Self-Doubt seems to be an unwelcome friend for many, myself included. That rude one that barges in unexpectedly and sticks around way to long. It’s that little voice in your head that is determined to put you down, to diminish your capabilities, to distinguish the fire that fuels your ambition.
Self-Doubt: lack of confidence in oneself and one’s abilities.
In my post Be Kind to YOU, I wrote about how it was important to be gentle with ourselves. To build up our self-esteem, not break it down. Too many times I have found a little impish voice telling me “you’re not good enough”, “you really shouldn’t”, “you can’t do that”, “what are you thinking”. That voice diminishing any confidence or self-worth that I had. The truth is that the feeling that breathes life into that doubtfulness is fear. My own fear.
For me, mostly a fear of failure.
For many years, I dealt with emotional abuse. Some may not find that to be of importance, but if you have any kind of insight, you know that your emotional well-being is just as important as your physical well-being. Maybe even more so for some. That continuous feeling of not being good enough followed me on into adulthood. Where I feared doing something wrong as a child, that same feeling has turned into a fear of incapability and lack of confidence as an adult.
I say NO MORE.
Self-doubt is a viscous animal that I no longer wish to feed with fear. There is no need for us to allow this unnecessary thought to inhibit us from seizing opportunities and thriving in our potential. We shouldn’t allow our fear and doubt to win the war of life. I want to improve my self-esteem and increase in confidence, and why not start today?
How do we do that?
Stop. Halt that bubbling sense of doubt in its tracks. Don’t allow that voice to spiral out of control. Talk to it if you need to. Let it know that you don’t plan to listen, that you aren’t going down that winding road to disappointment. Alter your mindset by causing disruption to the negative thought process.
Be real. Look at this situation, and possibly others, in a realistic manner. How many times did you imagine the absolute worst would happen and it never did? How many times were those imaginative results actually realistic? Keep things in perspective.
Become aware. If there are certain aspects or situations that you notice that trigger self-doubt, acknowledge them. Can you change them? If so, make it happen. If you aren’t sure how, speak to someone who may know. Find the support you need.
Be Kind. Again, this is so important. Recognize that you are being critical of yourself and replace that negativity with positivity. Remember that we are flawed creatures who are meant to be imperfect. It is part of this crazy experience called life.
Forget validation. It is often a great idea and helpful to seek advice and mentoring from others. However, it is important to realize that seeking validation from others is not. If you are working towards making the world happy, you are forgetting to make yourself happy. When you constantly require other’s opinions before making a decision, you are weakening your trust in yourself. Trust that you can make the right decision for YOU.
Don’t worry. It’s easy to not do something that may result in criticism or possible failure when we feel safe in the avoidance of judgement by doing nothing. Don’t worry about the opinions of others. It only allows that doubt to creep in and keep you from making positive choices for yourself.
Focus. I am a planner and like to live slightly in the future. However, dwelling there isn’t helpful. Focus on the present. Know that you can only do your best in this moment.
Instinct. Chill out on the second guessing of yourself. Follow your gut. Do what feels right. Often your first reaction to a choice is based intuition.
Know that you are enough.
“Tell that negative committee that meets inside your head to sit down and shut up.” – Ann Bradford