Why Are We Questioning the One Thing We Are Pros at?

Stop doubting yourself and be a professional. Just do it.

To all my fellow athletes, sport (besides school) is probably the only thing we have consistently been doing for years and where we should feel confident. Yet we doubt ourselves and question our abilities.

I firmly believe that our doubts come from our minds and hearts, but it isn’t as important where doubtful thoughts come from but what we do with them. To learn what to do with it, we have to know what it is first and foremost.


The definition of doubt reads: a feeling of uncertainty, lack of confidence hence being fearful. Knowing this makes it a little easier to understand where and how to start changing the origin of doubt.

So, doubt comes when we are uncertain whether we are good enough and have put in the work required to be where we want to be. Doubt also comes when we do not believe and trust that we have done everything we can to prepare. Doubt is like a negative energy sweeping over us when we see someone else who has done more than or something different from ourselves.

When these thoughts strike we should think about three things:
  1. No one has gone through what you have, mentally or physically
  2. No one has put in the kind of work you have put into it
  3. No comparison with anyone besides yourself

Indeed, sometimes our physical form cannot get any better, and other athletes are physically dominant. However, there is an element that we all can get better at no matter what, mentality. We can work on being confident that we did everything we could each day until the competition to be our best selves. We can be sure of everything and thus maintain our confidence. Let no one rub our beliefs and face our fears.

So, when we learn to eliminate overthinking and unnecessary worrying and trust our abilities, write down our accomplishments and keep making small steps forward. Thus, we are more likely to skip dealing with doubt. Being in our own little bubble can sometimes be good even; we then learn to focus on ourselves instead of everyone around us and their business.

Until next week, write down on a piece of paper what you are/want to be a professional at, and start working towards that.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Steve Ruis says:

    Our minds are designed to prepare us for uncertain futures, so thoughts keep popping up . . . and good thoughts don’t prepare us as well as negative thoughts, so there is that bias.

    Rather than spend any time on unhelpful thoughts I dispense with them. I use an action of “shooing them away” as I would a pesky fly. So, if in a competition I have an unhelpful thought, I fan a hand in front of my face and puff out a small amount of breath, and then get right back into my process. Thoughts do not linger that do not receive attention. That is our way of “controlling” our thoughts: useful thoughts get attention, un-useful thoughts do not.

    Or so it seems to me. :o)

    As usual, nice post!


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