If you're here, it's probably because at some point or another (maybe more frequently than you're apt to admit), you've dealt with self-doubt. You've dealt with the little annoying voice in your head that says "You're not enough. This idea could never work. What makes you think you can do this?" How rude, yeah?
Then that inner critic starts to really beat you up because really, what kind of loser thinks such terrible things about themselves? Yeah, she really gets you there. She double teams you with all kinds of doubts about who you are and what you are worth. She pervades every fiber of your being. Don't believe her!
You know she's lying. You know your work is worthy, but you just can't get her out of there.
And you panic. You wallow. You don't do the work.
But I have good news. If you have self-doubt, it means you're really onto something good. It means that you're really ready for something BIG. It means that you're really passionate about your craft and that it means a whole hell of a lot to you.
Your inner critic loves comfort. It likes blankets and jammies and nothing new.. ever. And as much as I love a good cuddle sesh, we've got work to do. You've got work to do.
The self-doubt is just her way of trying to keep you safe. But if you want to get things done, you aren't always going to be safe. That's A-okay! A life lived safe just sounds awfully boring, doesn't it? What if you got to the end of your life and you realized you never took that big risk because of the liar in your brain? That'd be a full-on bummer and I know you don't want that. I definitely don't want that for you. Because you are a special mermaid soul just waiting to break free. Wait no more. Time to break free, mermaid.
Here are 6 ways to say bye-bye when self-doubt comes knocking:
1. Change your perspective.
When self-doubt creeps in, all you can think about is how it's not going to work out. Change your perspective to think about what really isn't going to work out. What will happen if it doesn't? What will happen if your idea is not really that great? What will happen if you don't give yourself to find out? What will happen if it DOES work out when you do it? (Hint: You're going to do it!) When we really take the time to think things through and think about the worst-case scenario, we often realize it's not that bad. And when we get really deep, we realize that the worst thing that could happen is that you learned something about what works for you or what works for your tribe. If you're struggling to start, remember that it's okay to fail, but you won't know if you never try.
It isn't weak to need to remind yourself of this. This is what makes you strong.
2. Erase the need for validation.
If the value of your worth is dependent on what someone else has to say about you, it's time to take some serious time to reflect. Validation from others can come in many forms, from the number of likes and comments you receive to the way you compare yourself to others' successes to even the most minute of details such as how many text messages you received this week. If you let the need for validation rule you and your sense of worth, you will be on a roller coaster every day of your life. Up and down and around. No balance. No sense of steadiness. This is not a fun roller coaster. This is the one that makes you want to throw up all the nachos you just ate. Yeah, we don't want that. ;)
3. Stop the need for perfection.
Perfectionism is an unrealistic ideal and one that often comes from comparison to others. Again, not healthy. Hard to stop, but not impossible. Understand that if you hold up perfect on a pedestal and measure of success, literally nothing will ever happen. Nothing will ever be good enough. Perfect doesn't exist. Ok, but I can totally hear you saying "But I just want it to be perfect enough for ME," to which I'm gonna call bullshit. Perfect is perfect and it isn't real. Holding yourself to a high standard is good, but not starting or not finishing because of it is simply not okay. I promise you'll live to regret it.
Read my 8 easy way to cope with perfectionism right here!
4. Look how far you've come already.
Let me preface this point by saying that this is not an excuse to start analyzing your past. What I want you to do instead is to reflect on where you started on where you are now. You've probably done some pretty great things. Where were you 5 years ago? What have you changed since then? What is better in your life since then? Even if the furthest you've come is only to write a list or to read this blog post, that is something. Celebrate the little wins of life. You are always, always growing.
5. Recognize your motivations.
Why did you wanna do that scary thing to begin with? Why is it your dream? What will it do to make your life better? Spend some real time with these questions. I guarantee you will become emotional, in all the good ways. You will be reminded of all the positive intentions you had. Use them to fuel you to keep going despite the pervasive doubt you feel. To choose action instead is to honor your motivations and intentions and let them and yourself know that they are important.
Complete this sentence:
I want to create ________________ because it will help ________________.
It will make you feel better.
6. Focus on the present.
I saved the hardest one for last. Chances are that if you are feeling self-doubt that you are thinking about the "What ifs" of the future just way too much. It isn't helpful. The future can't help you because it doesn't exist yet. The great news is that YOU GET TO CREATE IT, but you can only do that if you're here, IN THE PRESENT. Do what you can do today to make greatness happen in your life. Tomorrow you get another day and another one after that. Today you can make a huge impact. The things you choose today can change your life - they can change someone else's life. You have that POWER.