I have this terrible habit of doubting myself. I have no idea where it came from or why I even do it, but it's something that I am ultimately not really proud of. Finding ways to stop doubting yourself is probably difficult for everyone, but for some reason I find it particularly challenging. Like everything else, I try to take control of the little itch I feel inside to somehow get rid of it and to not let outside influences affect my decisions — but it always creeps back.
As someone who is trying to be successful in their field, self-doubt is a horrible feeling to constantly fight within yourself. Why am I having these self-doubting moments? I love those days when I can wake up and feel like I am excelling at what I am doing and the majority of the time, I do feel a good amount of confidence. However, I sometimes find myself slipping into a self-doubt depression and I've come to realize that this battle is not helping anyone or anything in my life.
The strange thing is that I thrive on constructive criticism. I let it fuel me and build me up. But when it comes to saying saying "no" or "yeah, I don't know about that idea," I tend not to fight for my ideas as much. A lot of times, I figure out how I can use the strength of my craft to become confident in what I am doing, but there are a lot of steps and it takes time. With a lot of practice, I am hoping to one day be steadily confident when it comes to my ideas and creativity. If you feel you are down that same path when it comes to your career or yourself, then there are a few steps we can take to help us lead in the self-loving movement. Because self-doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will.
1. Stop Overthinking
I am a huge prisoner to overthinking. I can stare at a very important email for God knows how long until my brain bursts because I feel like my "tone" could be off just by a little bit. This has a lot to do with making sure I am pleasing others, and it also correlates with self-doubt. When I feel myself overthinking a situation, I try to pause and think about where exactly this thought pattern is coming from. If I start to minimize the problem, I then realize how it's not as big of an issue as I thought it was. Once I have that down, I can focus back on the work I was doing without any self-doubt in mind.
2. Don't Worry About What Others Are Thinking
According to a Mind Body Green article, by worrying about what other people think, you are thinking about something that you have absolutely have no control over. There really is no need to stress out about something that you can't change yourself. Once again, I have a hard time with this one as well. I want to make sure that I am doing a good job all around, that my work is pleasing everyone, and I think internally that that is just not going to happen. Not everyone is going to be completely happy with that type of work that I do. But in the end, I need to realize that if it is going to make me happy, then that's all that matters. If I am producing work that I am proud of, then I will continue to produce good work and feel better about my overall performance.
3. Trust Your Gut
I hate when I don't trust my gut. I get frustrated when I have self-doubt and, in the end, the idea or thought that I originally had is usually the correct one. I just need to believe in myself and trust my gut. The best way to do this is to stop the negative thinking in your brain and to not be afraid of what others might do or say. You have to fight for what you believe in to get anything accomplished. Sometimes the toughest battles are the most rewarding.
4. Write Down Your Accomplishments
This is one of the things that I always say that I am going to do, but I end up not doing. It's on my list along with going to exercise and marrying Ryan Gosling. I need and should do these things (well, most of them), because there are multiple benefits of acknowledging everything you have done. Boasting about yourself in a written form is a secret way of telling yourself how awesome you actually are. According to Forbes, writing down "wins" is the one thing successful people do all the time. By doing this, you are acknowledging what makes you great and giving yourself a clear picture of what you are doing.
5. Keep On Creating
One of the worst things you can do is to stop creating anything at all. Just because you are feeling these doubts doesn't mean you should stop until this phase rolls over. You might not know when this phase will go away, and you are only hurting yourself by allowing self-doubt to control your creativity and skills. Actually, a little bit of self-doubt is really good for your creativity. According to The Huffington Post, a 2010 study published in Psychology of Sport and Exercise claimed that individuals who experienced a little bit of self-doubt actually performed better than people who didn't. Use that self-doubt toward something positive. Think of it as the match that will ignite the flame.
6. Know That You Are Not Alone
Everyone goes through self-doubt. Even the greatest of the great deal with it. Once you realize that you are not alone in this situation, it will help alleviate things. According to Psychology Today, everyone sometimes goes through something called The Imposter Syndrome, which means having the inability to accept praise because of the irrational fear of not deserving the compliment. I didn't believe this fully, until I met an older woman who was talking about a past job she had, and she claimed to have gone through the imposter syndrome. She told me that she would sit in meetings thinking, "Why am I here? I have no idea what I am doing." I never realized just how many people go through the same thing I do. It was an eye opener.
7. Ask For Help Or Advice
If you ask for advice or help in a situation, it does not necessarily mean that you are weak or unsure. Asking for help has allowed me to notice why I am feeling a certain way and it enabled me to get the answers I have been searching for in my head. Usually the person I trusted and asked helps me with the advice that I have been looking for. Once I have the answer, it allows me to find where the self-doubt it coming from.
8. Live In The Moment
You might not realize it, but a lot of the time you have self-doubt because you are thinking about a past situation that you regretted or failed in. But that is the thing, failing is part of life and while that is easier said than done, there is absolutely nothing wrong with it. According too The Huffington Post, Dr Cynthia Thaik, who is a Cardiologist and author of Founder Of Revitalize-U, said not to dwell on these moments. "Just because you weren't able to accomplish something before doesn't mean you can't do it again," Thaik said.
Everyone goes through self-doubt. It's how you pick yourself up after the rough patch and get on trucking that really matters.
Images: Giphy (8); Pexels