You start something new and then give up… just before you start to gain traction or momentum.

And it feels like every new thing you breaks down, over and over again.

It’s like starting off on a road trip, where you dream of seeing and experiencing the most amazing sights and sounds, but end up turning back before you even reach your first destination.

Or telling yourself that you’re going to turn over a new leaf and start eating healthily, but two weeks into your plan, fall off the wagon and go into a downward spiral of emotional eating.

This vicious, frustrating cycle that leaves you feeling like a failure who’ll never succeed at anything.

Often, the reason we do this boils down to this one thing: Self-doubt.

Managing the feelings and thoughts that make you doubt yourself and your abilities is hard work and will take time, but here’s how you can make the process easier:

1. Cut out the people who drain energy from you from your life.

Surrounding yourself with the right people is crucial if you’re going to make big, meaningful changes in your life.

When you’re feeling vulnerable and uncertain, being around people who don’t support your goals or even resent you for dreaming big and making changes to your life can amplify your self-doubt and make you question yourself.

You probably already have a good idea of who these people are: the friend who’s determined to misunderstand everything you share with him, the colleague who stops inviting you for girls’ night out when she realizes you’ve dropped 20 pounds or the relative who has a snarky response to your dreams.

If you let those doubts and negativity fester, you’ll just end up quitting… for good.

Instead of allowing these individuals from hold you back, let them go.

Replace them with people who understand what you’re going through and support your chosen path. It may feel like a lonely journey at first, but the rewards of consciously allowing only the right people into your life will be well worth it.

They will lift your spirits, break out of your box (and doubts), and help you reach your full potential.

2. Take baby steps in the right direction.

While having big goals can drive you forward, they can also stop you dead in your tracks because the steps to getting there seem so overwhelming and almost impossible.

Rather than try to do 10 things all at once — starting to exercise, taking those night classes, cutting out the carbs, trying to stop drinking, sleeping and waking up earlier, applying for that new job, making new friends and quitting smoking — start small.

Prioritize your goals and break them down into bite-sized chunks. Make these bite-sized chunks so easy that you can’t say “I can’t do this,” so that you can… and will.

3. Make taking action your priority.

Allowing self-doubt to dominate your consciousness can paralyze you from doing.

The perfect antidote for this? Taking action anyway.

Focus your attention on putting one foot in front of the other no matter how much you’re doubting yourself or even if the vision of what you want looks fuzzy and uncertain. Before you know it, you’ll get a small win, and every small win you get will help you feel more confident.

And guess what? The more confident you feel, the more likely you’ll be to keep going and aiming for that next win.

Often, small wins add up to big results, and this applies to just about anything that you do.

Are you struggling with self-doubt and negativity (external and internal) that are holding you back from reaching your goals right now? Share how you’re planning to break past it in the comments section below! I’d love to know.

Guide to Inspired Life