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How to Deal with Anxiety and Self-Doubt When Stepping Outside Your Comfort Zone

Don’t let fear hold you back

Team Nas Academy

03 Sep ·

Anxiety and self-doubt are things that we all experience at some point in our lives. But it’s what we do with them and how we deal with them, that makes all the difference.

Self-doubt usually shows up at the worst possible time: In the very early stages of your creative process. Which means, you shut yourself down before you really even get started.

Having constant self-doubts is like going to battle with a monster – and your mind tries to keep you safe inside your comfort zone. But this false sense of safety comes at a cost; it holds you back from opportunities.

How to Deal with Anxiety and Self-Doubt

Where Does Self-Doubt Come From?

Perhaps your poor habits come from negative past experiences, like a time when someone made you feel that you’re not good enough. But, like all habits, it can come from a variety of sources.

Similarly, it’s normal to have anxiety when facing difficult decisions or any type of upsetting circumstances. But experiencing circumstantial anxiety is not the same as when it starts to interfere with your day-to-day life, and starts holding you back from doing what you love.

So, realistically, how can you overcome these tough times and confidently move forward in life? First, know that there is always the option to seek professional help. (Click here for information on mental health support.)

Alternatively, you can try take the following three steps to help you cope with anxiety and self-doubt.

1. Focus on Building Your Self-Confidence Every Day

Developing a healthy level of self-confidence will help you become successful in all areas of your life. It’s one of the biggest things you can do to overcome anxiety and self-doubt. And it’s also a significant factor in your overall health, both physical and mental. You’re much more energetic and likely to try new things when you believe in yourself.

At the end of the day, believing in your capabilities – no matter how big or small the task – is how you strengthen your self-confidence.

How to Deal with Anxiety and Self-Doubt

Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

Comparing yourself to your favorite influencers and celebrities isn’t healthy, we all know this! But it’s just as unhealthy to constantly compare yourself to people in your personal life. If you catch yourself feeling envious of those around you, immediately remind yourself of your own strengths and successes. Everyone is on their own journey, so try to remain focused on yours.

Get Physically Active

Everyone is running short on time these days, but even a brisk 20-minute walk has incredible health benefits – plus it lifts your energy and state of mind. Feel like something’s bothering you? Walk it off! You’re likely to feel accomplished and satisfied, making you more motivated to complete other tasks. All you have to do is start walking a couple of times a week, and you’ll feel an immediate change in your life.

Keep a Journal

Journaling can benefit your confidence in many ways – especially for coping with anxiety and self-doubt. It will help you keep a record of your thoughts, feelings, and experiences for you to look back and reflect on. This will show you all the progress that you’ve made and highlight all of the successes you’ve had along the way! You can use it as a guide for your future self, to show how you’ve already overcome difficult times in the past, and begin to understand your fears better. You can take advantage of these free templates and journal prompts to get started.

Do More Activities That You Enjoy

Do what makes you happy! It makes sense, right? Whether that’s playing the piano, reading a book, drawing a sketch, or riding your bicycle – these activities will naturally boost your confidence and self-esteem, as you master your skills and discover the depth of your talents.

Spend Time With Supportive People

Make an effort to surround yourself with the people who want to see you succeed. How do you know they want you to succeed? Simply pay attention to how you feel around them! Do your friends motivate you – or bring you down? Do they judge you – or accept you as you are? Who you spend your time with will affect your attitudes, thoughts, and beliefs about yourself.

Walk Tall and Sit Up Straight

The way you carry yourself can have a great impact on how you feel. If you’re always slouched and walking with your head down, your attitude will reflect that. Instead, carry yourself with pure confidence, without saying a word! Sit up straight, push your chest out, and show the world that you feel confident in your skin. Experts say that people who walk tall or have good posture are more likely to have a confident attitude – and it has physiological benefits too.

Face (At Least) One of Your Fears

Even the most confident people on the planet have their own fears to deal with. But the secret to facing your fears is realizing that there is no secret – it’s simply learning to just go out there and do it. Start by picking one of your biggest fears that you struggle with. Maybe you are afraid of public speaking because you’re worried that you’ll embarrass yourself. So, start by creating a series of “tests” for yourself.

