The One Characteristic That Makes It Or Breaks It

At some point after finding your calling, you make a statement to yourself, “I’m good at this, I enjoy this, and I want to pursue this.” This statement is too often forgotten as your attention is divided into many thoughts and distractions. That great feeling of confidence begins to wain as the pressure of multiple tasks sets in, leaving room for a storm of feelings. Shortly after entering this critical state, a big, scary emotion rears its head. That destructive emotion is self doubt.

Self doubt can be set off by a single word or incident, intentional or unintentional, and is fueled by your own inner voice. This powerful emotion can create a rut in your creativeness and responsiveness as a professional, which can lead to miscommunication, poor performance, and disappointment that continues the downward spiral evermore.

Overcoming this ugly emotion is a true test of your self commitment and determination.

Understanding the Moment of Self Doubt

At what point in your pursuit did you become discouraged? When did you tell yourself, “I can’t.” Think through how you reached this low point.

What you will find is that your emotions change during the period where your focus shifts, creating the feeling of stress. This period of transition is vulnerable to outside voices and influences. These factors can put a positive or negative spin to the stress depending on your perception.

Your confidence in your abilities ultimately affects the outcome of your perception. Self doubt will find its way in to your emotions when confidence is low. Only your determination to overcome will get you beyond doubt.

Using Stress to Build Self Confidence

Being able to recognize this stress period and increase your awareness of it will allow you to control stress to your benefit, but only if you believe in yourself. What is paramount to understand is that this stress is self-induced and self-inflicted, it is all within your control. It was your choice to accept the stress created by your tasks. You put yourself in this position to gain, not to lose.

When you control the stress, you can use it as a motivational tool. Use it to achieve a personal or professional goal.

Have confidence in yourself and your abilities.

Have confidence in yourself and your abilities.

Return To Your Enthusiasm

When declining sentiment for your own talents sets in, the hole it creates in your self confidence can feel insurmountable. This is the best time to distract yourself from self doubt by recalling your times of success and accomplishment.

Think of the past, when the odds were not in your favor, but you were able to pull off that win. Think of how you were the underdog that overcame. Think of when you were the triumphant leader held on high. Most of all, remember how your previous self doubt was overcome and how your determination lead you to success.

Daydreaming of past successes can be your own inner encouragement for accomplishing new feats of strength. This is a practice that can rally the positive feelings to fuel your confidence and overcome new obstacles.

Preparing Your Confidence

Be certain that your stress will return, but instead of resenting the stress, learn to use it. Confidence is the most important tool a professional can wield. Your self confidence will lead you to reaching higher, especially when you reach beyond what you may currently feel you are capable of achieving.

Your accomplishments from yesterday and today will fuel your accomplishments tomorrow.

How do you overcome self doubt and build self confidence?
Photography credit to Keri Risse Photography.
  • Robyn Smith

    Chris, your topic affects many would-be successes. Having struggled with this demon many times, here are a few strategies that have helped:
    1. Surround yourself with others who believe in you when you don’t. Listen to them!
    2. For tasks with clearly defined deadlines, beat the overwhelm by working backward from the end.
    3. For more open-ended projects, break intimidating goals down into smaller, manageable tasks.
    I especially like your phrase; “Return to your enthusiasm”. It creates a rejuvenating image to fan that waning spark into flame again. Thanks!

    • http://chrisrisse.com/ Chris Risse

      The trick is to never let the flame die. We forget our accomplishments very quickly compared to our failures.

      • Robyn Smith

        Interesting observation. Any theories as to why this seems to be true?

        • http://chrisrisse.com/ Chris Risse

          I’m not a psychologist in the slightest, but it seems from my own experiences with myself and others that it is human nature to dwell on the negative and cover up the positive. It’s possible that we tend to not want to live up to our expectations of ourselves.

  • http://about.me/idrisbusari Idris Busari

    Wow! Thanks for another interesting post. You have a good quotable that’s going on my wall immediately: “Daydreaming of past successes can be your own inner encouragement for accomplishing new feats of strength.”—Chris Risse

  • http://www.joshuabfarrell.com/ JB Farrell

    When I have self doubt, I usually just need to go do, and have accountability with my spouse and other close friends. When my enthusiasm wanes it is usually because i am not doing what I really love to do. I actually wrote about that experience http://www.joshuabfarrell.com/sometimes-you-have-to/

    • http://chrisrisse.com/ Chris Risse

      When it comes down to it, your family is what matters most. You seem to have found a great balance between work and family and I have to commend you for it.

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