Each of us is bombarded with many decision-making opportunities each and every day. Some of those decisions we can make quickly without much thought.
However complex decisions are sometimes difficult to make. Many factors can become involved in the decision-making process. Sometimes one of those factors is doubt, specifically self-doubt, and fear.
Let us not get confused here. Doubting is a natural human response to any unfamiliar situation. But self-doubt is about ourselves. Self-doubt is a fear of making a mistake.
Self-doubt has its roots in our previous learning. None of us was born thinking or knowing,
"I can do this"
"I can't do this. "
As we grew up, making decisions, we received information from the environment and those around us. Some of that information was supportive and encouraging. Some of it wasn't.
This is where self-doubt and fear of making mistakes arises, from other people's expectations of us and sometimes even their criticism of us when we've made mistakes.
Responses, or feedback, from those around us, helped, and still does, shape and develop our self-perception, part of which involves our decision-making abilities.
Not every decision we make will be a good one. We all make mistakes in judgment at one time or another. It is humanly impossible to make a good decision every time we decide.
The information that was not encouraging and supportive in our learning is the root of our self-doubt. Many of us, in part because of the external responses we have received throughout our lives, fear making a mistake in our decisions.
When we allow fear to interfere with a decision we are in self-doubt and decisions become that much harder to make.
And when we allow self-doubt to interfere with any decision, we might make, it often can then become a self-fulfilling prophesy. A self-doubting mindset can set us up to fail.
However, there are some steps we can take to minimize, or even eliminate, our self-doubt.
1. The first decision we make is to acknowledge our self-doubt and fear. In doing this we must call it what it is and not something else.
For example, when feel afraid about a decision we made or are about to make don't label the feeling as nervousness or anxiety. It's fear.
2. Secondly, once we have labeled the fear and self-doubt we will want to quantify it. When we quantify we ask ourselves:
"How much self-doubt and fear are we actually experiencing over a decision?"
Establishing the level of the self-doubt helps us to acknowledge how we perceive the gravity of the situation.
3. Just acknowledging the self-doubt can help you cope with it, because once you know what it is you can fin practical ways to cope with it.
4. Fourthly, imagine the worst possible scenario that can result from your decision.
Often the worst-case scenario is embarrassment or humiliation if our decision fails in some way.
Imagining the worst outcome can help us put things in a better perspective and reduce fears and self-doubt. You will realize you can cope with failing if this decision is the wrong one.
5. Next, gather support from those around you and collect information that can assist you in coping with the worst-case scenario. With support and information you will be better equipped to confront your perception regarding the decision.
By addressing the situation you will find that your fear and self-doubt will dissipate. You will know how to cope, should the worst case scenario be realized so it stops being such a big deal.
Most self-doubt and fears about making any decisions are in our imaginary perceptions.
When we confront those perceptions with support and information our decisions will less likely to fail, and so all you really need to get over the self-doubt and fear of making mistakes is to confront that fear and take some steps to deal with the possible outcomes.
Peter Murphy is a peak performance expert. He recently produced a very popular free report that reveals how to crush procrastination and sustain lasting motivation. Apply now because it is available for a limited time only at: stay motivated