Google defines self doubt as a lack of confidence in oneself and one’s abilities. Which is a short but completely accurate definition of what we all experience in our day to day lives.
We all have that voice inside, that tells us what we can and cant do. More often than not, it is telling us of why we cant do something, the risks involved, what your family might think of you, and heaven forbid what happens if you fail!?
Self doubt can paralyze someone from following their dreams, and keep them chained to a cubicle their entire life. Not realizing what they could have done if only they had gotten a firm grasp on that voice called self doubt and told it to take a hike.
I had this astounding vision, not very long ago, which was the dream life I have always wanted to live. This vision involved me writing for my blog as well as building my own company, from ANYWHERE in the world; sitting on a train traveling though Europe, hanging out in my ocean view room somewhere in South East Asia, or even sitting in a local coffee shop deep in the mountains… I am free to go anywhere I want, whenever I want too. I am also free of any financial concern whatsoever, never having to worry about bills again. And on top of all this, I am also helping thousands upon thousands of people create better lives for themselves, thus making the world a better place!
But, before I could even think about it much longer, a well known voice (self doubt) decided to voice her opinion…
“You can’t do that…. What are you crazy?! It’s just too hard, plus it’s already been done before, you’re way to late to the party to try now, besides don’t you know it’s way out of your comfort zone… ”
I almost listened too, that’s the stupid thing! I literally was about to take this negative Nancy’s advice, and not go through with finally going after the life of my dreams, and settling for the life of mediocrity instead…
Isn’t it absolutely crazy how our minds work! I know this vision is what I deeply want, It is what I have wanted since I was a little girl, well the travelling part anyways. But already the mind has decided it’s scared and wants to run away in fear. Because yes, this will be extremely challenging, it’s bigger than me, I will need help, I will need to study, and learn so many new skills. It will push me completely out of my comfort zone, and really test all my limits.
I am terrified to do this, I have no idea where to even begin. However, there is something very different about me now than who I was in the past… I am not even sure when it happened, it was probably over a period of time. Now, I have this voice in my head that is extremely positive, and it encourages me instead of the negative Nancy voice. Let’s call this voice, Positive Pete… Pete is much stronger, and a more authoritative voice too. So when I do get those thoughts of self doubt, I stop myself and say, ‘No you can do this, you got this, you can do anything you want!’
The confidence I have in myself is getting stronger everyday. It is a very liberating feeling too, because you basically stop caring about what other people think of you. Like now, I go to the gym without any makeup, actually I very rarely wear makeup at all anymore because I feel more comfortable with who I am, and I am not trying to impress others.
I had to realize though, that everyone was living their lives as best they could, and I had to remember that they don’t really care about what you say or do. Well some people still do, but do you really actually care what they think anyways? You shouldn’t. Let it go. They are having a completely different life experience than you are, and you don’t know what they are dealing with, so why do you care if they think you look silly wearing that yellow raincoat to work… You will be prepared when the rain falls and stay nice and dry, meanwhile they will be soaking wet by the time they get into work. Then who’s gonna look silly!!!
Okay I am getting off topic, what were we talking about? Oh right! Self doubt.
Well I guess caring what others think of you will go hand in hand with self doubt. Those two are like best buds, they feed off one another. If you think you are stupid and bad and useless (I am using words I don’t like here to prove a point) and then you hear about how someone else that you barely even know said you were stupid, naturally you are going to believe it 100 times more.
However, if you tell self doubt to take a hike, and listen to positive Pete, who thinks you are amazing and wonderful and full of potential (which you are btw) and then you hear about how that lady down the road that you met once at a neighborhood picnic said that you are “strange” because you brought a chili to a picnic, then you will easily shrug that off because you know how great you are, and that everyone loved your chili!
I get it though, we live in a world where we are constantly comparing ourselves to others. Facebook, Instagram, twitter, ect, are all focusing on how awesome someones life is. I totally can relate to that. I enjoy using Instagram, and I will spend a little time each day just looking at other people travelling, and I feel extremely jealous. Then I go and post my pictures, and I only post ones that are cool and it looks like I live this amazingly awesome and fun life. What they don’t see though, is the countless nights that I sit alone in my room, staring at my vision board, wondering when my life will truly take off… But I would never share that on Instagram, only the fun stuff!
So you get my point, don’t compare yourself to others, ever. Not on social media, not at work, not at school, not even at the gym (this is a terrible place to compare, you have no idea how long they’ve been at it for, and how mentally difficult their diet of only brown rice, broccoli and chicken is.) I like food too much, and I also love the lifestyle I have, so I will probably never look like those super fit looking girls, and I am okay with that.
However it did take me a long time to stop comparing myself other and not care what they thought of me. I wish I would have sooner, because I am a hell of a lot happier now that I don’t, and the self doubt is a lot less loud and obnoxious as well, shes still there, just a lot quieter and I can usually silence her in a matter of seconds.
Is it weird that I give the voices in my head genders and names…?
Probably, but that’s okay, because I don’t care even if it is!
Okay so lets recap here, this is what I learned from my experiences.
- Self doubt can and should be sent away as soon as the thoughts come. Replace them with positive affirmations, such as, I am awesome, I am amazing, I can do anything I want, I am full of potential.
- Self doubt can be silenced when you quit caring what others think of you
- Self doubt gets fed when we compare ourselves to other people, so please do yourself a favor and stop doing that.
- Find a group of friends you can be yourself around, and that wont judge you, or make you feel bad if you make a mistake. I have a very small but tight group of friends, but I know that if I fail, they will be there to help me up.
- Accept that self doubt will likely always be there, but don’t give it much power. Show that negative Nancy self doubt voice who’s the boss! Your future self will thank you.
Thanks for reading 🙂 Happy journeys!