6 Ways to Combat Doubt and Uncertainty
You know it all too well: that sinking feeling that you’re not good enough, that you don’t have what it takes to succeed, or that you won’t be able to navigate this next chapter. Even for the most confident people in the world, there are inevitable times when doubt and uncertainty creep in and seem to take over your mind, body, and spirit.
This negative way of thinking can result from both external and internal forces. Perhaps you got passed up for a promotion or your group of “friends” didn’t invite you to a weekend getaway they shared on social media. Maybe you’re watching the state of the world change in ways that bring up fear for what’s next. It might be deeper than that, too. Perhaps you’ve held a life-long belief about yourself that you are stupid, ugly, or a bad person—undeserving of love or respect.
Regardless of how it shows up, doubt and uncertainty can be debilitating if not addressed head-on and swiftly. It can lead to additional feelings of:
Don’t let negativity win. Here are five ways to combat doubt and uncertainty so that you can claim a life of strength and resiliency.
Ground Yourself in Reality
Thoughts that lead to self-doubt and uncertainty are most likely not rooted in the reality of where you actually are. Thoughts like that come from places of insecurity, stories, and lies, not honoring who you are and how far you’ve come. In the moment though, it can be difficult to remember what is the truth.
Prepare for those moments by creating a Self I.D. Card that can remind you of your true identity and core competencies. Take a 3×5 index card and complete the follow sentences:
- My name is…
- I grew up in…
- I am gifted at…
- I am loved by…
- I am uniquely me and have nothing to fear.
You can refer to your I.D. card anytime you feel doubt and uncertainty creep in.
Recognize That You’re Not Alone
Trust in the fact that you are not the first person to experience doubt and uncertainty, and that you will certainly not be the last. Everyone experiences feelings of uncertainty and fear of “not being good enough” at times—even the most successful people in the world. The simple fact of knowing that you are not alone can help those feelings dissipate.
Take a moment to step back and breathe. Calm your nerves by recognizing that this is a temporary state of being. The anxiety you feel cannot harm you, and you are not destined to feel confused, bewildered, and insecure for the rest of your life.
Practicing pranayama—deep, mindful breathing—can help center your being and has been proven to reduce anxiety and depression and decrease feelings of stress and overwhelm. You can find instructions for simple breathing techniques here.