Doubt is a "double edged sword." Used wisely, it can product great results, but used un-wisely, it can destroy a person.
We all have doubts. In fact, it was doubt that crept into my mind on a certain area of one of my businesses that prompted me to write this post.
Let's start with how doubt can destroy you and your success. Doubt is powerful and can consume you. It can eat at you and sit in your mind - almost like a lead weight around your neck. No matter where you go, it's there. When you doubt yourself in area of your life and let it get the most of you, it will affect you negatively. It is very much like a downward spiral if you let the negativity take over. Your doubt feeds the negativity, the negativity affects other areas of your life and things get worse across more of those areas. This can and will adversely impact you.
This is what happens for most people because they don't know how to use doubt in a healthy way.
Used properly, doubt can fuel you. It can make you look inward and learn more about yourself, your character, and gain strength. You can leverage doubt to your advantage. But how do you do so?
The way I use doubt is to face it head on. If I have doubt creeping into my life in some area and I find myself questioning it or myself - I stop and concentrate on where it is coming from and why? Did I change anything major that caused it? Did I step out of character? Am I not be true to my principles and values? If it is any of those things, it is easily corrected by admitting it and righting the ship. But, if it is not one of those things and is just questioning myself or an area of my life, I make sure to gain perspective. For example, my doubt in my one businesses came from questioning one of my strategies I've used in the business successfully for some time. Recently, it has not worked very well and all the adjustments I tried didn't seem to work or made things worse. So, I stepped away and asked, "Has the market really changed that much or is the market for the strategy acting out of character?" It turns out, it was the latter. The market hadn't changed as a whole, it was just going through a weird patch. So, stuck with the strategy and while things are not fully back to normal, they definitely have gotten more in line and strategy is working again.
If I had let doubt win, I may have abandoned the strategy all together which would have been a horrible decision. Instead, I needed perspective and patience and by utilizing both, I was able to overcome my doubt and get back on track.
As I said in the beginning, you can leverage doubt for good or let it negatively impact you. It is choice, but stepping back, gaining clarity on the situation, and finding perspective will allow you to use to to your advantage and succeed at higher levels.
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