There’s no doubt that Leonardo Davinci is one of the most famous artists of all time. Yet do you know what his last words were before he died? Surely a guy like Davinci would be feeling proud of his achievements and the mark he left on the world right?
Here’s what he said:
“I have offended mankind because my work did not reach the quality that it should have.”
Just ponder that thought for a moment. Leonardo Davinci, one of the greatest painters of all time, world known for his incredible work including the Mona Lisa and The last Supper – still doubted his abilities.
Doubt powers negative thinking
Doubt is one of the most debilitating things that we have to deal with on a day-to-day basis. If you think about it, doubt gives power to negative thinking. Have you ever noticed how once you start to doubt something, your mind spirals into a negative thought process and before you know it you have successfully talked yourself out of what you were about to do?
Doubt pretends to keep you safe
I have a theory that one of the main reasons that feelings of doubt are so, so powerful, is because they trick you into believing that you’re better off taking the safe option. Here’s an example of a creative thought process that gets attacked when you start to doubt yourself:
The real you: “I’ve always wanted to start a blog. I’m really passionate about Fashion, so I think I’d be good at sharing my fashion tips with others. I’ve always wanted to have a side project like this. I can’t wait!”
The doubting you: “What do you know about blogging? There are already fashion bloggers out there, what’s the point in you starting a blog?”
The real you: “But I really want to do it. I think I’ve got a unique perspective on fashion and some useful fashion tips.”
The doubting you: “Who would read your blogs? What if no one likes what you write? You don’t have any time to start a blog anyway. It would be a big waste of time and you’d only end up an embarrassment”
The real you: “Maybe you’re right. What do I know about blogging? I should probably stick to my day job.”
The doubting you: “Save yourself the hassle. Much easier to just do what you know.”
The real you: “Yep I just don’t have the time now, and I don’t want to risk looking like a fool to everyone who knows me. I won’t bother.”
Does this thought process sound familiar to you? Have you ever had an idea that at first you were really, really inspired about and excited to explore, only to allow self-doubt to creep in and talk yourself out of it?
Doubt is never the safe option
While doubt makes you feel like you’re taking the safe option, that’s not the reality. As human beings the reality is that we like what we know, and doubt feeds our sense of certainty. But is this really what you want out of life? Fast forward towards the end of your life and can you see yourself saying “wow I’m really proud of myself. I lived a really safe life?”
No-one really wants to live a safe life! We may feel like we do, but this is just doubt in action.
Doubt stops you from moving forward
What doubt actually does is to stop you from moving forward in life. It keeps you where you are and stunts your personal growth. It limits you from achieving what’s truly possible for you and it shrinks your own level of happiness at the same time. The saddest thing is that after a while, you end up believing that voice inside your head.
The reality is that often when we push through those feelings of doubt, things are never as scary as we originally thought they would be. I’m sure you can think of a time where you initially doubted yourself, and then proved just how capable you actually are.
You don’t have to doubt yourself anymore
The good news is – the doubtful thoughts inside your head are not who you are as a person. We process over 70,000 thoughts every single day and yet we don’t listen to every single thought – that would be impossible. Without realizing it, we filter our thoughts and choose which ones we listen to and take action on.
So – we actually have a choice about whether we listen to doubt, or we choose to ignore it. Imagine if we could replace those doubtful thoughts with positive, encouraging thoughts. Imagine how different our lives would be?
I would put it to you today that there is nothing inspiring about taking the safe option in life. Today, choose to live your life in a way that will make you proud, happy and inspired about life.
Simple Life Strategies: 5 Ways to Crush Doubt
1. Awareness. The first step is to make a decision today to become more aware of when those doubts are popping up.
2. Interrupt the doubt. Next time you catch yourself doubting your own abilities, interrupt your own thought process and acknowledge the doubt (you could say to yourself – “is that a doubtful thought I’m having there?”)
3. Question the validity of the thought. Ask yourself “Is that thought a fact? Or is it unfounded?”
4. Are you looking for safety? Check in to see if the thought is leading you to take the ‘safe option’ or does it inspire you to try something new?
5. Take control. Remind yourself that we have over 70,000 thoughts every single day – and that it’s your choice today if you listen to this doubtful thought or not.
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