Do you struggle with self-doubt? I did, for years! The ways I doubted myself were crippling –and led to massive procrastination and many emotional eating binges. The “not enoughs” were too much and became “I can’t…” Then I was s-t-u-c-k.
Candy and cookies seemed to take away the frustration for a bit, until the blame and shame of the binge brought me back to reality. Not only was I filled with self-doubt, I self-sabotaged my efforts and perpetuated my feelings of unworthiness. Being stuck is not fun and drains all your energy. You watch as friends, family members, and colleagues are moving forward, seemingly effortlessly. The obvious question becomes, “what’s wrong with me?” The good news is there’s nothing wrong with you.
Even better news is that you can take the self-doubt, take steps to work through it, and become more confident in you. With self-confidence, your decision-making skills are strengthened, others are drawn to you in social situations, your produce higher quality work, and you have clarity to create the life you desire. One more thing – the emotional eating subsides. The pit in your stomach is gone; there are no negative feelings to eat away. You don’t need the candy and cookies to feel better; you have your mind and body providing you with the assurance you need to move forward.
5 Strategies To Help You
- Stop and Think. Reflect on why you’re experiencing feelings of doubt. Think about the events that caused you to feel insecure. Being faced with a challenge that you don’t feel you’re capable of successfully completing is a major cause for self-doubt.
- Do you have a habit of putting yourself down? You may be subconsciously repeating negative thoughts that prevent you from moving forward. Such thoughts as “I can’t do this” and “I’m not good enough” become reasons to opt out of new experiences that could bring you many benefits.
- When self-doubt creeps into your thoughts, take a few moments to think about why you believe this is true. If insecurities are getting the better of you because of prior mistakes, you want to let go of the past and resolve to live in the moment.
- Replace your negative self-talk with positive thoughts about how you can do it and you are good enough. Make the switch each and every time you have a self-doubting thought. You got this!
- Practice self-understanding. Often, when you feel insecure about your abilities, you start berating yourself. Beating yourself up over something you feel you did wrong only leads to a cycle of frustration and procrastination (and emotional eating!). Realize that making mistakes doesn’t make you a bad or incompetent person – it simply makes you human.
- Allow yourself to accept that while you’re not perfect, you’re certainly someone who always strives to do the very best job you can. Embrace the idea that every challenge in life is an opportunity for you to learn something new and grow as a person.
- Make a list. Take a blank sheet of paper and make two columns. On the left side, write down all of the doubtful thoughts you’re having about yourself right now. On the right side, list all of the positive facts that dispute your doubts.
- For example, suppose you’ve been assigned a new task at work that you’ve never done before, and you immediately become negative because you feel your skills aren’t adequate. On the left side of the list you might write something like “I can’t do this because I don’t have the skills.” On the right side of the page you might write something such as “I was given this task because I’m a quick learner who always gets the job done.”
- You’ll find that you have a lot more positive facts listed than doubts. If your positive list is short, keep searching through your talents and good qualities (yes – they are there) until your positive list outweighs your negative one.
- Write a letter. Write a letter to yourself that talks about your positive traits and how you’ve overcome obstacles in the past. If you can recall a specific time when you triumphed over self-doubt and accomplished something that makes you feel proud, tell this to yourself in the form of a story.
- The act of writing the letter will release all of those pent up insecurities that are spinning around inside of your mind. By the end of the letter, you should be feeling a lot better. Keep the letter in a brightly colored folder, so you can refer back to it when needed.
- Make an appreciation folder. Keep track of those kind words of appreciation you receive from others. When you’re experiencing self-doubt, it’s easy to forget about all of those wonderful comments you’ve received for doing things that made other people’s lives better in some way. Collect all of the emails, notes and cards that say kind and loving things about you.
- When you feel the voice of your inner critic welling up inside of you, simply take out your appreciation folder and read those wonderful thoughts.
Do you need support?
Self-doubt can rob you of the opportunity to reach new heights of success and enjoyment in life. While it’s very common to doubt yourself once in a while, you want to be able to let go of your inner critic effortlessly, without reaching for candy and cookies to numb your frustration and dissatisfaction. Practicing the steps above will enable you to push through your self-doubt, boost your confidence, and clear the way for positive new experiences.
You may be reading this and thinking, “Yes, I so want to do this,” and yet deep down you know you need support to take the next step. I have been in your shoes, except I thought that needing help was a sign of weakness. I could not have been more wrong. If you’d like to speak with me about transforming self-doubt into self-confidence, I invite you to schedule a complimentary call here.