Do me a favor and think back to the first time you ever doubted yourself, and I mean the very first time.
The truth is, you weren't born with doubts about yourself and these thoughts that engulf you about not being strong enough, skinny enough, smart enough are not your thoughts, they are thoughts that were given to you in an external source. It was something that someone put in your head, something that someone made you feel insecure, or self-conscious about. The minute you start to doubt yourself, your mind races to find a scenario that has occurred in your life where that doubt reigns true and it finds multiple references that prove that you in fact, have a reason to doubt yourself.
Here's an example: I was feeling overwhelmed because of an upcoming test in a subject that has proven to be difficult for me. I know that I am smart and capable of performing well, but I think back to the time my accounting professor told me to shoot for a grade much lower that I was capable of because she didn't think I could test at a higher standard. As I sat in a tiny café, studying for the exam that was approaching, her voice echoed throughout my head, and I sat and analyzed all of the times I didn't perform to the highest of my potential. I thought back to the exam sophomore year that I failed because of miscalculations, the lab practical that resulted in a D because I didn't know the specific organisms to the best of my ability, and the list went on and on. I sat there and confirmed the doubt I had in my head by finding scenarios in which my accounting professor was right.
Here's the deal, self-doubt is one of the most toxic things in the entire world. It causes people to not chase after their dreams and say no to opportunities because they don't feel worthy of receiving such things. Honestly, I believe self-doubt is impossible to overcome, so instead you must build something bigger than the doubt. You need to build trust with yourself, and a reputation within yourself by doing the things you say you're going to do.
I can't even begin to count the amount of commitments that I didn't deliver on long term. Promises made to wake up earlier, study harder, and workout more were broken before they even began. So, step one to conquering self doubt is to make a promise today, right at this moment, that you can keep to yourself. Beginning today, stack the game so that you can win and acknowledge when you meet milestones, complete goals, and earn achievements. Build up a confidence momentum, and every time you find that self-doubt is creeping in, immediately say, "That's not my thought, that is someone else's," and move on with being a badass.
Step two to conquering self self is realizing that every day we are met with misconceptions and flawed beliefs that aid in building up our self-doubt. The three main flawed beliefs that I have found to reign true in my life;
1. I am my accomplishments
I won't ever be confident until I receive an A on this test, lose this much weight, graduate from college, secure a job when is actuality this crippling mentality will leave you seeking more and more while finding less and less until you feel the satisfaction that you are seeking.
2. I am what other people say I am
Good or bad, stop letting that dictate your self-confidence. You are not the bad things and you are not the good things that people say about you. Stop living your life for likes and comments and please don't do things to solicit someone saying nice things about you. This belief is cheap, shallow, hollow and fleeting, ultimately causing short term confidence and satisfaction.
3. I am what I look like
How many times have you said, "If I don't look like her, like him, like them, I won't ever be happy." We live in a world that is doing everything in its power to get you to believe that you aren't good enough. Please realize that you are so much more than what you look like. You have beauty in your soul, your spirit, your gifts and your intentions, and no one can take that from you.When you realize that the flawed beliefs and self-doubt that have been pushed into our minds are not true, you will soon realize that you are the only person holding yourself back from a world full of opportunity. Imagine making it to the end of your life and meeting the destiny version of yourself and not recognizing her at all, make a promise to yourself today to chase your full potential.