When I was about to leave everything in Sweden and move to NYC, these doubts popped up in my head:
- But what if I don’t make any friends?
- What if I don’t like it there?
- What if I don’t make any money?
- What if I have to go back to Sweden and everyone sees that I’m a failure?
Here’s what I’ve come to learn about self-doubt:
- Everyone has it.
- Everyone who’s ever succeeded with anything has felt like this and followed their dream ANYWAY.
Life is about doing things DESPITE the feeling that we might fail.
I’ve developed a tactic to overcome this voice.
How to overcome the voice of self-doubt
I learned that there was only one way to deal with self-doubt:
I had to accept that those thoughts were there, but CHOOSE to act despite them.
I could have an internal dialogue like this:
“David, this isn’t going to work. There’s no point trying”.
“Ok, I understand that you think that way, voice. I’m going to at least TRY anyway”.
I call this doing despite doubt.
I saw a documentary about Jim Carrey the other day. He revealed that his father always hoped to make it as an actor in the USA.
But he decided to take a safer path and stay in Canada, working as an accountant and raise a family.
However, he lost his job at 51. After that, he became bitter.
“Not only was he compromising to raise a family, but when you compromise AND you fail, it really hurts. It hurts even more than failing at what you love.”
You know what else I’ve noticed?
It’s easy to get caught up in what might go wrong. In other words, the DOWNSIDE to doing something.
I’ve taught myself to think as much about the UPSIDE to doing despite doubt.
When I worried about what could go wrong with being better socially, I learned to think as much about what could go right.
I visualized myself a rich social life, having loads of friends, always someone to do fun stuff with and the life I’d always dreamt of.
I even wrote down what my dream life would look like.
That made me realize that the upside was way bigger than the downside – that doing despite doubt was worth it.
Pancake brunch with friends here in NYC.
Now, I’m curious to know: What would the upside to doing despite doubt look like for YOU?
Let me know about a specific thing in your life right now where you doubt yourself!
By writing it down, just like I did, it becomes clearer if it outweighs the risk of failing.
And what’s your conclusion – does doing it outweigh the risk of failing?
I’m excited to read what you’ll write down!