You know who doesn’t have self doubt? People with narcissistic personality disorder. You don’t want that, right?
I have self doubt. For the longest time I hated to admit that to people.
Now it doesn’t bother me. Everyone has self doubt.
Doubt over certain abilities…doubt in certain situations…doubt at different times of life… It’s part of being human.
What about all the people who appear to have no self doubt?
They have it too, but they find ways to move beyond it.
Chances are they’re scared as hell, but they’re doing a good job not showing it.
That’s why our obsession with confidence is a foolish quest.
We’re led to believe we should be confident all the time.
We’re supposed to strive for it and to admire it.
If you don’t feel confident, you feel even worse about yourself, and the cycle spins round and round.
We get full of doubt, so we don’t try. We don’t try so we don’t progress. We feel left behind. We become full of self doubt.
“Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.” — Dale Carnegie
Sometimes I’m certain and confident beyond any doubt, and other times I agonize over what would seem, to other people, like a relatively simple task or decision.
So today, instead of flip flopping about a simple yes or no answer I had to give someone, I took a few minutes to think about how I overcome self doubt.
First, I recognize if I’m just having a “down” day.
Maybe I got news I didn’t expect. Maybe I worked hard on something and it wasn’t well received. Maybe my ego took a bruising over something silly.
Having a down day leads to feelings of self doubt. The doubt feels real, but it’s not.
It’s a temporary feeling to a temporary situation. And it’s always blown out of proportion.
Some distortion in my thinking is skewing how I see the situation.
Distortions like these:
If I take a step back and look at the situation from a neutral viewpoint, I can see it differently.
If I need to feel funky about it for a short time, I allow myself to do it. I know it won’t last long.
I don’t try to figure out life’s toughest questions on a down day.
If I’m going to make a big decision that will impact my life, I make it on a day I feel calm and grounded, not on the day I feel frustrated or defeated.
The voice of self doubt is really just one part of all the many parts that make up who I am.
Think about it, have you ever felt scared and excited at the same time? Maybe before a big trip? Or before pitching a great idea? Or before getting on a roller coaster?
Those are two “parts” of you feeling different emotions at the same time.
Doubt is just one part of all the many parts inside each of us.
When doubt starts voicing its objections, I can talk to it.
I talk to it like it’s a small child.
What’s it afraid of? What can I do to reassure it? What does it need me to hear?
Can doubt be willing to step aside and let the rest of me move forward?
Lastly, I separate my ability at a skill from my worth as a person.
It’s easy to get the two confused. Especially for us type A over-achieving peeps.
There are a lot of things I’m really good at, and there are a lot of things I really suck at.
We’re not going to be superstars in every department. We’ve all messed things up in our pasts.
In spite of that, can you love and believe in the person you are today?
Take a close look at your feelings of self doubt. Is it doubt about a skill or about your worth?
Skills can be learned, practiced, and strengthened.
If you’re really struggling with your personal self worth, I’ll tell you right here, right now, you are good enough.
If you need more, use the free resources here on Thrive Global. Hire a coach. Find a counselor.
“You are bigger than your self-doubt. Remind yourself of that each and every day.” — Caroline Ghosn
If you’ve been plagued by self doubt, I want you to know it’s ok. Everyone has self doubt!
We all feel awkward at times. We all feel like misfits.
Embrace that you have self doubt sometimes.
When you embrace it, it no longer has power over you.
Embrace it and keep moving forward anyway.
I made a 5-day Guide to Mastering Happiness, and it’s yours for free! Click here to get the guide for free!
Visit me at www.christinebradstreet.com
Originally published at theascent.pub