Whenever I was about to try something where I had the chance of failing, these thoughts popped up in my head:
– “What if A, B, or C happens and I mess up??”
– “It probably won’t work because of X, Y, or Z”
– “What if I try it and realize that I can’t and I’m a loser?”
– “What if everyone sees that I’m a failure?”
For example, when I was about to leave all my friends in Sweden and move to NYC, those good ol’ questions popped up.
– “But what if I don’t make any friends? What if I don’t like it there? What if I have to go back to Sweden and everyone there realizes that I’ve failed?”
Here’s what I learned about self-doubt by moving to NYC:
1: Everyone has this self-doubt
2: Everyone who’s ever succeeded with anything has felt like this and have followed their dream ANYWAY.
Life is about doing things DESPITE the feeling that we might fail.
Isn’t it crazy in a way that we let our entire lives be dictated by a fantasy voice telling us it won’t work? And we go “Oh, yeah, you’re right, fantasy voice. I ditch all my dreams because it might not work”.
There’s only one way to prove the voice wrong: By doing it anyway.
I get a reality check every time I send out a survey asking about your most pressing problems.
Some problems (that people think are unique to them) I hear almost identically expressed from dozens and sometimes even hundreds of others.
Here’s one example:
– “Others would think it’s strange if I suddenly change. It might work for others, but my friends would think it’s awkward.”
Almost everyone feels like this.
For me, It helped when I realized that people don’t think it’s weird if we become more talkative, confident, calmer, more high energy, or whatever.
Because they’ll just attribute it to mood. Actually, most people respond A LOT more positively when you improve your social skills.
What I first thought people were thinking: “David’s the weirdest person ever. He’s usually quiet, now he talks a lot. He’s so strange”.
In reality, they were thinking: “Nice that David’s talkative today. Maybe he’s in an unusually good mood”.
– “What would others think?” is a prime example of a thought that pops up in our head just because we are afraid.
If there’s one thing that has helped me through life, it’s knowing that I can actually do things despite feeling like I will fail.
I remember when I started to go from an awkward and stiff David to where I am today.
People wanted to hang out and I got involved in all sort of things and got to know new amazing friends.
Have you done something even though you felt like you wouldn’t make it? Let me know in the comments!
1. Impact Of Positive Self-talk: Kamal Chopra- University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Education
2. The Nature Of Rapport and Its Nonverbal Correlates: Linda Tickle-Degnen
3. Attention Processes in the Maintenance and Treatment Of Social Phobia: Hypervigilance, Avoidance and Self-focused Attention
4. Stability in Flux: Community Structure in Dynamic Networks: John Bryden-Sebastian Funk-Nicholas Geard-Seth Bullock-Vincent Jansen