What to do When Self-Doubt Shows Up

What does it feel like when you’re plagued with self-doubt?
Where do you feel self-doubt in your body?
How do you react when self-doubt shows up in your life?
When does self-doubt show up, how do you work to overcome it?

Everyone has that little voice; call it your inner critic, your saboteur, or your gremlin. I call mine the “self-doubt monster.” It starts to speak up when I make changes in my life, and sometimes, even for weeks on end, it is loud, obnoxious, and ever-present.
You probably recognize yours as the voice that shows up and tells you that you’re not good enough, that you don’t deserve, or that you don’t know what you’re doing. Maybe it’s specific with its criticism, or maybe it just creates an underlying feeling that fuels your thoughts and actions. Self-doubt feeds off your fear and insecurities and it will work hard to hold you back. But sometimes doubt serves us, it works to keep you comfortably where you are in life, protect you from failure, or stop you from doing something that might be embarrassing.

How do you know when doubt is not serving you?
What can you do when your “self-doubt monster” has crossed the line from serving you to interfering with your progress?

monster
                        Courtesy:Canada Goose Outlet

 

Here are 5 strategies you can use to combat self-doubt:

1. Big-picture focus.

Broaden your focus to look at the grand scheme of things. If there is one thing the self-doubt monster loves to pick at, it’s the little things in your life. I bet that if you look beyond small failures, you will see long-term success. Maybe you screwed up today, but how have you succeeded this week? This year? Maybe you failed on a short-term goal, but does it have to sabotage your long-term ones?

2. Name your monster.

Yep. That’s exactly what I mean. Give him or her a name, picture your monster, personify it. Address him/her when they show up, and tell them that they are not wanted here. Recognize that they are not who you are, they are a separate part of you that you can choose to listen to or ignore. Lighten up a bit. Laugh.

3. Change your thoughts.

What does your self-doubt monster say to you the most? What is your most common self-doubting thought? Whatever it is, turn it around and state the opposite. “I’m not good at ______.” Becomes, “I AM good at ______.” It sounds simple enough, but remember how powerful words are. Also remember that you are likely to believe whatever thoughts are rattling around in your head, so start creating positive ones. Listen to those words, believe them, and prove to yourself how true they are.

4. Break it down, write it out.

Sit down and write out everything that you are feeling insecure about. Be specific, include the details, and don’t hold back.  I bet you’ll find as you write that a lot of those insecurities don’t really feel true, and a lot of them are small potatoes (hint: revisit strategy #1). For the insecurities that are big, and do feel true, break them down: why are they true? How can you know that they are true? How have you proven that they are true? How have you proven that they are not true? What power do you have over them? How will you use your power to overcome them?

5. Hug it out.

Sometimes, you just need a hug. In times of deep self-doubt, there can be nothing more healing. Hug a loved one, hold a pet, feel the love, strength, and comfort that comes from connection. Know that even when you can’t see it, you are enough. Someone always has your back.

 

And remember, there’s no reason to be scared of monsters.

Sarah

 

P.S. Email subscribers will be getting BONUS journaling exercises on overcoming self-doubt delivered to their inbox! If you haven’t subscribed, sign up here!

One Comment on “What to do When Self-Doubt Shows Up

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