What to do with self-doubt.
At several points in my life I have faced an ugly ghost called self-doubt. I call it a ghost because you cannot really see it, but it comes with this eerie feeling that makes it all too real. This is a moment where conversations in my head will surround talks like “I can do more than what I am doing now, I’m better than this, oh I think I’m not working hard enough or you know this isn’t you right?” etc. it’s that feeling inside of you, screaming in your head, making your eyes tear up sometimes, affecting your mood and leaving feeling low or as I like to call it, feeling less.
These ghosts have been brought in by different things, a missed opportunity, a failure or seeing others doing what you know you could do and you just go “that could have been me right there” and I’m certain you can help fill up the long list of things that could go on and on and on.
However hard what I’m going to say next may be, I have learnt that I owe it to myself to at least try and I did try most of them:
Pat yourself at the back
I know how it feels when someone you trust, love or are really close to, does not see the significant effort you put into an achievement or the feeling that comes after doing your best and the one opinion you really care about, a very influential critic or a blog turns their nose down on your work or compares you to someone else who they think has done it better or would have done it better. The feeling is the worst kind, even if others praise your effort it doesn’t still measure up sadly and the more they talk about it, the more your self-doubt rises like a high hunted tower.
The truth is that self-doubt steals your win and what truly matters is what you qualify as a “win” plus you really need your win to fight against self-doubt. In these cases, pat yourself at the back if nobody else will (and be as literal as possible lol, if they think you’re crazy that’s okay), evaluate your performance honestly, praise what you did well and seek out ways of improvements of the parts you think could have been better.
It’s okay to fail
Failure can feel like a punch in your gut, a flush of red pouring over your cheeks with everyone staring, it can indeed feel like a crushing blow, but truth be told we will not get everything all the time, we may partially get it right and sometimes our failing may have great impacts however, we need to know that its okay it to fail. It’s not always easy to take but it’s okay. Take your “fail”, study it properly and make plans not to fail in that area again.
Surround yourself with the truth
Some people call it daily affirmations, positive thinking etc. but whatever it is, surround yourself with what is true about you. See! the difference between a fact and a truth is that a fact is situational and conditional, but a truth is enduring and unwavering. For instance, that I failed at something at a try or a couple of tries, is a fact but that I am a failure is a lie because that isn’t the truth about me. You were probably just having a bad hair day or dress day and someone saw you and considered you ugly. Was your hair or dressing ugly that day? YES! Are you an ugly person? NO! If we can strive not to use both words interchangeably, it will cause a great shift in our mindset. SO, when you have a bad day, those kind of days or moments that bring those ghosts around, stand and remind yourself the truths about you. I’m strong, I’m confident, I’m smart, once I learn it I can be good at it, I’m tenacious, I’, diligent etc. Gather your truths and wrap them around yourself like a blanket on a cold day.
Strive for little wins
Sometimes we are soo hard on ourselves, we judge ourselves solely on the great ideas we haven’t brought into light or the major/epic fails we’ve once had. Looking back on the little wins and celebrating them is a great way to lift yourself up. Try your hands at little things first and grow from there, baby steps. For instance, if you desire to be a global writer and bestselling author and different publishers have tossed your work in the trash or you never seem to finish a book project you start, try your hands at blogging, one post at a time or writing one article at a time and things like that. These little wins have a great way of boosting your self-confidence and keeping the ghosts away.
Talking to someone about how you feel to unburden has been proven to be a great form of therapy, however, who you talk to matters and what you do after getting relief and affirmation from the conversation is as important as the exercise. You may also want to try writing out your thoughts or frustrations as a healthy way to deal with stuff, that has helped me personally so i can recommend it based on experience. A caveat exists however, since we are all different, it is something you may want to try first to see if it works for you before making it a get away car. personally, I’d write in a journal that I keep securely, somewhere I am certain if anyone stumbles on it to read it, I’ll probably be like 95 years and won’t care or be dead. So, I’m free to express myself in those pages.
I really hope this long rant helped you. You’re worth more than your temporary challenges, You’re so much more.