Sometimes it’s so hard to believe in ourselves, in our talents, in our ability to be successful.

Self-doubt creeps in during those dark nights when sleep won’t come.  We lie awake pondering the long distance between where we see ourselves in our journey to reach our goals, and where we think we should be.  We spend days wondering if there’s any reason to keep trying.  A handful of rejections lead to more thoughts of failure.  Some people feed our fear with their own tales of failure. Others appear to cruise effortlessly to success, while we flounder and fail.  We lose belief in our ability to create our own success.

And sometimes, like children hiding from the boogie-man, we close our eyes to everything that will help us find our way.

When we stay locked behind our closed eyes, there is no spark of light to lead us out of the morass of morose thoughts.  We see no hope, no possibility of finding our way out of that dark place of disbelief.

But if we open our eyes, perhaps the moonlight creeps into the room, providing illumination so we can see where we are.

What if we pick up a flashlight equipped with a powerful LED bulb and turn it on?  Suddenly, the dark retreats and a path appears.  And if someone else in that room turns on another flashlight, adding their light to ours, we can move forward without fear of falling.

So when those dark doubts take over, telling you that you have no talent, you don’t know what you’re doing, you might as well quit–try finding your way with these ideas:

1.  Open your eyes and identify where you really are.  Look around and see what you’ve already accomplished.  Remind yourself that if you succeeded in the past, you do know how to get there again.  And if you are making your first attempt, you know that each effort, everything you learn, brings you closer to your goal.

2.  Turn on your flashlight.  Assess what you need to do to begin moving toward your goal once again.  What do you need to do, or where do you need to go, to make progress?

3.  Let your friends help light your way.  Your true friends want you to be successful.  And that means you don’t have to do everything by yourself.  Spend time with positive-minded friends who share your interests.  Brainstorm for fresh ideas to help you move past your road-blocks.  Remember to return the favor to your friends.  Better yet, build an on-going support group, so all of you can reach success.

And sometimes, when all else fails, you just have to tell yourself over and over, “I believe.  I believe.  I believe I will succeed.”  Until you do.

How do you keep believing in yourself?  How do you support others when they have a crisis of faith in themselves?  Leave a comment and some of the things that have worked for you.