Self-Doubt: A Confidence Buster
Self-Doubt aka The Confidence Buster – is the intimidating inner critic that can get a choke hold on us and fill our minds with all kinds of crazy- its mission is to diminish and shrink us to the point of second guessing our decisions and sometimes our own self-worth. When our minds are troubled with doubt, our thoughts are clouded and we can’t stay on our course. It robs us of our creativity, strength, belief in ourselves and sometimes our future.
I had a meeting to attend and in the room was a group of very intelligent people- most with more education and experience than I possessed. I was nervous because I had a part to play in this meeting. I walked in feeling good about what I needed to say, but as I looked around the room I began to be filled with self-doubt. Before I knew it, I was second guessing my own capability to be in the same meeting as my peers. I had to capture my thoughts and bring them under control- what exactly happened in those few minutes? I questioned my confidence in myself, pure and simple. It’s crazy how one thought can lead to another and before we know it mountains are built out of mole hills. In a matter of seconds self-doubt had taken full steam and tried to reduce me to nothing. The battle began in my thoughts by letting them run wild and creating something that simply wasn’t true.
Here are a few tips that have helped when self-doubt rears its ugly head
- Do I have what it takes? Am I capable to do this? Whatever “this” is for you. Are you a teacher, business professional, parent? You fill in the blank. Deep down, we know the answer to the question already. Most of the time it’s Yes-we do have what it takes.
- I love this one: What’s the worst that can happen? When my self-doubt struck me what was the worst thing that could have happened? A little embarrassment from stuttering, possibly sweating a little, maybe? The bottom line was I knew my stuff and I was prepared. When faced with a situation and self-doubt creeps in, ask yourself the question, what’s the worst that can happen?
- Am I good enough? This piggy backs off of number one- I knew someone who made jewelry and made it quite well. I asked her why she doesn’t open a little online store and begin to sell her product. Her first response was “I don’t know if I’m good enough to do that.” It was clear to me her product was great, but she lacked the confidence in her own abilities. My thoughts..Stop it! Bring out the doubt buster and alienate the pesky self-doubt! Look at how far you’ve come and celebrate the small successes. These are confidence builders.
- Where the magic happens. We are all constantly striving to learn more, build our futures, reach our goals and be successful. Each of us has our own meaning of success and while on the road to our futures, we get bombarded with different crippling issues that sometimes shakes our confidence in our own abilities. The magic happens when we start to think and act out of our comfort zones. You might think, what does this have to do with self-doubt..it has everything to do with it. Changing up the old way of doing things really works. Start out by taking baby steps-remember Rome wasn’t built in a day. It takes time to build and change the things we want to be, while in the process don’t compare yourself to where you are at with someone else because comparison and self-doubt are best friends.
Our doubts are traitors and make us lose the good we oft might win by fearing to attempt.” – William Shakespeare
There is so much more that can be said about self-doubt. One of the important things to remember is we become unstoppable when we continue on in the face of self-doubt. Don’t beat yourself silly when you fall into doubt, each of us experience it at times –just remember when we believe in our selves and our abilities to accomplish things, this is the key to defeating those feelings of self-doubt when they try to take over. You will be pleasantly surprised at how confidence gains strength when we decide to believe in ourselves and what we can accomplish.