We all have a dream. But, for most of us, self-doubt stands in the way as a gatekeeper blocking us from realizing it.
Landing that dream role, whether it’s your dream job as an animator, to build your own business making a living as a carpenter, or something else altogether can take an incredible amount of persistence and self-belief.
It’s not the outside world so much that keeps us from realizing that dream, although it can and often does play a part, it’s we who hold ourselves back.
Self-doubt is a tricky bugger as while some of our doubts lie resting at the surface much of it sits hidden beneath the surface in our subconscious mind with us unable to view it clearly without great work.
Fortunately, you don’t need to know all the ways you doubt yourself and what those subconscious doubts might be, you just need to develop enough confidence to break through them.
I have many moments of self doubt. Everybody does.
– Margot Robbie
Here’s how to overcome self-doubt and land that dream role.
Know, and follow, your passion
Your passion is important for two reasons.
First, if you know your passion then you can pull from the energy that your passion gives you to help you push through that self-doubt and take action towards your dream despite it. What your passionate about you’re excited about and that energy is incredibly powerful.
Second, following that passion vs. something else you’re not passionate about gives you unlimited persistence. If you don’t land that first dream job opportunity or that first business is a flop, the love you have for your work can allow you to persist in the face of failure because it becomes about doing the work you love as opposed to proving yourself. However, with persistent work, you inevitably become more confident.
Get clear on your why
Getting clear on your reason, or your “why”, is perhaps the single most important thing to do if you’re trying to overcome self-doubt and realize your dream.
Turning self-doubt into confidence takes time, but most of the things that allow you to do that require you to get yourself up and get to work. The question then is how do you motivate yourself to do the work when you’re not confident in your own ability?
For that, you need another power, something other than confidence that can allow you to charge forward despite the doubt and the fear: your “why”.
Knowing why you want something, or why you’re doing something, and having great clarity about that vision and your desire, is the greatest motivator that exists. Nothing moves us to take action beyond all other negative forces like knowing clearly what is driving you to accomplish your goal.
Examples of your why could be:
- I want to help my family live a better life
- I love my work and want to live in a way that I can devote my life to that work (your passion can be your why if you know what’s driving you toward it)
- I want to become financially independent and retire by a young age
- I want to help my parents retire
- I want to help as many people as I can in my lifetime
Find confidence in gradual, daily improvements
Confidence and self-doubt work like a staircase.
Imagine the staircase as the path to your dream and your ability to ascend the steps as your confidence. You might have a certain small level of confidence that will take you passed the first few steps. However, once you get to a certain point you feel like turning back because you don’t believe you can traverse any further. You’ve now reached your self-doubt.
Once you find your self-doubt, you can “manufacture” or build more confidence by focusing on gradual, daily improvements.
In the beginning, something as simple as:
- Getting words on a page
- Putting together a plan of all the skills you need to develop to get your dream job
- Signing up to a class, or
- Getting an online course can get you started in the right direction
Each day, set a goal to take another tiny step forward. Over time, you’ll notice your confidence build until you’re willing to tackle that thing you were willing to do before.
Continue from there to build more confidence to help you ascend further up towards the stairway to your dream.