Sometimes I feel like there’s so much opportunity in the world. There’s so much time to get things done. I am capable of a huge amount of things. It’s literally there for the taking.
But, that’s like 5-10% of the time. In fact, it almost surprises me when I feel like that. It sort of comes from nowhere, and I know it’s going to disappear soon.
The rest of the time is either feeling neutral or self doubt. Who am I to have these ambitious feelings? Why do I deserve or have what it takes to do something special? I’m just one person out of billions in this world.
I’ve been in C level leadership roles for over 10 years feeling like this. I’ve helped transform companies and teams feeling like this. I’ve coached Executives feeling like this. I created a business from scratch that did over $1M annual revenue feeling like this.
As you can see, I don’t let it paralyse me. Momentum usually shoves me forward. Either that, or I drag myself forward – one way or the other. I fake it when it’s needed. But, man, does it feel like the handbrake is on at times. It’s exhausting. Even though I don’t let it paralyse me, it does hold me back at times.
I swear, I’ll never stop trying to be more confident. I’ll read and listen to anything on mindset I can get my hands on. Find people who cracked the code and learn what helped them. Learn techniques to turn crappy thinking and bad energy into confidence and optimism. Surround myself with people who inspire me and lift me up. Whatever it takes to get that percentage up.
I mean, it’s that or give up right? There’s no choice there.
I wonder how many people feel like this? I suspect that even the most confident people feel like this sometimes. Just less. And maybe by default they have a better set of tools to cope with these feelings and nip things in the bud.
On that note, here is a list of things that have helped me. Maybe they’re useful to you.
- Be active, every day. It’s a complete mood shifter. When I go through periods of being inactive, I struggle with self doubt more.
- Sleep enough. Track it. Seven hours is a good number to shoot for. Below six is bad. When I run into a few days of poor sleep, things get harder.
- Consider your relationship with alcohol. At least for me, I had to cut it out of my life.
- Surround yourself with people (in real life and online) who are confident and optimistic. When I’m around people like this, it keeps me on the right side of things. I have fewer self belief episodes and I work my way out of them quicker.
- Figure out what self care works for you. Set yourself some rules and do your best to be consistent with them.
- Notice when you’re starting to get stuck in a negative loop. The earlier you spot it, the better. As soon as you find yourself there, do something to interrupt it as quickly as you can. That can be movement, getting outside, taking some deep breaths, a mantra, meditation – fill in the blank. Whatever works for you.
- Try and take yourself less seriously. Life is short. Most of the bad stories we make up in our heads are grossly exaggerated. And they usually aren’t the most important things anyway. Health, family, friends and experiences are all more important than success, work, and money (at least for me). Remind yourself of what’s truly important, and things get easier.
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