When I moved overseas in the 2000s, I lost touch with most popular music in the U.S. I’ve never been able to get back in the popular music groove so when I’m not listening to jazz or blues, I turn to some oldies.
Earlier in the week, I was driving home from DC. Well, driving is a misnomer. I was sitting in traffic when Tin Man by America came on. Yes, yes, this is indeed an oldie but a goodie.
The Chorus says, “But Oz never did give nothing to the Tin Man, That he didn't, didn't already have.”
I bet if you know that song that you started singing it in your head just now, didn’t you?
But, aren’t those lyrics the truth?
I’m one of the odd ones, I suppose. The Wizard of Oz was never one of my favorites. There’s something about those flying monkeys that scared the crap out of me as a child. Still, the movie carries some important lessons. The Scarecrow wanted a brain. The Tin Man wanted a heart and the Lion wanted to be brave. They were on a quest to ask the Wizard to grant them their wishes. In the end, however, they realized they didn’t need some wizard to grant them those traits because they had them all along.
Are you someone who listens to the external voices – the ones that introduce doubt and undermine your confidence? If so, I bet those same voices have kept you from being someone you want to be or doing something you want to do.
Your self-doubt and limiting beliefs will hold you hostage if you’re not careful. They will hold you back when you’re more than capable of achieving your desires.
Self-doubt is a negative emotion and negative emotions have a cumulative effect. They build over time leaving us feeling overwhelmed, stressed, crippled, and make us give up because we can’t find the courage to push through. It is the easiest path but those same doubts are the obstacles that stands between where we are and where we want to be.
The Destructive Nature of Self-Doubt
Your brain is programmable so to turn your self-doubt into an encouraging supporter means you must first be cognizant of your negative thoughts. That helps you reprogram those thoughts. You must let your faith in yourself be greater than your doubt. It’s the garbage in, garbage out theory. If you allow the negativity to enter your mind, it will hijack anything positive that’s already in there.
When we allow self-doubt to take over, we start making excuses for our inability to realize our true potential. When self-doubt rears its nasty head, be sure to:
Recognize the Source of Self-Doubt: If you are weeding your lawn, you quickly realize that if you don’t pluck a weed from the roots, they will keep growing – and they’ll multiply. It’s the same thing with self-doubt. If you can figure out where these beliefs originate, then you can strike them at its core because you can’t tackle it unless you know the source. Your feelings can often override logic so when you break it down, you are able to see the logic and not emotions.
Be Aware of Others Who Introduce Self-Doubt: If other people are introducing self-doubts, use that as fuel for your motivation. It’s hard enough to change your thought pattern, so it’s not easy to control the opinions of those around you. When people are not on the same journey as you are on, they won’t be able to relate to your ideas. Don’t let that weaken you.
Look for Patterns and Develop a Plan: Self-doubt likes patterns. If you see a pattern, you can always sharpen your skills to help you feel more confident. Let’s say that you notice that self-doubt always creeps in before oral presentations or public speaking, you’ve found your pattern. You must develop a plan to boost your confidence in these situations.
Anticipate Obstacles: Now look at your plan and try to identify possible challenges along the way. Who can help you overcome the obstacle? What encouragement do you need? Sometimes a little support is all it takes to get us over the hurdle.
Your self-doubt is only as robust as you allow it to be. Let me say that again because it’s important: Your self-doubt is only as robust as you allow it to be.
The next time you feel self-doubt creeping in, stop it in its tracks. Don’t give self-doubt control. Instead of thinking of reasons you can’t do something, start counting the reasons you can do it. Learn to trust yourself. Don't allow your doubts to control your destiny.
If you want to listen to Tin Man, here you go:
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Johnston Osburn is a Career and Life Coach who helps people turn dreams into realities. After years as a Global Talent Acquisition Professional, she realized how frequently people limit themselves because they lack belief in their abilities. They are afraid to dream, let alone dream big. [...]