First, practice a short presentation on your own. Then, do it in front of one of your closest friends. After that, try doing it in front of a couple of your closest friends. By slowly exposing yourself to your fear, in a safe environment, you’ll start to find you become more comfortable with it.

2. Be Extra Careful of Time Spent on Social Media

Social media has many wonderful qualities, but it can also make things much worse when you’re struggling with feelings of self-doubt. While you don’t want to alienate yourself from your online social life, it’s important to consider your relationship with your smartphone and set some boundaries. Here are some simple ways to help you get started:

How to Deal with Anxiety and Self-Doubt

Unplug for 24 Hours

Schedule one day a week, every week, to turn off all your electronic devices for the entire day.

Set Daily Time Limits

Only you can decide what’s a reasonable amount of time to spend on social media, but anything more than 2 hours is considered more than average.

Turn Off Notifications

Instead of allowing your device to command your attention, turn off your push notifications. This way, you have control over when you decide to check your phone.

Be Mindful of Who You Follow

Take the time to assess whether following someone online is triggering you to feel inadequate or less confident in yourself. Curate your feed by unfollowing accounts that negatively impact your mental health. And “mute” those who you can’t unfriend.

Don’t Use Your Phone’s Alarm

It’s easy to pick up your phone in the morning to turn off your alarm, and then find yourself scrolling on social media or answering work emails before you’re even fully awake. This habit can significantly impact the attitude you carry with you for the rest of the day.

Don’t pick up your phone when you first wake up (even if it’s just to hit the Snooze button four times). Instead, buy an old-school alarm clock to place next to your bed. This way, you can start each morning by solely focusing on you and cultivating a confident mindset to tackle the day.

3. Discover Your Best Qualities Through Learning

The importance of knowing who you are is essential for building confidence and getting rid of self-doubt. And the best way to learn more about yourself, is by consciously putting yourself in new environments, and trying new things.

We often think we’re less capable than we truly are, and it’s only when we adopt an openness to learning and change that we can find out what we’re really good at. If you find yourself struggling with what your strengths are and where you best fit into the world, congratulations! You’ve got an epic adventure waiting for you.

Here are some simple things to help you get started on your journey to self-discovery:

Improve On What You’re Already Good At

This approach requires the least amount of trial and error. Maybe you have an area of interest where you’ve found yourself plateauing. Where you’re comfortable and “good at it,” but you’re stagnant. The only way to really learn more about yourself and your strengths is to keep learning and refining those skills.

Just think about the things that come naturally to you – the things that are effortless yet everybody compliments you on. How can you further develop your skills in this area? Try talking to new people in your area of interest, take a workshop from somebody new.

There is always room for improvement, and always something about your craft or strength that you didn’t know before.

This is an easy way to start seeing yourself improve and demonstrate strength and resilience – which will ultimately help you build the confidence to get out there and try new things.

Learn to Develop New Skills

This option does take a lot of trial and error. But the good news is that, fortunately, you’re going to learn a lot of new things about yourself in the process. Nobody can be perfect at everything, but everybody’s good at something. Try new things, sign up for a cooking class, or join a sports club.

Do something that’s so far outside of your areas of interest, and something you know absolutely nothing about. It’s only by putting ourselves in completely new environments and learning about new things that we start to see our different skills, interests, and potential.

Read More Books

It’s deceptively simple how much power books have; they can turn your life around. Reading more will help you gain knowledge and broaden your imagination, which will place you in a better position when interacting with other people. If you don’t know where to begin, join an online book club.

How to Deal with Anxiety and Self-Doubt

Enroll in an Online Course

Quite often, the idea of school is linked to concepts like fear, shame, and anxiety for many people. However, unlike traditional schooling, online courses allow students to fully immerse themselves and practice their new skills in a supportive environment.

Here at Nas Academy, our mission is to make you a better learner – through our unique learning experience. You can be a social media manager, a digital marketer on TikTok, or a community manager on Discord. Not only are these the world’s newest jobs, they are guaranteed to be in-demand in future. And they are way more fun than your average 9 to 5, and pay even better! But there hasn’t been one single place to learn all these skills. Until now.

This is the Creator Accelerator Program. We designed this program to help you skyrocket your career as a creator. From learning how to grow on social media platforms, to building a network and accessing job opportunities with the world’s top brands – this immersive program will transform your career in just 5 months.

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