It’s a Tuesday morning. I’m in class listening intently as my professor runs through the lesson, just minutes away from asking the class a question. He asks. I know the answer, but I don’t raise my hand because my self-doubt tells me to chill out—it tells me I don’t actually know the answer. I listen.
It’s a Monday afternoon. I’m the most junior person in the meeting. Inferiority and insecurity encapsulate me and stifle my contributions, at least in the beginning. Once again, I listen intently, taking notes and making sure I don’t miss a beat. I have an opinion to share, but my self-doubt tells me I’m too junior and ill-informed. I listen.
It’s May 2019 and I’ve been told at least 1,000 times that I should start a podcast. I’ve got all the equipment staring at me each passing day. My self-doubt and fear tell me I’m not good enough, that no one would care what I have to say. I listen.
Two months later, I turn the tables once and for all. I tell my self-doubt to chill out, to stop suppressing my voice, to back off.
Ever been in any of those situations? Wanting to spew the answer, share your opinion, or pursue a project, only to be convinced otherwise by your self-doubt? Then you understand how it feels to be a victim of your self-doubt. That voice creeps right into your ear and lists all the reasons you shouldn’t do something or all the reasons you’ll fail. It’s time to knock the self-doubt off its pedestal for good. It’s time to thrive.
Doubt is a self-induced roadblock. It keeps you trepid and incapable of getting uncomfortable—and getting uncomfortable is a prerequisite for growth. Self-doubt equips us with fear and diminishes our courage. Its persuasiveness prohibits us from trusting the one person we should trust: ourselves. Doubt makes us servants to complacency and dims the light that’s illuminated by our potential. Stop letting it.
As you embark on this new decade, starve the self-doubt that continuously keeps you from doing the things you’re afraid to do. Don’t let doubt run any more victory laps around your ideas or dreams. Try something new without angst and invest in your passion with reckless abandon and conviction. Let the fear, stagnation and anxiety that come with self-doubt be a thing of the past—they’re impeding on your progress. Enough is enough.
“Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt.” – William Shakespeare
Starve the self-doubt for good and don’t look back—you’re not going that way.
This post originally appeared on Thought Catalog.