Today, I’m grateful for self-doubt. Yea you read that right.
We tend to see self-doubt as a negative and debilitating disease/condition.
Self-doubt is your personal monster and only you can fight that monster. But it also can be a strength that makes you better.
Self-doubt makes you work harder, set higher standards for self, gives you a sense of humility and confirms your vulnerability which why I believe it’s a strength.
I know, this isn’t always true: self-doubt can also lead to giving up. But doubting my own talents and abilities has driven me to work harder, in pretty much everything I’ve done. Study harder for the exam. Prepare harder for classes . Practice more. My doubt can some time spur me on rather than hinder me.
Of course, you can put too much work into something: there comes a time when studying harder is counter-productive. Believe I know. In college I would study for finals around the clock - no sleep whatsoever. And sometimes barely alert enough to read and take my finals bYou need to know when to stop. But I’ve seen a lot of people stop too soon. I’ve seen that more often than the opposite — people wanting something and not putting the work in, assuming they’ve done enough or reach their limit.
Sometimes they have so much confidence in themselves and their talents that they feel as though they don’t need to put in the work. And they don’t do as well. Either extreme is a dream/goal killer.
So self-doubt can be a good thing: it can make you work harder to get what you want.
Self-doubt means you judge yourself more harshly, which can be a bad thing. It can lead to despair and depression. I have been ther I know personally. But it can also make you hold yourself to a high standard, perhaps a higher standard than society gives you.
But I doubt myself all the time and that doubt forces me to do and be better. What I aim for may always be beyond my reach, but at least my doubt pushes me closer to what I am aiming to be. I never say “this is enough, this is good enough.” I’m always saying “this is the best I can do for now,” But I will try for better. I will do better the next time.
The hardest student to teach is the student who is convinced that he or she already knows everything. A student who doubts his or her own abilities will listen to you, be more willing to learn what you have to teach. So if you have self-doubt, you tend to be a good student. You tend to think that if you’re not learning, the problem isn’t the teacher, but you. A good student who possess humility can learn from almost anyone in almost any situation.
We need to value humility more than pride. There is nothing wrong with having pride in what you’ve accomplished. But a person with more humility is always looking for ways to be better and do better.
Many believe people they need to be more open, more vulnerable. I know lots of people who don’t need to be more vulnerable. Instead, they need to build boundaries, to say no more often. I’m one of those people. People who have self-doubts are usually already open to the world, to its judgments of them. They aren’t very good at shutting the world out. This is where I’ve seen self-doubt become deadly for people like me that get trapped in what people think about you. I have been very close to death because I gave power to other people judgements.
My central point here is that self-doubt can be a weakness: it can keep you from doing your work achieving your goal or not fulfilling your life’s purpose. But you can also redefine it as a strength. If you doubt yourself, that means you’re someone who holds yourself to a high standard; who has a sense of humility, of your own limitations; who is vulnerable and open to the world. Those are all good things. Self-doubt can lead you to work harder.
Which is how I’m learning to deal with my own self-doubt and turn it from a weakness to a strength.
None of us are immune to self-doubt, we all have the ability to keep it from directing our decisions, continuing our silence and shaping our lives. So how do we banish the doubt? We don’t. What we do is learn how to reclaim the power it has held over us.
Below are ways I’m reclaiming my power!
🏋🏿♀️Accept it, it ain’t going any where 😝 Embracing self-doubt as an intrinsic part of the human experience
🏋🏿♀️FEAR - Face Everything And Rise. Your doubts are not the truth. Rather they are fear-fuelled stories you create about who you are, what you’re worth and what you’re capable of achieving.
🏋🏿♀️Name It! Dilute your inner critic’s power by giving it a name mine is Truthless Terri. This allows me separate True Terri from fearful and doubtful Terri.
🏋🏿♀️Build a Tribe that can battle for you when you don’t have the strength. The people you hang out with will either fuel your self-doubt or fuel your confidence. So if you’re ready to make a change or take a chance, make sure you surround yourself with people who will help you to stay in action despite your doubts. I avoid people who feed Truthless Terri because I refuse to allow her to be the driver and be left standing with only resentment and regrets.
My experience has taught me, every time you take action in the presence of your doubts you dilute it’s power and amplify your own.
Only when you dare to do the very thing you doubt you can do, will you realize how little you ever needed to doubt yourself to begin with. I’m learning to thank Truthless Terri for trying to protect me, then tell her I’m not here to live a safe life, I’m here to live a life of purpose and fulfill my destiny.