A Coaching Power Tool Created by Daniel Bass
(Executive Coach, CHINA)
Very often, the difference between implementing a good plan and staying in inaction is as simple as not listening to that little voice in your head saying “you can’t”. This is what overcoming self-doubt is all about, learning to ignore or shout down the voice that is limiting you.
Imagine you are standing on top of a 50 meter tower, tied to your feet is a long rope, a bungee rope. You stand on the edge of the tower, preparing to jump. Exactly at that moment, at that point in time, your mind begins to express fears. “What if the rope breaks?” “What if you are too fat?” “What if…?”. The nagging voices begin to assault you, as you stand more and more nervously on the edge, next to you the operator is urging you to jump, or to give up. You mind tosses and turns, like a panicky animal fighting itself. Do you jump, or do you give up?
This is a perfect illustration of the process that your mind goes thru whenever facing a challenge, or a change. The “what if’s” are your self-doubts being expressed, and they often limit you from reaching your goal.
I have experienced the actual bungee jump several times, and each time I go thru the same doubts, and each time I overcome them, I am able to jump, and have a wonderful experience – I really enjoy the exhilaration of the free fall. Yet, I could easily miss out on this great experience if I give up and listen to the negative voices that plague our mind saying “what if…”.
This voice in our head that tells us we “can’t”, for a variety of reasons, is what moves us from action to delay, from taking action to procrastination. This can take the form of fear or of excuses that you give yourself to not do this action.
For example, you may want to start your new business, but think about “what will happen if I fail?” or “I am not really sure that this will work out”. Or you want to exercise, but tell yourself that today you are really busy, have a heavy workload, are a bit sick, etc. These are the negative thoughts that may arise to give yourself an excuse to not start your business or to go to the gym today.
When we overcome these doubts, we are able to realize our goal. In the bungee case, that is being able to take the plan (to go on a bungee jump) into action (actually jump). What is your “bungee jump”? And how can you overcome your self-doubt?
The first step is to realize you have two voices inside you, the negative one that nags at us and tells us we can’t, and the positive one that encourages us and tells us we can. For many of us, the “we can’t” voice tends to be louder and stronger and influences us more. Once you recognize the encouraging voice, it can be fed more of your energy. You can build up positive thinking, and your self-confidence, by bringing that voice to the forefront. The best is to focus on your goal, why are you doing this? If you have a clear goal, with strong reasons and true commitment, you can leverage that to overcome your self-doubts, move into confident action, and realize those goals!