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5 Unexpected Dangers of Self-Doubt

5 Unexpected Dangers of Self-Doubt

As one of the greatest obstacles that hinders humans from fulfilling their dreams, self-doubt is what almost all of us struggle with at some point in our lives. Dozens of experts have written widely on how to overcome this scourge, and philosophers have thousands of quotes on self-doubt attributed to their names. This shows the extent to which self-doubt has become a pervasive issue for humans.

If you’re battling with that persistent voice that keeps telling you how things could go wrong, how you may not have worked it out right, then you’re dealing with self-doubt. Self-doubt can be dangerous to your overall wellness; it is not only physiologically harmful but also harmful in terms of living productively and with emotional and spiritual wellness.

The following are some of the dangers of self-doubt you should know about. I believe if you discover how self-doubt contributes to most of the productivity-related issues we face at work and in life, finding the voice to say NO to it won’t be as hard.

Self Doubt Weakens Your Self Will

Self will is still one of the strongest gift we inherited from God.

Being able to determine that we want or do not want something and being able to go ahead with our decision is not an ability all creatures enjoy. Where self-doubt becomes really dangerous to your self will is when it makes you seek encouragement or an excuse for why you can’t still move forward or for why you’re not able to accomplish a goal.

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The problem with seeking encouragement is it makes you lose your self-esteem. Most of the bravest and most successful people today needed no one to encourage them, in fact most had no one to do so. Giving excuses on the other hand makes you embrace failure, which ultimately crushes your self will.

If you’re looking for a reason to kill that self-doubt, think of how it could damage your self will.

Self-Doubt Breeds Procrastination

Could self-doubt really be the reason the majority of people procrastinate?

Procrastination may seem harmless at first, but when self-doubt begins to creep in and you’re consistently considering starting that first paragraph later, then you’ll begin a long cycle of procrastination that will prevent you from getting anything done.

Hesitation is one of the grandchildren of self-doubt. When people are hesitant about doing something, they procrastinate until they miss out on that opportunity and find an excuse to justify themselves.

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Opens you up to regrets and self pity

When you fail at something, it’s natural to feel emotional about it. The emotional feelings often associated with failure include fear, disappointment, regret, pain and anger. However, many have mastered how to turn these emotions into their strengths and it helps them to move forward.

Self pity and regret will do the opposite.

By giving room for self-doubt, you’ll only allow the two least helpful emotions that follow failure to take control. Regret will make you wish you hadn’t started. Self pity will prevent you from moving ahead.

To prevent self-doubt from keeping your stagnant, fight it and prevent it from breeding other low emotions such as regret and self-pity.

Self-Doubt Kills Personal Growth

Self-doubt prevents us from experiencing personal growth.

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We often experience our greatest moment of personal growth and fulfillment when we give ourselves the freedom to pursue that which we desire without the fear of failure or worries over what other people might think about us.

When you begin to doubt your ability to achieve your dreams and fulfill your desires, you’re consciously preventing yourself from experiencing growth.

Hinders Creativity

Creativity is one of the greatest natural resource tools we humans can always tap into. It’s what helps us to create the most precious things we admire and work hard to achieve our dreams. It’s what helps us to design a way out of unfavorable situations.

But self-doubt will effectively shut down our ability to think creatively.

Self-doubt makes you question the rationality behind your ideas and prevents you from being bold enough to show your most creative ideas. At its worst, it makes you totally unable to see a way forward in tricky situations.

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Conclusion

Doubt is a part of being human. This is a normal experience that we’ll face as we navigate through the several stages of our lives, but it should not be given the power to determine our success. By recognizing the dangers of self-doubt, you can fight its ill-effects more easily.

Are you battling with self-doubt? Will knowing about the dangers of self-doubt make it easier for you to overcome these challenges? If you have any personal experiences with self-doubt, or ideas about dealing with self-doubt, we’d love you to share in the comments below.

Featured photo credit: Majo Gordillo via flickr.com

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Last Updated on August 16, 2018

16 Productivity Secrets of Highly Successful People Revealed

16 Productivity Secrets of Highly Successful People Revealed

The same old motivational secrets don’t really motivate you after you’ve read them for the tenth time, do they?

How about a unique spin on things?

These 16 productivity secrets of successful people will make you reevaluate your approach to your home, work, and creative lives. Learn from these highly successful people, turn these little things they do into your daily habits and you’ll get closer to success.

1. Empty your mind.

It sounds counterproductive, doesn’t it?

Emptying your mind when you have so much to remember seems like you’re just begging to forget something. Instead, this gives you a clean slate so you’re not still thinking about last week’s tasks.

Clear your mind and then start thinking only about what you need to do immediately, and then today. Tasks that need to be accomplished later in the week can wait.

Here’s a guide to help you empty your mind and think sharper:

How to Declutter Your Mind to Sharpen Your Brain and Fall Asleep Faster

2. Keep certain days clear.

Some companies are scheduling “No Meeting Wednesdays,” which means, funnily enough, that no one can hold a meeting on a Wednesday. This gives workers a full day to work on their own tasks, without getting sidetracked by other duties or pointless meetings.

