THE BLOG
01/18/2015 12:18 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

How to Overcome Self-Doubt

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Do you ever feel like you've got a great idea, one that makes you feel incredibly inspired and want to change the world? But then once you start working on your idea, you lose steam and start doubting yourself?

How could I have thought I could do this? I'm not qualified. I'm not an expert. I have no experience. I have no idea what I'm doing.

We've all been there. And we'll all be there again and again throughout life.

The truth is, as soon as we start getting overwhelmed, we feel discouraged. We hit a brick wall. So how do you force your way through that brick wall and knock self-doubt on its ass?

You just keep going.

Sure, sounds simple enough. But anyone who has actually been standing in front of that brick wall knows that it's not that easy. And the longer you stand in front of that brick wall, staring at it, the more intimidating it becomes.

So take a deep breath, and try these techniques:

Pause. If you've run out of steam, maybe it's your body trying to tell you something. When you are feeling overwhelmed, instead of giving up, just take a break. Don't abandon ship, just give yourself a moment. Take a nap. Take a walk. Do something else and come back later feeling refreshed.

Start small. So often, we feel the need to take great leaps and bounds. Every day needs to be filled with productivity. But we reach a point where we get overwhelmed by all the things we have to do. Break it down. No one can do everything all at once. Take a baby step. Once you get going, it will be harder to stop.

Do the thing you're dreading. Often when we get overwhelmed, it's because the task ahead is daunting. There's no easy way around it. The more we think about it, the more intimidated we feel. So stop thinking about it, and just do it. Most of the time, things are never as bad as we imagined them in our minds.

Ask for help. The biggest misconception is that we have to do everything on our own. But that's simply not true. Success never comes without support. So reach out. Call a friend. Ask for advice. Your community will be more than happy to help, and you'll feel better.

Don't give up. This is the most important. Don't walk away just because you get stuck. Do you really want to live your life wondering "what if?" No one wants to live with regrets. Think of what you would say to a friend in your situation. Take your own advice.

Remind yourself why you started. Sit down and make a list of why you wanted to do this in the first place. Why was this important to you? Writing down the reasons will remind you and motivate you to keep going.

Remember that if it's not easy, it probably means it's worth it. The harder you work for something you believe in, the better you will feel about it. And once you learn how to handle hitting a brick wall, it will get easier to deal with the next time around.

What is discouraging you right now, and what are you going to do to overcome it? State your intention in the comments below.