Defeatist man sitting on a bench.

Defeatist Beliefs: How To Triumph Over Them and Reclaim Your Confidence

The first step to overcoming any challenge is to stop thinking like a defeatist. It's the belief that you're not good enough or it's impossible to achieve your goals. Therefore, you never try. Don't worry. You weren't born with a defeatist mindset. Nor are you destined to be this way forever. With a bit of effort, you can overcome this painful mentality.
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A defeatist believes that they can’t achieve a goal before even trying for it. So, they quit before ever starting.

Do you talk yourself out of working towards your goals? Or do you get started but quit immediately after a roadblock appears?

The problem is that what we think tends to become a reality.

Why is it so crucial to conquer defeatist thoughts?

Defeatist woman.
Photo by Elina Araja from Pexels

“The only thing between you and success is your thinking. Defeatist thoughts are the mother of inaction.”’

— Iimani David

Defeatist thinking is a sure-fire way to demolish your dreams and your confidence. It’s rooted in self-doubt, which impacts how you think and behave. You’re essentially preventing yourself from accomplishing things that would improve your life. Thus, your beliefs can bring you a life of despair. You’ll always feel disheartened if you have constant discouraging thoughts. As a result, defeatists end up living a dismal existence.

What’s worse is this can lead to nihilism. Don’t let that happen to you! But you aren’t stuck with this painful way of life; you can rise above it.

Ways to triumph over a defeatist mentality

1. Define success in detail

It's crucial to conquer defeatist thoughts.
Photo by Flo Maderebner from Pexels

You might feel that it’s impossible to succeed. But if you don’t know what your version of success is, then there’s no way to reach it. Therefore, it’s critical that you clearly define it. For example, if you want to make more money, how much? Or you want a better job, which one? If you don’t like where you live, where would you move to that fits your needs?

Brainstorm every aspect of a better life and write it down in a notebook.

2. Instead of defeatist predictions, visualize yourself succeeding

Instead of defeatist predictions, visualize yourself succeeding.
Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels

“A defeatist spirit must inevitably lead to disaster.”

— Eugene Znosko-Borovsky

Your imagination is more powerful than you might think. Look around you; every car, building, or product was first born in someone’s thoughts.

Only they didn’t laugh it off as a stupid idea. Successful people don’t have something you don’t. They made it happen, and you can do it too. In fact,  88% of all millionaires are self-made. Many of them grew up in unimaginable poverty and survived horrific traumas.

Every day take a few minutes to imagine succeeding and reaching colossal heights. Counter every thought of failure with 3 scenarios of success.

3. Change your defeatist response to obstacles

Change your defeatist response to obstacles.
Photo by Yan Krukov from Pexels

When an obstacle causes you to think this won’t work, default to brainstorming ways to get around it. Tell yourself, “Well, that didn’t work. I’ll try it another way.”

Remember, you can break through any barrier as long as you think you can.

4. Put an end to the stream of defeatist negativity

stop defeatist negativity.
Photo by Yogendra Singh from Pexels

Holding tightly to a self-defeating mindset can damage your well-being. How can you like who you are if you’re the one crushing your dreams? These thoughts will become painful regrets, further worsening your self-esteem. So, think of ways it could happen rather than why it never will.

5. Stop defeatist thoughts and practice self-compassion

Stop defeatist thoughts.
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

When things don’t work out how you wanted, remind yourself that it’s okay. You can always try a different route and succeed.

Also, forgive yourself for past mistakes. You don’t want to carry that baggage throughout life. Instead of crushing your dreams, give yourself a chance. Be kind, patient, and encouraging.  

6. Change how you feel about failure

Photo by Djordje Petrovic from Pexels
Photo by Djordje Petrovic from Pexels

What’s the point in avoiding possible failure if it means living in misery?

Define what failure means to you and ask yourself if you could handle it. I assure you, you can! You might realize that “failing” wouldn’t even be that bad.

Besides, stumbling along the path is not the end of the road; it’s a stepping stone.

As you can see, it’s better to go for it because even if you fail, at least you were brave enough to try. Keep getting back up and try again. All those times you get knocked down and rise back up, you become stronger and more resilient. Plus, your knowledge expands, and you get closer to your goal.

7. Ease defeatist worries by keeping goals to yourself

Ease defeatist worries by keeping goals to yourself.
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

You can lighten the pressure by not having people watching and waiting for you to fail. They probably had dreams that they never tried to make a reality. So, keep it a secret; it’s not their business. But if you do tell them, realize they might try to bring you down due to jealousy.

8. Ask yourself questions to eliminate defeatist thoughts

Ask yourself questions to eliminate defeatist thoughts.
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

It’s helpful to question defeatist thoughts instead of always accepting them. Journaling is a great way to get answers.

Try flipping things around by asking yourself, “what if I did succeed?” This will train your brain to focus on possibilities instead of obstacles. If you never imagine amazing things happening to you, you won’t believe they exist. Therefore, they won’t.

There are an infinite amount of possible mind-blowing scenarios. You just need to allow them in your life.

Also, ask yourself the following:

  • Why do I think I can’t reach this goal?
  • What fears are holding me back from trying?
  • How horrible would failing really be?
  • Do I want this enough to work for it?
  • Are your standards reasonable?

Your answers can guide you to a better goal or help build your determination to reach the first one.

9. Stop using defeatist words

Stop using defeatist words.
Photo by Dominika Roseclay from Pexels

Change a couple of words or phrases in your vocabulary. Replace “I have to” with “I get to,” and then imagine how fortunate you are to be able to do what you’re avoiding.

10. Give yourself the gift of a goal

Photo by Jacqueline Kelly from Pexels
Photo by Jacqueline Kelly from Pexels

To embed a healthier mindset, you need to start practicing it. So, think up a small, realistic goal that you can achieve and work on it until you finish it. Achieving small goals will boost your confidence and chip away at defeatist habits.

11. Take action without expectation

Decide today that you’re going to start working towards your dream life. One way to get started is to stop obsessing about the possible result and focus on the process.

12. Nobody cares

No one cares about your flaws.
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Don’t worry about what others might think of you for attempting your goal. In reality, no one is scrutinizing your every move like you are. They have their own worries and problems. Just because you obsess about your possible flaws doesn’t mean the world is doing the same. No one is going to remember your mistakes. So, let go of all that stress and get to work.

Not a defeatist.
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

To sum up, working for what you want is much easier than being a destructive defeatist. The first step to overcoming any challenge is to stop thinking like a defeatist.

You are what you think, so if you believe that you can’t do something, it’ll be a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Ditch the belief that you’re not good enough or that it’s impossible to make your vision a reality.

Have you ever conquered defeatist thoughts? Share your story in the comments. Also, don’t forget to subscribe!

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