Self doubt has been a recurring theme in my conversations of late. I have encouraged multiple people struggling with it, and never cease to be amazed at the calibre of people – those whom I view as having everything sorted, barging full steam ahead, not concerned with whether the world wants to hold them back or not – who have doubts about their capabilities.
It’s easy for me to look at others, their talents and capabilities, and tell them what I see and how I believe in them. I’m often times taken aback by their lack of self belief. It’s like an admiring fan looking at an Olympic diver – we can easily admire the beauty and talent from the outside, we can clearly see the results that person has achieved and the skills they have to offer. But it’s only the diver who is privy to the entire picture – good, bad and ugly – of how they got to where they are; the fails, the heartaches, the practice and the challenges that have been overcome to achieve those results. When we look and talk to ourselves we, like the diver, are privy to the entire picture of our minds, and all this extra information – negative and positive - can cloud our view of some of the character traits and strengths that outsiders can otherwise clearly see and identify.
Remembering this “clouded view” when self-doubt arises is important. Knowing your view is clouded is one of your strategies of defense against negative self-talk. It’s likely that your self talk may not be helpful, could be warped, could be an exaggeration of the truth or could be plain, downright incorrect. Remembering your view is not entirely correct gives you the courage to keep going, challenge your doubts, and continue to believe that you can achieve your goals.
When I’m plagued by self-doubt, I have also benefited from another strategy, which is assessing – and changing – the mindset which I have fallen in to. I easily adopt a competitive mindset which means that I start to view everyone as either a threat to my ranking, or as beneath my ranking in the competition of life. Needing to “win” the competition not only means there are always going to be losers, but that I start looking around and comparing myself to the next person. “Am I prettier than her?” “Am I more successful than her?” “Oh no, she has more online followers than me, I must be hopeless.” Etc. etc. Comparing apples and oranges is a flawed approach, as is trying to set up a competition between the two. I have learned that changing my mindset to adopt a “win win” approach (thankyou Steven Covey) in which I see myself – and others – as unique, and to be respected individually for the wealth of our experiences and knowledge, is much more accommodating of the courage and motivation I need to keep going in times of self doubt.
In my latest vlog I get personal about some of the thoughts I struggle with and how these have impacted me as I prepare for an upcoming seminar I’m preparing. If you struggle with self doubt, I hope you find it helpful.
Kristy is the founder of Wellbalance. She is inspired to motivate leaders and workplaces toward proactive, effective and productive communication with their people, to achieve positive outcomes for all. Kristy enjoys long walks on the beach and holding hands at sunset (just joking - actually not really!) Kristy thrives on seeing relationships reach their full potential, and celebrates when people come to understand their true value - to love their flaws, accept their perceived failings and grow beyond these. She believes that the entire human race are healthier and happier when they CONNECT - with their people, GROW - in their self awareness and ability to engage with others, and LIVE - life to their full potential.