Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work – Thomas A. Edison
Self doubt pops up very unwelcomingly. It prevents us from taking opportunities that would lead to a totally different life – such as applying for a new job, investing in ourselves or nourishing our personal space.
I have been wanting new headphones for quite some time. My earbud ones are old, always fall out and hurt my ears (see the first issue here – the words for quite some time).
Recently, I saw some amazing headphones for sale that looked perfect and I really wanted them. However, I left it for 3 days and in the meantime, they were sold because it was such a good deal.
So now I don’t have new headphones, and I’ll either have to pay more for some or continue to lurk on the Internet in the hope that another pair will come on sale.
So what stopped me?
Questions like is this a good purchase? Should I spend the money elsewhere? Do I REALLY need new headphones? Etc. etc.
This is a completely natural human reaction. There have been incredible opportunities that people have missed due to fear, self doubt or low self worth.
Nolan Bushnell said no to investing $50,000 in Apple – but if he had said yes, he would now own a 1/3 share in the $480 billion company.
Ronald Wayne sold his 10% share in Apple two weeks after it launched – but had he kept his share, it would be worth $40 billion today.
So whilst self doubt is normal, it certainly isn’t helpful.
It’s like we see a solution to our problem or pain like a big golden light from the sun, but then a big black cloud of fears blocks the light, and our situation remains the same.
Let’s use the example of fitness.
You’ve been thinking for a while that you need to get back into a good exercise routine and you feel like you need something to kick you into gear. You see a 12 week challenge come up and think ‘great!’. Then your brain jumps in with things like there’s XYZ coming up, how am I going to fit this is? Work is crazy, how am I going to get to the sessions? I can’t change my eating right now, I’ve got too much going on.
So then you don’t do the challenge, and nothing changes.
So what happened? Fear of commitment? A lack of belief in yourself?
I’m not saying there aren’t external things to consider when making a decision, of course there are. But it’s important to remember that these external factors are always going to be there, and there’s NEVER going to be a ‘right time’ where things are perfectly calm with nothing else going on in life.
A wonderful mentor of mine often says ‘how you do anything is how you do everything’. Chances are, if self doubt is dictating your decisions in one area, then it’s dictating your decisions in all areas.
So believe in yourself, trust your instincts, and when self doubt creeps in sit with it and process it, instead of letting it prevent you from taking the action you really want to take.