I don’t know
I’m not sure.
I don’t think I can pull this off.
Maybe not now.
I can’t ….
Just saying the word sounds and feels awful.
Most of the time we can endure the little doubtful thoughts that bubble up.
Will I have enough gas?
Will I get to work on time?
Is this still good to eat?
Can I hold it or do I need to go bathroom now.
Should I call them back?
Should I have said that?
Even if we are not sure of the outcome, we are able to manage fairly well with minimal damage to our self-esteem. A little doubt is good even necessary to help keep us sharp.
But then there is that self-doubt that’s dark, deep, and wide. This type of self-doubt lingers for days, weeks or longer. We feel its presence breathing behind the rest of our daily thoughts and activities. And when we are quiet or resting, this is when it seems to take on a life of it’s own.
How to do we slay this dragon of self doubt?
We conquer it in these steps.
CLARIFY YOUR DOUBT
First we honor ourselves by being truthful. Many times we can feel uneasy with so many life events that can create doubt. So when first noticing doubt, try to clearly define what are you being doubtful about.
It’s one thing to be doubtful that you don’t know if you can do your job. This is a big and ambivalent concept. A more precise idea is you are doubtful that you can work with your new boss’s personality. Or you are doubtful that what you are being paid for the work you are doing is fair. By pinpointing exactly what you are doubtful about, this provides you with clarity in how to respond confidently to the issue at hand.
DARE NOT TO COMPARE
Second, when you are in the state of doubt, don’t compare how somebody else is doing it better or worse than you are. Sure it’s tempting, but don’t do it. It doesn’t provide you with any useful information and wastes time. Additionally, it should be a given, but remember no one is looking at you. Everybody is trying to deal with their own lives, dramas, and doubts. So stay focused on you and what you need to be successful in this moment.
SMALL IS ALL
When it comes to self-doubt, small is the way to go. Test the waters. Take small steps. Set goals. If you goal is to lose weight and you don’t think you can do it, start small and just walk 10 more steps thoughout the day. You can’t fail this. If you didn’t manage to do this one day, then do it the next.
Once you have set a small goal and accomplished it, just the concept that you set a goal and did it will feel amazing. No doubt, you will want to do it again. So, do it again. Or raise the stakes a little. And keep going. This builds momentum and confidence to give yourself the royal treatment you deserve.
A client of mine wanted to start dating after a long divorce. Since it had been over a decade since she went on her last date, she started online. Just as she started to sign up for a service, she doubted herself. She said she wanted to lose weight before she started posting pictures. I suggested that she just take a picture of how she looked right now. To boost her confidence, she bought a new dress and went to the mall to get a few tips on how to apply her makeup. Later that same day, she took her picture for the dating site. Immediately, she started to get interest in her photos. And while the first few suitors weren’t her type, she grew into her confidence. She was thankful to begin the process.
Since then, she has lost 20 pounds in the last few months, simply because she stopped doubting herself and started to believe she was worthy of love – loving herself first.
KEEP GOING AND NOTICE WHAT’S WORKING
When we start to make progress in any area of our lives, the tendency is to start creating a frenzy of doubt because we are afraid of what will happen next. Uncertainty makes us crazy. Uncertainty makes us doubt. But if instead, if we start focusing on what is working and how we can do it again, this quickly helps strengthen our intuition but also shows us what is working in this moment instead of the fearful future. At any time, things can go wrong in our lives, and sure it’s a possibility. But just reframe obstacles as tests or experiences and keep going.
WHEN IN DOUBT, CHECK IT OUT
Over time, you will begin to use doubt as an indicator if you are getting information to help you or hurt you.
So the next time you are feeling fearful or doubtful, call yourself out. Ask yourself, is this a valid concern? Will this help me in the moment I’m in? If not, take a breath and move out with action in the direction you desire.
Life is so big and amazing. And we could constantly worry and doubt ourselves to death. Or we could give ourselves the royal treatment of confidence to stay focused on the moment that we are in. We could treat ourselves with compassion and bravery to conqueror our doubt so that we can continue to share our gifts and talents with the rest of the world. We can do it. We must do it. No doubt about it. Just remember to adjust your crown on the way out. Peace.