How to Break Free From the Grip of Self-Doubt & Fear
As we are ending this year and reevaluating how we've spent this year and what we've accomplished, it may seem like we are not where we want or should be. And then the crippling thoughts of self-doubt creep in. Is self-doubt keeping you from living the life you want? Is anxiety holding you back? No longer let self-doubt keep you from being your highest self.
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HOW SELF-DOUBT/ FEAR AFFECTS US.
At times it may feel like it's easier to give in to self-doubt because it can get overwhelming; it can paralyze you from acting. Self-doubt can cause you to question yourself and your abilities. If self-doubt wasn't in the picture, how much would you achieve? Self-doubt is rooted in fear. You may have a fear of rejection, of being judged, or of failure.
STOP DOUBTING YOURSELF/ BREAK FREE FROM THE CLUTCHES OF SELF DOUBT
Your thoughts may be telling you you're not good enough or questioning your abilities. These thoughts are rooted in fear and do not serve you. The thoughts you choose to entertain are how you will see yourself and the world around you.
Stop accepting the thoughts that are not serving you; instead, look at how far you've come. Stop downplaying your achievements, whether small or big; know that you've come a long way. You may not be where you want to be but give yourself credit for making it this far. Once you've realized that you've come a long way, also realize that going after a dream is not easy, but it is worth it. Your dream is worth going after; you do not have to settle because your thoughts have told you, you can't or what if. Playing it safe or settling will only keep you in the same position and will only give in to your fears.
HAVE YOU ASKED YOURSELF WHY YOU ARE DOUBTING?
Did someone tell you, you could not, or maybe someone told you it wasn't possible. These are deep-rooted beliefs that may have come from childhood, learned behaviors, societal norms, or the education system. Have these beliefs stuck with you? Are these beliefs creating thinking traps that may keep you stuck, unhappy, and cause you to suffer? When your thoughts hinder you from being your best self, this is called self-limiting beliefs. Limiting beliefs are thoughts that you feed your mind with about yourself. Learn to recognize your self-limiting beliefs and start changing your story and replacing it with an empowering one. You have a choice on what story you breathe life into.
LISTENING TO OTHERS
It is okay to take advice from trustworthy sources and people to help guide us. The problem comes when you are constantly worried about what others will think of you. Are you worried about pleasing others or not disappointing others? Remember, only you know you, and others may not see your vision or understand your journey. You may be waiting for validation, but what if you never get it? This should not stop you or cause you to downplay yourself. God has placed something in you that only you know it is within you.
"a person may plan his own journey, but the Lord directs his steps."
It is also essential to know that you are not alone in this journey, God has given you the vision, and he will help guide you in where you need to go to accomplish all that you need.
They say comparison is the thief of joy. Unfortunately, social media doesn't make it any easier to stop comparing. Social media is filled with people highlighting their achievements and their best moments. They show you what they want you to see. Life is a journey, and we are all at different journeys in life, and it is not fair to yourself to compare your chapter 2 to someone's chapter 20. Your journey is yours and yours alone; embracing the uniqueness of your journey allows you to appreciate each step you take. Give yourself grace as you take each step.
YOUR MISTAKES DO NOT DEFINE YOU
Mistakes are a part of this journey called life. If we never make mistakes, how will we learn? Your journey may not be a straight path; you may have to exit and stop and start again. Things that you may have started may not be going as planned, and that is okay. Although things may not happen the way you want, maybe something you had planned did not work; this should not hold you back. Your past should not stop you from going after what you want. Your past is just a lesson to help guide you through your present. They say,
" Your past is your lesson, and the present is your gift; the future is your motivation."
FACE IT HEAD-ON
Do you remember how excited you were when you first thought of that thing you wanted to work on before the fear set in? Take yourself back to that time. You saw the possibilities, but the more you thought about it, the fear set in with each step. Because you get invested in the success of your plans, there is a potential to get hurt, which may become a reality. No one likes being hurt or feeling like a failure, the natural thing to do is protect yourself; by playing it safe or giving up because that feeling of fear is uncomfortable. This gives a big win to self-doubt. What about looking at the possibilities instead of focusing on the failures. Like I said before, your journey towards success is not a straight one. There may be some stops and exits on the way to get to your destination. Don't be discouraged by the exits/stops because through those exits/stops come insight from the sites and places you see along the way.
Sometimes we need that push and reminder on the goals that we have set for ourselves. Who you surround yourself with makes a difference because it can make or break the goals that you've set for yourself. Negative people will only fill you with negativity. Watch who you surround yourself with and who you get advice from. Get an accountability partner that will positively help guide you. If you have someone who knows your goals and will keep you accountable, they will remind you of what you need to do when things get tough.
PRAY FOR INSIGHT AND GUIDANCE
You may not believe in prayer. But prayer has helped give me insight and peace in my life.
"Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life."
Like I said earlier, God has put something in you, and to tap into your God-given gift is to talk to the person who has given those gifts to you. Then, God can show you the next steps to take and reveal the root of your fears and self-doubt.
"Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies."
Developing that relationship with God helps tap into your abilities and help discern the things that are best fitting for your journey and your path. God will show you who you were called to be; you were called to be great, so act like it and believe it. Discovering yourself with God's guidance may not always feel good; it may feel painful, it might look messy, but it is freeing to know that the things that were deeply rooted that are not serving you are being uprooted. You are finally planting seeds that will better serve you.
Sometimes we can be our own worst enemies by listening to the thoughts of self-doubt. Remember that these thoughts are not serving you and allowing you to be your best self. Your journey is unique and may not look like a straight path, but that is okay. There are many ways to get to one destination, and that requires grace. So, give yourself grace each step that you take, and ask for God to direct your steps.
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