I would say that at least 80% of the thousands of people I have worked with, have some degree of self doubt. So the good news is – you are not alone!
It shows up as a fear that we are not good enough – we do not have what it takes to do something.
This is what I have heard from my clients:
I love this sport but I’m not that good an athlete – I can’t try out for that team
I’m not that smart – I’m not going to apply for that promotion at work
Why would she want to be with someone like me?
I can’t or I don’t know how
We experience the world from our own lens which could be a positive or negative one. When we have insecurities, that lens tends to be a reflection of our negative beliefs about ourselves.
Every experience is neutral until you give it meaning.
Someone asks you to be part of a project team and you could interpret that in two ways:
- That’s fantastic – they feel I would add some value to the team
- They are only asking me to be polite, they know I would never be good enough
When we have self-doubt, we interpret others’ words or actions as an attack or rejection of us which only fuels the unconscious negative beliefs we have about ourselves. A counselor can help you get to the root of your insecurities to stop your self-doubt once and for all.
To get by every day, here are some techniques you can try.
Set an intention
Make a decision to do something small that is important to you. Some examples: it could be to smile at people, to not be negative today, to complete a task or get some exercise for 30 minutes.
Be willing to try
Setting your intention is a good start, however you need to be willing to make the effort. If you don’t know how to do something, then look it up or ask someone who can. Know that the first time won’t be perfect and that it takes practice.
Acknowledge your Progress
Work on at least one intention a day and take the time to ‘feel the moment’ when you are doing it. How does it feel to you? What did you have to overcome to get there? How did it get better each time?
Look for Positives from Others
Specifically look for positive reactions from others toward you. This could be a smile, a hug, a thank you, positive feedback on something you did at work, a compliment or appreciation. When you receive positive feedback, it’s important to say thank you instead of saying – ‘oh anyone could have done that’.
Don’t internalize Negative Feedback
Remember – everyone interprets the world through their own lens based on what they believe about themselves and the world around them. When someone gives you a negative response – it doesn’t mean you are stupid or incapable. It simply means they are sharing their interpretation. You get to decide if their feedback is of value or not.
Keep a Journal
Write down what made you happy about yourself that day. This could include how you looked, how you felt, how you treated others, how you stopped negative thoughts or progress toward something. You can also write down what you learned from your experiences that day. Once a week – read through your journal and you will be pleasantly surprised that you are better than you thought!