In this series of blogs that I will affectionately call “The Ponder Series” we will explore the 15 things to give up that I posted in my pre-thanksgiving blog (please refer to https://superduperassistant.wordpress.com/2013/11/28/things-to-ponder-this-holiday/). Number one on that list is:
Self doubt is one of the biggest thing that keep up from developing our true potential. We talk ourselves out of our own hopes and dreams. So in the fight to assist you all in a better you, let’s explore self-doubt a little.
If you ever get a email from me you will see the following quote at the bottom
The full quote is actually:
“And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.”
Now, this is the quote that fuels my writing, in whatever way shape or form it appears on a daily basis. It’s why I started this blog. There are so many people out that that have said that have benefited from something I have said or posted that why deny that creative bone in my body. I shouldn’t doubt my ability to put word to page. To evoke a thought or a idea in a perfect stranger. I need to stop doubting that I had a voice that needed to be heard. Creative begins with an idea and grows from there, if we stifle that, then what?
So in assisting anyone and yourself, you gotta leave the self doubt at the door. Kaiden Block said it best I think.
It will be the biggest road block you will face. “Don’t stop yourself from greatness before you’ve begun from fear or from self-doubt. You were put here on this planet to do great things, to pioneer change by way of your own personal uniqueness, and to express yourself and share your happiness with others.”
So in preparing for this moment, I did a little research to see what the “experts” say about self doubt and ways to work on eliminating it in your life. And I came across a very interesting article on a website called Zen Habits. Alexandra Levit who is a career advice columnist for the Wall Street Journal and she wrote about 5 ways to conquer self- doubt. I found her thoughts quite interesting and pretty smart. (http://zenhabits.net/conquer-self-doubt/).
Levit states that self-doubt is something that most everyone struggles with. It is a very real and can be debilitating human emotion. It can be very isolative, which if you think about it can make the situation worse. Think about when you had a big decision to make and you were sure of what you should do. Did you find yourself sitting alone in your house, thinking constantly “what should I do?” Your best friend would call and you wouldn’t answer because you were plagued with worry. Hell, I have been there. Its a pretty scary place to be depending on the situation. You compare yourself to those around you. This is when the wishes and hopes come into play, but not the happy ones. It’s the I wish I was as good as such and such, I hope to be like you know who, which usually just makes you feel worse.
Now you can get GREAT at kick self-doubt in the face, but a key fact that Levit wants you to embrace that self-doubt might show up even if you get really good at giving it the bird. So best thing to do is to find a way to help yourself curb the feelings so that you can move forward. Levit’s 5 ideas are:
- Go Back in Time: Remember past incidences of doubt in your life where you have prevailed. The first time you spoke in public. A dance recital from when you were little. How did you feel when you go through it. Was there a time when you were quite sure you could accomplish a goal? What happened when you did? Remember the triumph. Focus on those feelings instead of the negative ones that lead you to believe you can’t. I use to be afraid of speaking in public. I have over the years almost forced myself to do it at least 2 times a year to remind myself that I can do it. I remind myself that feeling when I am done and the clapping starts. The even better feeling is when people come up to you with questions or just to say a kind word. Remember the past and those feelings can be so helpful with fighting your doubt.
- Defeat the Doubtful: LIST I love them! This idea calls for making a list with 2 columns. On one side put the doubtful thought and the other side put facts that dispute the thought. And example could be, I shouldn’t start a blog because no one will read it. Thing is (and this is what I thought) doesn’t matter if anyone reads it, the information is out there for someone to find. Blogs aren’t always about who is reading them. I also thought about this wasn’t for anyone else but me, and if someone reads it (besides Davis) it is worth the time and effort. And now after doing this for a few months, people are reading it.
- Keep an Event Journal: This journal is for you to keep track of your daily activities and how they made you feel. Keep track of all the things you accomplished and felt good about and the ones that you didn’t feel so good about and why. This according to Levit will help you see how much of your day goes great and that the not so great things are far and few between.
- Call on your Cheerleaders: People who love you will always see the best in you. When the self-doubt gets really overpowering, I call my mom or my best friend Lynnett. They are always great at helping me see the bright side of things and working through my fears and doubts. Find out who those people are in your life and let them help you. Eliminated doubt is also asking for help and encouragement when you need it.
- Celebrate your Successes: Take a moment and pat yourself on the back. When self doubt has reared its ugly head, smell those flowers. Treat yourself to your favorite something. I like Starbucks personally. Take the time to feel how you feel and maybe write about it, that way the next time you feel that doubt creeping in you can remember that moment.
Doubt can be crippling, but with these ideas maybe you can help yourself or someone else with becoming less doubtful. I tell Davis all the time stop focusing on the negative. There is always something you CAN do when you are surrounded by a bunch of things you think you CAN’T do. If breaking my leg has taught me anything its that even when you are stuck on your back for 3 months you can find something to work on and improve. It taught me what was important and what I should work on to shatter my own self doubt. For the longest I wanted to get back to writing and with my blogs I have. It has helped me hone my craft. I am truly living my favorite quote.
So Start today, as the new year approaches take steps to be less of a self-doubter. Be positive. Allow yourself a chance. 2014 will be here soon enough and its gonna be better than the last 🙂
“Erase self-doubt by working to build your strengths instead of focusing on your weaknesses.” ― Rodolfo Costa,