In the first two posts of this trilogy, I discussed the “personal growth killers” of Comfort and Fear, which can result in achievers getting “Stuck In Orbit”. The final post will consider the third culprit, Self-Doubt.
Self-doubt is a natural feeling, consistent with achieving ambitious goals.
However, most people do not positively embrace Self-doubt (perceived unworthiness) as a success enabler, so it limits personal growth.
Simple. If you believe that you can not, or should not, achieve a higher level of success…you will not.
(In the blog post “Who Are The Knights At Your Roundtable”, I mention a favorite quote by Napoleon Hill: “What the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve”.)
The Self Doubt mental block can manifest itself in any form of life, including athletics, social or professional.
The easiest way to recognize the destructive power of Self-Doubt is through the repetition of a singular thought:
“I don’t think I am able do it, and I don’t want to fail, so I won’t try.“
Self doubt can be associated with years of conditioning from family members or friends, both of the well-intentioned or negative variety. This concept was discussed in the short “Thoughts From The Farm, 2/26/17”
It could be the result of past frightening or humiliating personal failures, as I experienced in “How Do You Handle Making A Mistake” .
There could be a multitude of valid and legitimate reasons that are far beyond the scope and complexity of this short post, but the question that one needs to address is the following:
“How do I overcome these mental hurdles, and exit orbit on a new adventure?”
Simply realize that self-doubt is natural feeling for the achiever in growth mode. It makes sense.
If you did not have doubts about your ability to reach the next level, then you clearly are not trying to reach…drumroll please….a new level! (You are Stuck In Orbit).
Counter-intuitively, it is the heightened state of mental anguish associated with self-doubt, that alerts you to personal progress, and can be used to achieve extraordinary results.
Most people who decided to “fire the rocket engines” to chase ambitious goals have experienced these moments of quiet panic.
When I read “1776”, a book by David McCullough, I was somewhat surprised to learn about the pervasive doubt and feelings of inadequacy of George Washington in the early days of the American Revolution.
Fortunately, he committed himself (and the nation) to the path of Independence, and eventually grew into the role of General and Commander of The Continental Army, and lead our nation to victory.
Remember, if you were certain that you could do “it”…before you did “it”…then “it” would not count as growth. Right?
Instead you would be “Stuck In Orbit”.
So when Self-Doubt lurks in your shadows, shine the light on it by embracing the feeling, and recognize that you are on the exciting path of growth.