How to Overcome Doubt and Fear
When people connect with me, either online or in person they tend to comment on how positive and confident I am. This observation pleases me, as I spend time every single day reflecting on my life and working to stay focused, productive, and confident. When that is recognizable by people who are actually in front of me virtually or live, it just reinforces my commitment to this process.
But if you get into a deeper conversation with me you’ll find that I experience the same doubts and fears of most everyone who is alive. The difference, I believe, is that I face these fears and doubts head on and refuse to allow them to affect my life in a negative way. Learning how to overcome doubt and fear is crucial to the creative and entrepreneurial process.
For example, during the 1990s I developed a fear of driving on winding roads in the mountains or canyons, as well as of driving across bridges. Along with this came a fear of heights. This may seem irrational, but it was terrifying to me at the time. My doctor recommended drugs to reduce my anxiety, but I did not see that as a viable solution. Instead, I gave myself as many opportunities as possible to face my fears and push through them anyway. I would drive back and forth across bridges several times, asking myself aloud what exactly I was afraid of before thinking another thought. I did the same with driving through the hills and canyons, and with going to the top of buildings to see the view from the observation deck.
When it came to my business, I had to overcome doubt and fear about my abilities to serve others as an online entrepreneur. This was especially true with my writing, when I feared what “they” would think when they read my words. I felt that the world was watching my every move, ready to pounce on even the smallest mistake or error. My way to deal with this was to just keep writing and publishing and moving forward.
As writers, we often face fears and doubt about our ability to convey our message to others. I like what Bryan Hutchinson, from Positive Writer, has to say about doubt as a part of our writing and creative side…
“Doubt not only holds us back, but it also makes us do unhelpful things:
Doubt holds us back from taking risks that need to be taken.
Doubt holds us back from thinking we’re good enough.
Doubt holds us back from reaching our true potential.
Doubt holds us back from finding our voice.
Doubt makes us uncertain if we should be writing at all. After all, the dinosaurs probably preferred extinction because they knew you’d try to become a writer.
Doubt makes us seek approval (again and again and again).
Doubt makes us wait for someone to pick us.
Doubt makes us reach for milestone after milestone, ceaselessly stalling until the next one, which will always be too little too late.
You know these are true, because you know your best work is still to come.”
Bryan has even written a book about it, entitled Writer’s Doubt: The #1 Enemy of Writing (and What You Can Do About It) that I highly recommend.
Take a look at what you fear or doubt most in your life, speak it aloud, and then move through it. From personal experience I will tell you that this simple strategy is effective, and will lead you to a place where you ca accomplish most anything you want to in your life.