Self-doubt is a sneaky little beast, showing up both when we least expect it and when we try to do anything new and different. In this article, I’ll provide a personal example of self-doubt and 10 tips to help you deal with self-doubt when he shows up unexpectedly at your house.
Self-doubt is a lack of confidence in one’s abilities. You may feel self-doubt about a specific ability in a specific area of your life, during a specific time period, or you may be plagued with self-doubt on a routine basis.
A Personal Example of Self-Doubt
Self-doubt shows up at my house generally when I’m trying to accomplish something new or hard and am struggling in some way. Sometimes it’s 2 am and sometimes it’s while I’m in the shower. While I’m generally a confident person, I still struggle with self-doubt on a routine basis. A conversation with self-doubt in my life might go like this:
He starts by reminding me that I didn’t get all of my workout completed so I suck at taking care of myself.
Once he has my attention, he says things like, “You’re just going to fail, stay in your lane. You should have . . . Why don’t you . . . Geez, you suck at virtually everything. Who do you think you are?”
There is generally just enough truth to what he says to make it believable. Who needs a verbally abusive spouse when self-doubt thinks he belongs in my head?! I like to view self-doubt as something separate from myself, someone with their own agenda and goals because it makes it easier for me to see it for what it is — separate from myself, not part of me. That being said, he has visited so often, we are practically roommates.
One thing I’ve learned about Self-doubt is he changes his approach to whatever he thinks will work at the time. This time he was berating and abusive. At other times of my life, he was more “I’m just trying to help you out – I don’t want you to make a fool of yourself.”
But now I know him and know his goals – to make me feel less than others.
Knowing this helps a lot. I know whenever what is said makes me feel less than, or not capable, it’s Self-doubt making a drive-by appearance.
Over the years, I’ve learned some tools to help me deal with self-doubt when he makes an unexpected appearance.
Tips to Deal with Self-Doubt
When self-doubt shows up at your door, here are a few tips to help you overcome that nagging voice that stops you.
- Challenge negative self-talk: Notice when negative self-talk creeps in and challenge it. Replace negative thoughts with positive and affirming messages.
- Practice self-compassion: Treat yourself with kindness, compassion, and understanding. Remember that everyone has moments of self-doubt and it’s okay to feel this way.
- Set realistic goals: Set achievable and realistic goals for yourself. Break down larger goals into smaller, more manageable objectives.
- Focus on your strengths: Take time to reflect on your strengths and the things you do well. Celebrate your successes and recognize your accomplishments.
- Accept mistakes: Accept that mistakes are a natural part of the learning process. Learn from them and use them as an opportunity for growth.
- Avoid perfectionism: Strive for progress, not perfection. Perfectionism can be a form of self-sabotage and can lead to increased feelings of self-doubt.
- Seek support: Reach out to friends, family, or a therapist for support when you need it. Talking about your feelings can help you gain perspective and find solutions to your challenges.
- Journal: Journaling thoughts and feelings is a great way to identify the causes of self-doubt. Sometimes it’s easier to write than it is to talk about how you are feeling.
- Practice self-care: Take care of yourself physically, emotionally, and mentally. Get enough sleep, eat healthy foods, exercise, and take time to do things you enjoy.
- Celebrate progress: Celebrate small wins and progress towards your goals. Acknowledge and appreciate your efforts, even if you haven’t reached your final destination yet.
Self-doubt is an inevitable part of growing as a human being. We all experience fear and a lack of self-confidence in some area of our life. The trick is to learn how to overcome self-doubt and push through those fears. By utilizing the tips provided, you’ll begin to trust your judgment and increase self-confidence in your abilities.