Become the Boss of Your Thoughts and Eliminate Self-Doubt

You’re walking down a busy street to meet some friends for happy hour. You’re walking with pep in your step because you know your crush will be there. This is your opportunity to make a great impression. Then you pass a group of people standing around talking. As soon as you pass them, you hear them burst out in laughter.

Were they laughing at you?

Damn—is something wrong with your hair? Did you get coffee on your jacket and not realize it? Is there a mirror nearby you can look yourself over? 

What if people are watching? Is that weird? What if your crush walks by and sees you checking yourself out in a store window? You’re gonna look like a tool!

Two girls pointing at the camera and laughing
Are they laughing at YOU? or the juggling performer behind you?

STOP!

Rewind.

What proof do you have that they were laughing at you?

Your whole evening is getting derailed because of an assumption your inner voice just made.

It’s all in your head.

There is nothing more true than this statement when it comes to self-talk and thoughts. We are constantly telling ourselves what we should do and how we should look. We question ourselves because of the way someone looked at us.

It becomes a cycle that never ends unless you take control of it!

These tips will help you become the boss of your thoughts and stop negative self-talk in its tracks so that you can build effortless confidence.

Man dangling his legs off a helicopter while looking down at a city block
Like a BOSS!

Be the boss of your thoughts

Do you feel like your inner voice is out of control? Does it automatically go to a negative place and cause you to question what you’re doing and who you are?

Believe it or not, you are the boss of your thoughts. The only thing holding you back is self-doubt and a lack of consistent practice.

That inner voice can help you or hurt you. Think of it like a roommate who is always sitting next to you on the couch. How long would you let him complain and criticize you before you told him to shut up or move out?

Woman clutching her head in pain
You don’t have to put up with the annoying roommate in your head!

Stop negative self-talk in its tracks

It’s easy to believe your inner voice when it’s critical because it’s easy to believe that voice is you. But it is not you. You are the one observing that voice.

This is a crucial distinction that will change your life for the better.

Every time a negative thought pops up, challenge yourself to think about what you would say if someone else said the same thing. This will help build your self-awareness and will allow you to notice trends over time so that you can work on them specifically.

Take control of your thoughts by asking yourself these questions:

  • What am I thinking?
  • Who is telling me this thought, and why do they want me to believe it?
  • Is there a more positive way to look at this situation or event that would lead towards my goal for the day/week/month?
Man looking at a whiteboard covered in pieces of paper with notes on them
Your mind can be full of junk and useless information – not every thought is valuable

Challenge yourself to be a better person and leader

Once you realize you can challenge your inner voice, challenge yourself to be the best version of yourself. You won’t be held back by that annoying roommate in your head anymore. Instead, you will be the boss of your thoughts and that roommate will support you and push you beyond what you thought you were capable of.

Use that to your advantage.

It’s not easy, but that means it will be worth all the effort you put in.

With your inner voice in your corner, there will be no more self-doubt stopping you from leading with confidence and inspiring the people around you.

A chess board with one white knight surrounded by black chess pieces
Challenge yourself to learn from every setback, loss, and failure – there are no wasted moments

Create an action plan for change that is realistic and achievable 

It’s fantastic to have larger than life goals to strive for. But if you allow your happiness and fulfillment to depend on reaching those goals, you are depriving yourself of your ability to enjoy the present.

It’s important to keep in mind that we live in the present. We do not live in the future, so while it’s important to plan for the future, it’s more important to be fulfilled in the present.

So how do we find a compromise?

We create a realistic action plan that allows us to make incremental progress toward those larger than life goals.

Making incremental progress makes you the boss of your thoughts and eliminates self-doubt. Whenever that inner voice nags you about not doing enough, you can look at your action plan and take note of all the small victories you’ve accomplished.

Some markers and sticky notes on a piece of paper
Create an action plan that works for YOU!

Your action plan is a super effective weapon to defeat self-doubt.

Creating an action plan for change is a process that starts with being honest about your goals. Ask yourself what you’re striving for, and then write down how you can achieve your goals one step at a time so they won’t feel impossible to reach.

Keep in mind the resources available and people who will help you out along the way.

Accountability is key.

Find people who will hold you accountable for your plan and the progress you make. One person can accomplish great things, but that same person with a bulletproof support network can change the world.

The silhouette of a woman looking into the distance with a sunset skyline behind her
The world is yours for the taking

Surround yourself with supportive people 

We’ve already established that negative self-talk can hold you back, right?

The same goes for the people you surround yourself with.

If you want to crush that self-doubt into the ground, you need people who support you and your goals.

  • A supportive team could include parents or family members who are positive role models you want to emulate.
  • Maybe your support team includes a mentor with life experience who can offer guidance in the areas you’re struggling.
  • Talk to your friends and find those who are willing to hold you accountable. It can be something as simple as a weekly check-in text message. Ask them to do that for you. Tell them you need their help. People appreciate feeling needed.
A group of women laughing and working on their laptops
A strong support network means the difference between failure and success

Make decisions based on facts, not assumptions

How could you have better handled the initial scenario when that group started laughing as you walked by?

If there is no evidence for why they’re laughing, then there is no need for self-doubt. As soon as that inner voice starts to speak up, challenge it.

What are they laughing at?

It doesn’t matter.

You look great. You feel great. And happy hour is going to be everything you want it to be. Your inner voice is on your side now, backing you up in everything you do.

Your effortless confidence has arrived and it is yours for the taking.

A man jumping and clicking his heels together while walking down a downtown street
Be the boss of your thoughts and your life

To sum up

Your brain is a powerful tool.

You have the power to dominate your thoughts and change how you think about yourself, others, and the world around you. If you’re not satisfied with the direction your life is heading, change what you think about. Be careful of negative self-talk that can lead to a downward spiral in your mood and a less productive day at work.

Question your inner chatter so that you can make decisions based on facts rather than assumptions or preconceptions from past experiences. Set achievable goals for yourself today and tomorrow so you can see progress towards becoming the best leader.

Practice being an empathetic leader who cares deeply for your people, as well as yourself. Always challenge yourself to be better than you were yesterday. Remember that there are no limits on how much success we can achieve if we put our minds to it—limitations exist only inside of ourselves!


If you’d like to learn how to confidently go after all of your big goals without hesitation, we’re here for you. We can help you make this happen by providing expert coaching in our X-Factor Accelerator mentorship program. You’ll have the confidence and control you need to attract the right people, create meaningful relationships, and seize opportunities in your life and career.

Rick Ahlgren - author of 13 posts on The Art of Charm

Rick is a 35-year-old human who spends his time freelancing as a writer, deadlifting (with his scrawny high school physique), and performing odd jobs for friends. He takes satisfaction from helping humans become more aware and better at life, which means he has to know what he's talking about for him to be able to help others. Rick enjoys long walks and bike rides because they help him slow down and pay attention to the details of this crazy ride we call life. And he digs reading fantasy like George R.R. Martin and science fiction like Frank Herbert and Alastair Reynolds. Sometimes when Rick finds himself staring into space without any distractions, he'll ask himself "What am I doing?" Usually the answer is nothing.

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in Confidence, Empowerment, Self Mastery

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