Has any of us here observed that when you are eating, you become filled up once you think you are. Its not because you are no longer hungry or that your stomach is filled up. But because your mind has made the executive decision that you no longer need food. This is why it is said that the mind is the most powerful weapon a person has.
What then is the ‘You’ obstacle. This is the problems that we cause for Ourselves, This may be physical or mental. The physical ‘You’ obstacles
are those problems that are created by our hands. When a person steals alot, that can be said to be the person’s obstacle. Also fighting and other bad habits are ‘You’ obstacles that will prevent a person from moving forward.
The mental ‘You’ obstacle is the most powerful because it’s in your mind. Fear, self doubt, low self esteem, procrastination etc. For me, the most powerful is self doubt. This is because it can lead to every other obstacle to your progress. Self doubt has the power to create fear, low self esteem etc
Prince EA Said “most of us are afraid of the thief that comes in the night to steal all of our things. But there is a thief in your mind who is after your dreams. His name is doubt.,If you see him call the cops and keep him away from the kids because he is wanted for murder, Cause he has killed more dreams than failure ever did. He wears many disguises and like a virus will leave you blinded, divided and turn you into a kinda. kinda is lethal. You know what kinda is? There is a lot of kinda people, you kinda want a career change, you kinda want to get straight A’s, you kinda want to get in shape. Simple math, no numbers to crunch. If you kinda want something, then you will kinda get the results you want“.
Self doubt limits your potentials, it removes you from all the ideas you have because you are always second guessing yourself, always looking for approval and in your mind, nothing you ever do is good enough. I know we all have felt it before, that height we wanted to attain but we reduce it because we dont trust ourselves to see it to the end, that project we want to start but abandon it because it’s not better than the other guy’s own. That grade you want to get but you limit it because you dont believe you can make it. All these and more are ways we allow the ‘YOU‘ Obstacle (Self doubt) to prevent us from reaching were we are meant to be.
Self doubt can be brought about by other people’s negative comment about you. But i want to tell you something, there has never being any statue made for a critic, no world best Football pundit has ever being awarded in the FIFA Ballon d’ or, and never have I had of best judge in MTN project fame. Moral of the story is, nobody’s opinion matters except God and yours. So why be worried about what people will say.
Do you know that Television Executives fired Oprah Winfrey because they said she was not fit for TV. Therefore, other people’s opinion about you is all that it is, their opinion.
I wrote a poem very recently about ‘the next guy‘ and this is an extract from it:
“This is my message to you, You are just the next guy”
Rejoice in the knowledge that a wise man once said “Struggle and criticisms are prerequisites for greatness. That is the law of this universe and no one escapes It”
Another way self doubt creeps in is Failure and fear of Failure. As a law student, most of course mates including me find solace in the wisdom that Gani Fahwenmi graduated with a 3rd class. Just like there is no smooth mountain, there is no success without a tiny bit of failure and lets tell ourselves the truth, testimony in church is more interesting when the person talks about all the failure and struggle they faced before the testimony came.
Therefore take failure as a stepping stone to your success. The above are the leading cause of Self doubt
HOW THEN DO WE OVERCOME SELF DOUBT
First of all, I will like to say that there is no quick fix, it’s not like those American movies where everything works out after a day’s practice. Infact it might take you a whole lot of time and self discipline to overcome the power that is self doubt.
My solution will be in two folds,
>The one I got after days of research
>And how I worked on my own self doubt
1. Stop Making Excuses: Self-doubt often makes us rationalize a situation to fit our emotional state. We may be afraid to fail, afraid to look bad, afraid to take on more than we think we can handle. So we become adept at making alot of excuses for why an opportunity that presents itself isn’t a good fit.
As Steven Pressfield says in ‘Do The Work! Overcome Resistance And Get Out Of Your Own Way’ –“The enemy is our chattering brain, which, if we give it so much as a nanosecond, will start producing excuses, alibis, transparent self-justifications, and a million reasons why we can’t/shouldn’t/won’t do what we know we need to do.”
Think back on opportunities you turned down. What reasons did you give yourself? Were these legitimate reasons or just excuses? Excuses are mental barriers we erect that hold us back.
2. Stop Asking For Validation: Seeking others input and advice is helpful. However, if you are in the habit of continuously asking others what they think before making decisions on important matters, you might be weakening your faith in yourself.
For example, if you’re working on a presentation, setting up a website or undertaking a new project, and you continue to change what you have created based on feedback you receive, you might end up losing your voice and the end product becomes a diluted version of you. Take some advice, but at some point, make a decision on what feel is right for you.
3. Celebrate that small step and win: When you’ve taken one small step forward and you’re done with it then you have a win. It may be a small one but it’s still a win. So celebrate it . And that will push self-doubts aside so that you can keep moving and get more small and bigger wins.
MY PERSONAL TRICK
I got this trick while watching am American series titled ‘Lost‘. In season 1. epd 1, when the lead character was asked why he was not afraid after the plane crashed he said. ” When I am afraid or have any doubt, I allow it to overcome me for 5 seconds after which I take over and do the thing am in doubt of or afraid of”.
This is what I do, I allow the fear or doubt to enjoy its 5 seconds and after that, I take the remaining time to do what I want to do. This might not work for everybody because there are some people that will allow the fear to overtake them and they will not be able to take control back. For these people I think the research above is for you. But for those that tries this and it works, then congratulations you have found a quick fix to your self doubt.
Now remember, having self doubt is not the problem because its in all of us, but the inability to overcome self doubt is the single most troubling ‘You’ obstacle because it stops progress.
I will leave you with an extract from one of my works.
Strive to do the impossible“Cause if you succeedThen you become the impossibleBut if you failThen u can say“C’mon its the impossible”
© ATUSIUBA CHUKWUEBUKA T. is a Law student of Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, Anambra State. President, Christian Law students’ fellowship, Director, Academics and study, LIFIN. A blogger, writer and poet.