You ask yourselves questions such as, am I good enough? Will I be able to to do that? How am I really doing? Have I made the right choice?
Believe it or not, we even do this subconsciously. You are constantly analyzing everything you do. You might be the most confident person in the world but you too will ask questions about your own ability.
All this self-doubt comes when you think you are incapable of doing things you almost certainly have to do. Things that you may not like doing or something which is a bit out of your comfort zone.
All this can sometimes induce panic attacks, fear, leaving you with a feeling of not being in control of situations.
In some sense self-doubt can be a good thing but only because it helps us see what kind of improvements you need to do in order to make your lives run smoother.
So why does self-doubt make us feel stuck and feel like crap
So let’s start with a common example. A friend of yours has approached you to help him write a speech. This speech is important, as your friend is going to be the best man at another friends wedding.
I guarantee that the first thought in your head is why the hell is he asking me? followed by I’m no good at writing stuff like this!
Straight away you are doubting your ability to help write the speech. What you are not seeing though is that there was a reason why your friend has asked you. He will see it as you are the best person for the job.
Now because he’s your friend at its important to him you agree to help.
At this point in your head, you have fear. The fear that you will balls it up. Panic sets in and you feel incapable. A great feeling of letting him down comes over you.
A couple of days go by and your friend calls you to see how you’re getting on, “yes all good mate just need to finalise a few things” you tell him.
In reality, it’s not even passed the first word.
Self-doubt also has a best friend, Procrastination
The two go together like a house on fire and they will work together like a well-oiled machine to keep those thoughts running through your head.
So eventually the speech is finished and you present it to your friend. At this point, you have no idea what the hell he’s going to say. It might be shit, or it might be the best thing he’s ever seen. Who knows.
The fear is still inside, letting him down would be the worst thing ever.
“That’s fucking brilliant mate well done and thank you” are the only words that come from his mouth.
The relief that you get now is like winning the lottery not just once but twice. All that doubt has gone in an instance.
The result of this is that you can say to yourself I can do this, I actually can do it.
So What actually
causes self-doubt. There are many reasons why we have self-doubt, so here are some explanations for you to mull over
Firstly there is your past By this I mean past experiences. If you have ever had your confidence knocked for any reason what so ever then this I going to stay with you. Every time something similar happens that thought from the time before will come straight back at you.
This is most prevalent when you enter into a new relationship. If you’ve been in a toxic or troublesome relationship before, then there is going to be self-doubt as to whether a new one will work also. Even if it was nothing you did to break off the last one.
The trouble with us humans is that we are hard-wired to always take references from what we have already done, good or bad. That’s just the way we work.
This is not a bad thing. Without it, we have no chance of learning anything from those experiences.
What you have to realise is!
We all know that we cannot change what has happened in the past, but id we do not learn from it then we are wasting our future prospects.
How you were brought up
This is not a dig at anyone’s parents. The way we are raised has a significant impact on how we deal with the world when we are older. It shapes us, gives us our personalities and even the habits we have stem from our childhood.
For instance, if you were always told that your not good enough or you must try harder then this will stay with you until the day you die. Even when at school the teacher may have kept saying like your grades are no good, you need to try and get good grades or you will never be anything in life.
Partly they are true, good grades help achieve a job that is great. Even if the grades are achieved the words associated with it will be branded into you from such an early stage
What you need to do
To overcome these inhibitions you need to take stock of what you are now. Your an adult and the life you now lead is yours and yours alone.
The decisions you make are your choice and absolutely no ones else. You take responsibility for them.
As kids, we always look to seek approval from an adult of some description
Well, this is no longer required as you are now the adult. The things you have done way back have conditioned you into the person you are and each day we become a better person from learning from what we have already done.
we are always comparing ourselves to others around us. This is natural and probably dates back to caveman times.
If I am the strongest in a fight will I get the best girl? If I have the best pair of tits will I get the best guy?
Think you catch my drift. It’s all about competition and as humans, we love it as it keeps us on our toes.
We judge how others are living and compare it to our own. “They must have an excellent job, look at the car they are driving” “I’ll never be like him, he’s so lucky” “my life will never improve”
Well that’s bullshit
Instinctively we will always judge others, it’s a great way to give us a boost to improve the way we are.
Just because you see a flash Rolls Royce pull up outside a fancy hotel doesn’t mean that have to envy it.
That person might envy you at the same time.
You have to learn to appreciate yourself for what you are or have. Once you do this you will find ways to improve things for the better.
Fear of failing
This is by far the biggest reason for us having self-doubt. The fear of failure.
Now I’m going to use a famous example here Thomas Edison. He never failed at inventing the light bulb, he just found lots of ways that it didn’t work.
The other relevance to Edison is no one believed he could do it and kept telling him “you’re never going to achieve it”
Something that can instil fear.
If we have achieved something great before, then when we do something else which is of the same significance then we will fear that we will not be as successful in achieving this as before. We doubt the ability to deliver the same as previous.
The thing to do with this is to not try to be the same as before but be better at it.
Think of the last time you did something amazing as a personal best. So the next time you need to do something similar you have to focus on beating your own personal best.
It will be a great motivator which will drive you to succeed all expectations.
It will make you a stronger person
Once it is realised that we live in the now it will become a lot easier to overcome self-doubt. The voices in our head telling you that where you are at this present moment in time is right now are the helpful voices you need to keep you going on the right track.
Whenever you have a task or anything else which you might have to do. However daunting it may seem, make a list of all the positives that will come from it.
Question any negative thoughts and find out where they have come from.
Don’t think too hard or long about it
the more we think about something the harder it will be to deal with it. Step away for a moment or two and take a break. relax for a bit.
What is just as important is to ask for help if you need it. People will naturally want to help another if asked to do so. It makes them feel better about themselves too