Got a case of over analysis? A churning mind that refuses to be shut off? We got it too. It’s hectic.
Never ending, forever rolling assessment and reassessment of situations and decisions.
Waking jolt upright at 3am?
Self doubt can be crippling. The second guessing of decisions made, or worse still the procrastination that results in decisions never being made and then the resulting self criticism. What a merry-go-round.
If we’re not self-doubters what are we?
We’re esteemed individuals with a healthy opinion of ourselves without grandiosity.
As women carving our own path, leading the way, breaking new ground and forging a new way of being in the world, life can be confronting. There’s no one telling us what to do, where to go or how to do it and if they are, how do they know it’s the right way anyway?
What happens when you just don’t know what to do? It’s not a case of being too frightened but you just don’t know which path to take. The fear that it may be the wrong path and it could cost you time and money is debilitating enough.
In a society that profits from your self doubt, liking yourself is a rebellious act.
Caroline Caldwell, artist, Brooklyn NY
As a business woman this is common. Too often we try to do it all alone because we think people are too busy to help or hear us. That can be true when we work alone and that’s why community and connection is so important. Being with like-minded people who understand the unique challenges you face on a daily basis is calming and often encouraging. Just ‘getting got’ is powerful, where you don’t need to explain yourself.
Being understood is powerful currency and never worth trading.
Running a business can conjure up all the self-doubt in the world. Constant questioning and calculated risk taking every step of the way. It’s exhausting.
Here’s 7 tips + tricks on how to give yourself a break
- Stop the mind chat by initiating a circuit breaker in your life like phoning a friend or going for a walk. It’s not just a game-show tactic to ‘phone a friend’, it’s a very real and helpful way to interrupt the pattern of self doubt that can manifest in self shaming. Have a list of ‘safe’ people in your purse because it’s in those darkest times we ‘forget’ who to call and think there is no one to call. This is a symptom of the voice of self-doubt, that we’re all alone. To break the pattern help yourself when you are in a good place by writing down those people you can call when times are not so good and pull the list from your purse as soon as the repetitive voice starts up. After all, a problem shared is a problem halved.
- Find your people, your tribe or your board of directors who will back you when you can’t back yourself. As already spoken about, it’s tough to #backyourself when self doubt is running riot. Building a team around you is not so unusual for an elite athlete or musician, why is it so strange for those chasing a dream? This stuff is tricky so find people who you love and who love you. They don’t need to be just like you, but they need to be completely in your corner. Check out what spiritual celebrity Danielle LaPorte says about finding your tribe and “loving them hard”.
- Bring awareness to your mind chatter and talk to yourself like you would a dear friend in distress. A busy mind can be an addictive process. Spiraling down as the thinking gets more incessant and unrelenting. LIke a merry-go-round. How do you get off? Catching yourself, even briefly, and being gentle with the self-doubting voice can be ever so helpful. Catch the negativity in an imagined net and set it aside then talk to yourself with compassion. Being gentle with ourselves is not something western society does too well. The push, push of society and bling, bling of our devices keeps us wired in without much space for gentleness. When was the last time you asked yourself, what was it that you needed not what you have to do or need to do, just what your body or your soul needs? Befriending self-doubt is a powerful tool to disarm it. You don’t need to change anything, just make a friend with the voice, acknowledge it and move forward as best you can.
- Start a journal. Take stock and record all the messages you are repeating in your head over and over again. Just by recording and reading back to yourself the messages you have running around in your head about yourself, you may just get to see how untrue they really are. Like reading a bad novel, negative messages will appear repetitive and on occasion, self indulgent. Noticing patterns that don’t serve us is the key here. Try reading your journalling out loud. Hear yourself and the way you speak to yourself. Most often we speak to ourselves far more condescendingly than we would to any other person. Sad isn’t it?
- Know who you are and what you believe in. It’s your values that are important, no one else’s. Your values are your beliefs about yourself, your life and the things that are important to you. Knowing your values helps when making decisions according to who you really are. Knowing your values is a good way to avoid doing what others say you should do. It’s always those times when you do something according to someone else and not your own values that can be damaging to yourself and how you treat others. Knowing your values will give confidence and reassurance that you are acting according to your true self.
- Celebrate your successes – there are many. If you have self-doubt, it’s hard to feel proud of your accomplishments. In the same way as you might brush off a compliment, you might also dismiss your successes. When a situation in which you doubted yourself turns out better than you expected, stop and give yourself a pat on the back or a self hug! Then implant this complimentary mode into your head. End your self-doubt now! You deserve more!
- #backyourself because you’ve got to where you are today because of your ingenuity and unique talents
We’d love to hear your comments or how you deal with your self-doubt or tell us how you #backyourself. Leave a comment below and share your experience.