Self doubt is one of the biggest obstacles that we have to overcome in order to be successful.
Firstly, self doubt can actually stop us from trying, because we believe we will fail, so we prefer not to even try.
“Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt.” ― William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure
Secondly, self doubt can hinder our actual performance: even though we have decided to give it a go; have done all of the preparation; self doubt can creep back in, can make us lose focus and under perform.
Last week, when I participated in the Bonn Half Marathon after about 1km, I felt a slight twinge in my calf, and it made me wonder what it was, and whether or not it would stop me from completing the race.
This is crazy, I had run over 1000km in training, I was fully prepared, and my average run over the last weeks was 10km, so how could I have a problem this early in the race, we had barely started.
Simple answer was nerves and self doubt.
When I mentioned the pain to Tarak, my running partner, he said “don’t worry thats normal, I always have slight twinges for the first few km as my body warms up“.
That was a man who had no doubts 🙂
When self doubt kicks in, we start to look for reasons why we will fail, in spite of being fully prepared, 100% fit and ready to go.
Our mind is a powerful tool, and when it starts to look for reasons why not, or why we could fail, it has every chance of finding one.
As we undertake major challenges we should fight against this. We need to have an image of success in our minds, imagine what it will feel like crossing the finishing line.
We need to have confidence in our ability, the preparation we have done, all the training, the early mornings, the late nights.
We need to trust in ourselves. We need to focus our minds on success, use that powerful tools to focus on ways to succeed.
As Henry Ford says, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.”
So in the end success comes down to our choice, do we believe we can or not!
Make the right choice and success will be yours!