I was recently asked to write an article on Self Doubt for BeYourOwn – a global media company, helping you to achieve your full potential.
For those of you not a subscriber to the website – here is the piece I wrote for them.
What is self-doubt?
Well, in dictionary terms it is defined as a lack of faith in your own ability and we will look at why this happens in more detail. I like to think of it as a ‘psychological habit’ of questioning your own judgment and worth, a set of created beliefs which have become your own truths.
It occurs because at some time in your past you have taken on board a series of messages that make you question, well, you. Your own thoughts and emotions, your capabilities and choices.
These stem from several places such as:
Your childhood/upbringing – the most powerful messages we receive come in childhood as we absorb things much more deeply and are constantly looking for positive affirmations about ourselves and learning how to fit in with the world around us.
Past experiences and mistakes – these outcomes influence how we ‘believe’ we are and how life works. If there have been a series of negative moments in our lives, we put these together to create our likely future and so can struggle to make decisions due to the fear of these outcomes.
Fear of failure/success – leading on from this, we learn that we can’t cope with failing or don’t know how to handle success and so we can limit what we do to avoid both.
Caparison to others – this is a perfectly normal behaviour as we live in a world of competition and we wouldn’t have survived as a species without it. But, when we are constantly gauging our success/life through the lives of others, if we do struggle with self-worth or esteem, we can eventually lose sight of ourselves and live a life of comparing and feeling as though we don’t live up to expectation.
These are just a few reasons why we may doubt ourselves, who we are and what we can achieve in life. The good thing is, we can do something about it and I have compiled a list of 8 things that you can do:
- Embrace it
By embracing your self-doubt, you will learn to understand it and not be fearful of it happening. What we resist, persists!
- Be curious about your thoughts
Question what you are thinking and be curious about where these thoughts come from. As I said, this is just a habit that you have got yourself into and this habit can be interrupted and broken.
- Create a purpose or positive things in your life
If you have too much time to ruminate on things, then your mind is likely to wander into spaces that can reaffirm your negatives. Having something to aim for that makes your life more fulfilling will firstly fill this space and secondly show you that what you have and who you are, go against the self-doubting thoughts.
- Spend time with positive people
Not just ones that have a positive outlook on life, but ones that believe in you, can and will support you and help you to see the good things in yourself. Remember that we are the sum of the 5 people we spend most of our time with.
- Take a break
This goes a little against the rumination point above, but we need time to relax as life can get on top of us and carry us along in its energy. Stress can be a major trigger to self-doubt as it can cloud our minds and take us back into learnt spaces that impact our emotions. Relaxing and finding some peace will help clear our minds and think the way we want to.
- Practice self-compassion
Self-doubt can be our default because we haven’t learnt to care about ourselves. Showing you some positive emotions and giving yourself some positive feedback can stop the negative spiral from happening and bring you out of it once it has begun.
- Be grateful
This may sound a bit simple, but your mind cannot feel two different emotions at once. Having gratitude for things has a multiple positive impact on mind, body and soul and will also stop the negative comparisons we can make and expectations that we set.
- Seek out some coaching/therapy
Yes, I am a coach and so you can take this option with a pinch of salt if you wish.
But, talking to someone about things and then having someone to help you choose a different direction and support you and hold you accountable to change, can be life changing. They have usually been on a journey that has changed their lives and so can help you on yours.
I hope you have found these insightful. Please feel free to contact me to discuss in more detail by clicking on the contact button, booking in a complimentary breakthrough session here or call 07709 350019.
Be goof to yourself