Over-estimating obstacles and under-estimating you. Turn it around – Part 2

08/07/11

Photo by Margaret Durow

This post is about learning how to turn around the pattern of over-estimating your obstacles and under-estimating your own abilities. You can find part 1 here: How to turn obstacles into possibilities, strategies + motivation. In this post we’ll deal with

How to turn self-condemnation into self-confidence, belief & happy dance

1. Finish the sentence “I don’t have what it takes to achieve [my dream]  because…” Let it all flow right out on the paper. If you’re anything like me, this list will be pretty long. Don’t stop and look at what you’re writing, just get it out. Don’t judge yourself at this point, just give yourself space to feel what you feel. Try to be kind to yourself now, feeling inadequate is challenging and painful, and you don’t need your inner critic to add to the pain. Here is what this might look like:

I don have what it takes to move abroad for a year because I’m scared, I’m bad at applying for jobs, I hate interviewing, I only speak one language, I find it hard making new friends, I’m easily confused when it comes to paper-work, I don’t even know which country I’m moving to, I’m not sure if this is the right thing, I’m terrible at saving money … etc. etc. etc. +++ This list certainly goes on and on and on. And ON.

2. If you’re finding point 1 challenging, it might be a good idea to let this list be for a while before you go to step 3. Give yourself some breathing room and kind relaxing time.

3. Now look at what you have written. Is it really true? Can any beliefs about your own abilities be proven wrong by past achievements? Look for that tiny little thought who will whisper to you sofly that you’ve got it all wrong. It might be a good idea to do this step with a friend you trust. Or even imagine what your friend would say. Can it be that you’ve already got what it takes after all? Or that you can achive your dream withouth being perfect?

4. Look at the list of people who have already done what you want to do. What makes them different from you? What do you have in common? How do you think these people used their strengths? How did they come around their weaknesses?

5. Now complete the sentence “I have what it takes to make [my dream] come true because…” This is where you dive all into your strengths and sneak past your weaknessess and fears. Don’t limit yourself to only strenghts related to the dream in question. How about writing a list of all the things you’re good at? This will help you build confidence. It might look like this:

I have what it takes to move abroad for a year because I’m brave, I learn easily, I’m good at adapting to new environments, I aced all my language classes so I learn languages easily, I can get to know people online, I can ask for help with the paperwork, etc. etc.

Over to you: what is your most important strength that will help you reach your goal?


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