As a writer, mother, and bootstrapping queen (trust me I’ve built everything from scratch with just pixie dust and a smile), I have a Ph.D. in battling the gremlin better known as self-doubt!
Raising a family, writing words that connect with an audience, growing a business without prior formal business education, are all aspects of my life that bring me constant joy. But without the right mindset, they can be a source of constant anxiety, stress, and frustration because of all that’s required of me.
If you’re a parent, an entrepreneur, a creative, or all of them combined, then you definitely know what I mean.
I know for a fact that you’ll have to battle with this too if it’s not ongoing, because the game of business requires strong faith, self-confidence, perseverance, and an “I can” attitude. Ingredients that many of us don’t have by default, largely due to our upbringing.
Which is why you’re so going to love me (just sayin’), for writing this article and sharing street-smart tips that you can start implementing today to finally free yourself from the bondage and torment that self-doubt has created for you and your business.
I know how awful it feels when I second-guess myself. When a major decision needs to be made and I just don’t want to make the “wrong choice,” so I end up procrastinating and delaying the very thing I want. Know what I mean?
And it gets worse…
Some people are caged in so bad that they could take a decision and then spend days, weeks, and even months worrying over the fact that it may not have been the right decision.
This is a great way to manifest a life that sucks! Believe me, nothing good can come out of such a state of mind and so, especially when we’re dealing with aspects of our lives that really matter such as business, love life, or our health, we must train our brains to be strong at decision making. Then we must follow through on that decision with full confidence and trust that the universe is designed to help us win, no matter what.
Sounds too simplistic? Mystical? Perhaps it is. But how’s the alternative been working out for you? Authentic Self-confidence and decision-making are pretty much synonymous in my opinion. Having one naturally invites the other and dissolves the gremlin known as self-doubt.
Street smart tips to help you shift from self-doubt to authentic confidence:
Before I share with you simple things you can start doing to overcome that self-doubt that’s shadowing your every move, here’s one last piece of advice courtesy of my spiritual mentor Deepak Chopra.
“If you obsess over whether you are making the right decision, you are basically assuming that the universe will reward you for one thing and punish you for another.”
“The universe has no fixed agenda. Once you make any decision, it works around that decision. There is no right or wrong, only a series of possibilities that shift with each thought, feeling, and action that you experience.”
“If this sounds too mystical, refer again to the body. Every significant vital sign- body temperature, heart rate, oxygen consumption, hormone level, brain activity, and so on- alters the moment you decide to do anything… decisions are signals telling your body, mind, and environment to move in a certain direction.” – Deepak Chopra
Okay, if that felt right for you. then let’s get into some simple daily decisions you can take to shift the signals in your mind, body, and environment so the voice of self-doubt can vanish.
Tip #1. Reconnect with your source of courage and confidence first thing in the morning:
What is the Source of your courage?
Where does it come from? It’s a great question to regularly reflect upon. When you can tap into the Source of your courage and confidence first thing in the morning before the weight of the world sinks in, the voice of self-doubt won’t have a strong grip on you as you face daily challenges.
Tip #2. Increase your competency in the subject matter:
The more you feel skilled and knowledgeable about something, the less likely you are to doubt your ability to win.
Here’s what I mean…
Invite Beyoncé to do a private dance show for you and I bet you’ll agree with me, she’d have no issue with that assuming you can afford to pay her and Jay Z is cool with it! But what if you gave her the assignment of performing a classical Beethoven Piece at Queen Elizabeth Hall for the Queen’s private charity event? You’d most likely get a difference reaction.
When it comes to you and your projects if you want to have that fierce, unshakeable confidence – increase your competency level. Learn more, work on your skills, and practice, practice, practice.
Tip #3. Work on shifting that paradigm:
Use what-if positively rather than negatively. Isn’t it such a bummer that most of us have an inner dialogue that’s worse than World War I and II combined? Those voices in your head are always so quick to take on “worst case scenarios” and “what if you fail/lose/suck at this,” etc. What you need is to give yourself a simple paradigm-shifting smack whenever the voice of doubt speaks up.
Listen to the voice and then turn that slimy red-eyed demon topsy-turvy by using the same statement in an affirmative way.
Rather than what if this goes wrong? Switch it up and say, “what if this goes right?” And cling on tightly to all the images, memories, and feelings you can access for when things have gone right for you. Refuse to give up your right to have a happy outcome.
Tip #4. Schedule time for a face to face:
Most people spend too much energy trying to crush, fight, resist, or hide their self-doubt. I find this to be a waste of time and a highly futile habit. I used to struggle a lot with fear and self-doubt because I didn’t know if I had anything valuable to contribute to the world. I didn’t know where I fit in this modern society, or whether there were others like me who perceived things in a less than usual way.
So my voice of self-doubt was really dialed up, especially when I started writing. The best gift I gave myself was finally getting fed up of hearing that voice in the most inappropriate times and just yelling to myself ” I can’t deal with you now. Meet me later today when I’m done with this and let’s have it out!”
Little did I know, this was the beginning of a whole new reality for me. Most of us don’t realize that our self-doubt gets power from us. It’s the power that we place on it that makes it appear to have authority over us. Few of us are bold enough to consciously turn around and stare it straight in the face, acknowledge that it’s there, and look at all the threats it’s giving us then say, okay, I hear you. And we can go at this as much as you want, but not now. Let’s do it on my terms.
So, it’s okay if you’re still having a lot of self-doubts. But it’s not okay that it paralyzes you or stops you from finishing something you’ve started.
Consciously set aside a specific time where you can deal with it and all the threats it poses. In fact, you could even play the “vanishing game” during your meeting with self-doubt and paint a scenario of what would happen if all those options your self-doubt offers simply disappeared. What would be left then?
Tip #5. Breathe deep:
When that sinking feeling that you don’t have what it takes and that voice of self-doubt starts questioning whether or not you’re good enough, take a moment to step back and breathe. Deep, focused, mindful breathing will soothe your nervous system and calm you down, thereby preventing you from falling into the trap of a downward spiral.
As you breathe, remind yourself that even this state of being and the thoughts that are racing through your mind are all temporary. The doubt, angst, and discomfort that you feel cannot harm you. It is not your destiny to fail. You are born to win and freely expand, express and unfold greatness that has never yet been experienced in the world, so you’ll obviously never experience this insecurity for the rest of your life. This too shall pass.
And as you breathe and calm yourself in this way, your body, mind, and perceptions will start to clear up. Deep mindful breathing has been proven to reduce tension, anxiety, and feelings of stress and overwhelm. There are many teachers offering various breathing techniques, but this is a great place to start if you need some help with this.
I came across a comment posted on Instagram by a follower who said: “There’s just no hope for me, I’ve tried everything.”
It was a response to a post that Jack Canfield put out on the power of affirmations I think. And my heart poured out to this individual. I couldn’t leave that page without letting him know the very thing I wish to remind you.
We all have moments of self-doubt, insecurities, and fear, but it’s important to remember that there is always hope. Cease making this process of handling and overcoming the lesser parts of you a big deal. Oftentimes, it’s the simplest solutions, the ones not taught in books, that work the best.
Now I would love to hear your simple street-smart tips that I can use the next time that voice gets a little too loud. And don’t forget to share this article with a friend who needs to know that they are not alone.