We all have times of doubt. Most recently, during an early morning run that I was finding particularly difficult, I began to doubt how I would/will ever survive the marathon I’m about to start training for. That doubt led me to start worrying about all the “what if’s” of training and to be honest…it sucked.
Then I came up with the idea that I could use my doubt to motivate myself, and so I started putting this blog post together in my head.
I feel most of us can agree that when you think of something being a motivator, it’s usually something positive. Maybe it’s the promise of receiving a scholarship or grant that motivates a student to work hard, or maybe it’s watching someone become active and healthier that motivates someone else to do the same. There’s no question that positivity motivates people.
On the other hand, doubt has a negative connotation, and people would prefer to rid their lives of additional negativity.
I agree that doubting yourself can be harmful. Let’s say you have a goal to lose 50 pounds, and then you slip up on your diet/exercise regime. It would make sense to doubt your intentions, lose focus, and give up your goal. But that means you let doubt and negativity win.
Using doubt as a fear or excuse will certainly bring you down, so I ask you to change that mindset, because I believe doubt can be used in a positive way.
So how can you use doubt to your advantage?
Instead of letting doubt hold you back, think of doubt as being a challenge, or an opportunity to rise above, and use it as a way to push harder. It’s a matter of changing negative thoughts into positive ones, and though it may not be easy..it will certainly be worth it!
Personally, when I think of the fact that I registered for a FULL marathon and have never run more than 25km, it scares the hell out of me! Training hasn’t even “officially” started and I’ve doubted myself about a thousand times. But then I realized that doubting myself is a great reason to prove to me (and any doubters I have in the world) that I WILL run the marathon, and I CAN succeed. I accept my doubt as a challenge to continue with my training, run the race, and then look back and be proud that I didn’t let doubt hold me back.
So next time you start doubting your goals/aspirations/etc, don’t fear it. Recognize that you can either use it in a negative way and let the doubt keep you from pursuing the things you want to achieve, or use it as a wake up call to do what you set out to in the first place.