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5 Steps to Moving Forward Despite Self-Doubt

Updated: Jul 5, 2022

I am currently stuck looking back. I don’t want to be in the past and I am proud of my move I made, but I fear my future. I’m scared, because I have entered unknown territory, and I don’t know how it is going to work out.

Does this sound familiar?

The first phase of a new adventure is always scary. Our minds have nothing to compare the experience to. The negative stories start to creep into our heads: I am not smart enough, I am not capable, Who am I to do this, and our self-doubt begins to rise.

The question becomes, How do we get unstuck from this negative thought pattern? The answer: Dance with the negative thought.

First, remember why you made the move. What pushed you to make the change? Write that reason down, look at it, remember it, repeat it to yourself. We are often really clear on the Why behind a decision before we make it, but then lose sight of the Why when we are in the middle of making that decision work. Having a visual and mental reminder can serve as your guiding light out of your negative minefield. mind field.

Second, ask yourself: Are your negative thoughts stemming from a fear of external comparison? We spend so much time worried about what others are thinking of us. To help fix this thought pattern, remember: (1) most people are not thinking about you; (2) if they are thinking about you, it is likely not as negative as you are telling yourself; and (3) they are not living your life, paying your bills, and showing up for your family, so don’t give them the power to influence your decisions.

Third, ask yourself: If this decision doesn’t work out, what is the worst-case scenario? Now, imagine that worst-case scenario happened. What would you do? Identifying and visioning the worst-case scenario occurring and then planning for how you would respond can provide you comfort that assuming you don’t die, you can move forward.

Fourth, ask yourself: If this decision works out the best possible way, what does that look like? How does that make you feel? Capturing how you would feel if this worked out starts to anchor that positive feeling to the decision. Each time self-doubt creeps up, take a few minutes, close your eyes, and capture the best-case scenario in your mind and let that feeling come over you.

Finally, and most importantly, keep moving forward. If the decision has been made and you are in this new situation, then move forward each day doing the key things you need to be successful. It is important you know what those key things are and begin doing them daily, weekly, repeatedly. Said another way: Consistently do the work.

Sitting in the negativity will only breed negativity; the longer you sit, the harder it is to take the steps you need to move forward.

Moving forward refocuses your brain on the task at hand, and getting things done starts to build your confidence. As your brain starts to see you can figure out how to do something you have never done, it begins to create a reference point. When you successfully complete tasks on a consistent basis, your brain begins to have experiences with which to compare.

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