Six Ways to Challenge Self-Doubt
Self-Doubt can cripple you. Yes I mean CRIPPLE you as there are no boundaries sometimes as to what the self-doubt is based on. So when we begin to doubt ourselves in, say a work situation, we suddenly find ourselves questioning our whole being in other areas of our daily life.
We could have a conversation or complete a work task and then spend hours a day mindlessly debating if we made the right impression, did the work well or if we made fools of ourselves. We can laugh and joke about our clumsiness or verbal meanderings with friends, but at the back of it all there is a wistful desperation for that friend to refute your joke and tell you that you were great.
Self-doubt can get so intense that you feel that something really bad is going to happen because of an action or word that you have imparted. When this happens we slowly try to avoid situations, conversations and tasks that would normally be straight forward and reasonable. It can become comfortable to do this and instead of, actively living, just simply exist in your own little world of …. Self-doubt.
Sounds familiar? Well there are small steps you can take that will instantly strengthen the resolve to change the mind-set of self-doubt into a confidence boosting drive of activity that has you seeking positive situations instead of hiding from them.
Here are a few:
Accept that Self-Doubt is in Many
Firstly take in that almost everyone has self-doubt. You are not alone in this so you are not ‘different’ or sub par in any way. You are a normal person with normal feelings. It just so happens that these feelings are ones that are not allowing you to be happy and confident.
Accept that you are not the only one and this is the first step to change.
Don’t Live your Life through the Judgement of Others
Do not benchmark yourself against others or worry about what they may think. What other people think will not harm you in any way; it is you that are harming your confidence by worrying about their thoughts.
Live your life for you, not for the judgement of other people and not so you feel undermined by others achievements. Measure yourself by your OWN goals and not the goals of others.
What’s the Worst thing that could Happen?
Imagine the outcome of a situation or task. What is the worst thing that could happen? I know in your mind you already think that the worst is going to happen … but what exactly is the reality of the worst?
If you have completed a task at work you may worry about how people in work will react to it. Yes, they could say you did it wrong or they didn’t like it, however the ground will not open up and lightening will not strike you if they do.
Take control in that situation and ask direct questions. Why is it wrong, why do they not like it? You could receive some fantastic constructive feedback whilst showing a willingness to absorb information and in doing this you will strengthen communication and perceptions of you at work.
It will also decrease the self-doubt as you are aware of future expectations and can work with their advice in mind thereby building your own confidence in your ability to work.
Take that worry and turn it into a positive, use the energy you waste on worry and turn it into energy that is used to improve and embrace situations in life.
Imagine the Future
Think of situations that have caused you worry in life. I bet that the majority of them passed by quickly and you find it difficult to fully remember how you felt and what you did in those hard periods.
Now think of what you doubt yourself about in this moment and then imagine you are two weeks on in your life. You are still intact and nothing has happened. Know that:
1) Your worry is greater than the actuality of the situation.
2) What you have doubts about now will not be an issue further on; the situation you find yourself in doubt with will have been and gone.
Practice Mindfulness and Take Control of the Moment
Use Mindfulness to take control of the moment. Your doubt for the future and the past is based on something that is currently out of your control, yet you waste the moment worrying about it.
Stop what you are doing now and absorb the moment. What can you see? What can you hear? What can you smell?
Take it all in and focus on the positive of where you are. Feel that worry of the future subside and bring your whole being into the present, this very second.
As I type, I know can feel my fingers touch the letters on the keyboard, I can hear the flow of the words as they trail from my mind. In this moment, I am in control of the words and the message I want to impart. Some may like it, some may not yet I own the words I have written and I own this personal moment.
Slowly take ownership of your own personal moment. What do you want to absorb, change, achieve? These are your own personal goals and they are driven by you alone.
If you auto – pilot back into self-doubt then you are not taking ownership of the situation, you are choosing to let doubt drive you.
Think about this. Are these feelings what you want?
Meditate to a Calmer State
Use meditation to get in touch with your feelings and body. Find the real person inside.
Not the doubter, imagine the person who played as a child without a care in the world, the person who smelled flowers and laughed in good company. Connect with that positive person who is within.
Do these regularly through meditation and you will find that this will gradually carry through into your daily life and bring a calm and assurety that is infinitely greater than self-doubt.
These are just a few ways to examine the self-doubt you have and take steps for positive change. There are many more ways to diminish self-doubt and establish an inner confidence which will be administered in future posts.
Remember, you are great! Tell yourself that!