doubt and fear remain general and nebulous you
will never be able to overcome them. Only by articulating
exactly what it is that you are afraid of, are you able to
develop a game plan to conquer that fear. "I'm afraid of
failing" isn't enough. Dig deeper; figure out EXACTLY
what you're afraid of. Are you scared of being broke,
looking foolish, or not having enough knowledge? Once you
pinpoint exactly what is holding you back, you can create a
strategy to minimize your risk. For example, if your fear
is of being broke, then you may want to pay extra close
attention to the financial part of your business plan and
work to minimize your personal spending. If you fear is of
not having enough knowledge then you want to build your
available resources and have outside experts that you can
draw on.

A little bit of self-doubt or nervousness helps to keep you
humble, but too much self-doubt howeverArticle Submission, can be paralyzing.

"And the day came when the risk it took to remain tight in
a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom."
(Anais Nin )


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