Self doubt shows up in many different ways, all of it designed to stop us in our tracks.
Want to do something different? Step up and show up in a bigger way in your life?
Careful! you might just trigger a self doubt trap.
For me, the first self doubt trap is hesitation. We wait, hope for better circumstances, to be certain things are going to work out okay.
How will we ever know if we don’t give it a go?
We hold ourselves back. We don’t step up and show what we can do, we hide.
What do you keep putting off? For me, its recording my podcast. I’m waiting til my polyps are sorted and I don’t sound so nasally and stuffed up. What a great reason not to do it, right?
In hesitating, we make the decision not to try. We stop ourselves from being/doing/having what we want.
Instead of hesitating, how can you build momentum towards the thing you want to do? What small step can you take and build on it each day?
I’m going to take out my microphone and plug it into my pc and gently start preparing the way to recording.
That thing you’re putting off doing? What small step can you take today toward making it happen?
The second self doubt trap is triggered by fear and shows up as avoidance.
You know what you should be doing but you just don’t do it. You procrastinate, you silence yourself, you distract and avoid what you need to do.
What have you decided not to do today? That’s procrastination. To say, ‘nah, not feeling like it, I’ll wait until I feel better about it.’
when are you ever going to feel better about it?
Procrastination is an example of impostor syndrome, when we feel like a fraud, we’re not good enough, we’ll mess it up. We compare ourselves to others and decide we’re not worth the effort.
We are both the problem and the solution. Decide to do it. No matter how you’re feeling. My mentor says emotions are a distraction, sit yourself in your chair and do the work.
No matter whether you feel like it or not.
Surprisingly, when I feel like this and I sit down to do whatever it is I’m avoiding, I say to myself. Give it fifteen minutes and then when you’ve given it your best for 15 minutes you can stop. The surprise is once I start, I usually keep going until the job is done, long after 15 minutes are done.
Another self doubt trap is being hyper-critical. This is triggered by judgment and criticism of our past efforts. We may feel shamed and embarrassed by past failures, self conscious about not having a doctorate or a tiny waist.
We argue against ourselves all the time, focusing on all the reason why we can’t, what could go wrong. This can cause perfectionism, as a defense against criticism. Things have to be perfect so we do nothing.
When we argue for perfectionism, we are arguing against growth and learning, which is how we managed to learn to walk, speak, ride a bicycle – do anything really.
Perfectionism is keeping us stuck and doing nothing, which we think keeps us safe.
Its time for us to stop thinking so hard about what could go wrong and start thinking about what we could learn as we grow and attempt to do the things we aspire to. Take action. Make the call, write the blog, post the video, record our song.
You’re flawed, as are we all. You’ll make mistakes. As do us all. But you’re still breathing. Messing it up is not the worst that could happen.
The next self doubt trap is a doozy. I hate this one because its so hard to overcome – there, that’s one of my limiting beliefs!
Helplessness. Which is me means powerlessness. Which takes me right back to being a child and not having my needs and wishes heard, not being seen, not being valued. This can be an instantaneous reaction to triggers.
However when you commit to solving your problems, you start seeing solutions everywhere. The only things that matter are the actions you take.
Stop sitting around being a victim of circumstance. Don’t wait until you feel like it. Stop thinking everything has to be right and perfect first go.
Just do it.
Focus on what matters to you. Imagine what it will feel like when you are doing whatever it is you’ve been putting off.
You don’t have to fully believe in yourself to do it. Can you imagine another person getting it done? Then ask, why not you too?
You can still move forward, even when you don’t feel ready. If you wait to feel ready, you’ll never do it.
Stop looking for motivation in the wrong place. Its not a circumstance or a feeling that just shows up: you create it by doing the thing and keeping on going, even when you don’t feel like it. That’s when motivation shows up.
Motivation is energy. And you generate your own energy. You create it by expanding, growing, taking that next step, one after the other.
Don’t wait to find it. Don’t wait for it to show up.
Start something. And there it is.
What do you want?
Ask yourself that question every day. I start every day by asking, ‘What would I like to have happen today?’
And then problem solve. How do I attain my wants and desires?
Never try to think and create from the problem, where you’re stuck. First think about where you want to be and problem solve from there.
Come up with as many possible solutions as you can, as wild and wacky and practical and sensible as you can.
There is never only one way to solve a problem, there are millions, countless ways, so open that creative, brilliant mind wide and allow it to playfully bring solutions forward.
Stay focused on the results you want, stay in the solution and allow your problem’s answer to appear.
And it will take courage and patience to do this, as we are conditioned to play small and safe. That’s why self doubt kills so many dreams.
But not yours! Not today!
Be bold, imaginative and daring.
Ask for help from unexpected people.
Figure out what you’re doing from fear and stress, where you’re letting self doubt hold you back and today, decide No More! Not Today.
And ask for solutions, different, brave, quirky, unusual, unexpected, out of the ordinary run of things. Ask your mind to bring the perfect solution to you.
Because you can and you deserve to.
PS. I’m reworking everything I do to create a monthly group program where people come together once a week to grow, share, learn, laugh, cry, support and be supported. I have no idea what its going to look like yet but I do know that my 1:1 work will reduce and become much more expensive.
So if you want to get in before the prices lep up, do so now. Because come the end of March, I’ll be launching my as yet unnamed group program and putting 1:1 work on the back burner. I truly think I can serve more people better in this way.
I love my 1:1 work and am gladly accepting client registration right now -but only if you’re the right fit. If you’re ready to invest in yourself and move forward faster, gaining greater insight and self knowledge that you ever had before,get in touch. To see if that’s you, listen to the audio on this page and take the next step. Can’t wait to hear from you.