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This can work in your personal life too, for example if you need to restrict Facebook access or limit phone calls.

3. Prioritize your work.

Don’t think every task is created equal! Some tasks aren’t as important as others, or might take less time.

Try to sort your tasks every day and see what can be done quickly and efficiently. Get these out of the way so you have more free time and brain power to focus on what is more important.

Lifehack’s CEO has a unique way to prioritize works, take a look at it here:

How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

4. Chop up your time.

Many successful business leaders chop their time up into fifteen-minute intervals. This means they work on tasks for a quarter of an hour at a time, or schedule meetings for only fifteen minutes. It makes each hour seem four times as long, which leads to more productivity!

5. Have a thinking position.

Truman Capote claimed he couldn’t think unless he was laying down. Proust did this as well, while Stravinsky would stand on his head!

What works for others may not work for you. Try to find a spot and position that is perfect for you to brainstorm or come up with ideas.

6. Pick three to five things you must do that day.

To Do lists can get overwhelming very quickly. Instead of making a never-ending list of everything you can think of that needs to be done, make daily lists that include just three to five things.

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Make sure they’re things that need to be done that day, so you don’t keep putting them off.

7. Don’t try to do too much.

OK, so I just told you to work every day, and now I’m telling you to not do too much? It might sound like conflicting advice, but not doing too much means not biting off more than you can chew. Don’t say yes to every work project or social engagement and find yourself in way over your head.

8. Have a daily action plan.

Don’t limit yourself to a to-do list! Take ten minutes every morning to map out a daily action plan. It’s a place to not only write what needs to be done that day, but also to prioritize what will bring the biggest reward, what will take the longest, and what goals will be accomplished.

Leave room for a “brain dump,” where you can scribble down anything else that’s on your mind.

9. Do your most dreaded project first.

Getting your most dreaded task over with first means you’ll have the rest of the day free for anything and everything else. This also means that you won’t be constantly putting off the worst of your projects, making it even harder to start on it later.

10. Follow the “Two-Minute Rule.”

The “Two-Minute Rule” was made famous by David Allen. It’s simple – if a new task comes in and it can be done in two minutes or less, do it right then. Putting it off just adds to your to-do list and will make the task seem more monumental later.

11. Have a place devoted to work.

If you work in an office, it’s no problem to say that your cubicle desk is where you work every day.

But if you work from home, make sure you have a certain area specifically for work. You don’t want files spread out all over the dinner table, and you don’t want to feel like you’re not working just because you’re relaxing on the couch.

Agatha Christie never wrote at her desk, she wrote wherever she could sit down. Ernest Hemingway wrote standing up. Thomas Wolfe, at 6’6″ tall, used the top of his refrigerator as a desk. Richard Wright wrote on a park bench, rain or shine.

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Have a space where, when you go there, you know you’re going to work. Maybe it’s a cafe downstairs, the library, or a meeting room. Whenever and wherever works for you, do your works there.

12. Find your golden hour.

You don’t have to stick to a “typical” 9–5 schedule!

Novelist Anne Rice slept during the day and wrote at night to avoid distractions. Writer Jerzy Kosinski slept eight hours a day, but never all at once. He’d wake in the morning, work, sleep four hours in the afternoon, then work more that evening.

Your golden hour is the time when you’re at your peak. You’re alert, ready to be productive, and intent on crossing things off your to-do list.

Once you find your best time, protect it with all your might. Make sure you’re always free to do your best uninterrupted work at this time.

13. Pretend you’re on an airplane.

It might not be possible to lock everyone out of your office to get some peace and quiet, but you can eliminate some distractions.

By pretending you’re on an airplane, you can act like your internet access is limited, you’re not able to get something from your bookcase, and you can’t make countless phone calls.

Eliminating these distractions will help you focus on your most important tasks and get them done without interruption.

14. Never stop.

Writers Anthony Trollope and Henry James started writing their next books as soon as they finished their current work in progress.

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Stephen King writes every day of the year, and holds himself accountable for 2,000 words a day! Mark Twain wrote every day, and then read his day’s work aloud to his family to get their feedback.

There’s something to be said about working nonstop, and putting out continuous work instead of taking a break. It’s just a momentum that will push you go further./

15. Be in tune with your body.

Your mind and body will get tired of a task after ninety minutes to two hours focused on it. Keep this in mind as you assign projects to yourself throughout the day, and take breaks to ensure that you won’t get burned out.

16. Try different methods.

Vladimir Nabokov wrote the first drafts of his novels on index cards. This made it easy to rearrange sentences, paragraphs, and chapters by shuffling the cards around.

It does sound easier, and more fun, than copying and pasting in Word! Once Nabokov liked the arrangement, his wife typed them into a single manuscript.

Same for you, don’t give up and think that it’s impossible for you to be productive when one method fails. Try different methods until you find what works perfectly for you.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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