“I don’t believe anyone ever suspects how completely unsure I am of my work and myself and what tortures of self-doubting the doubt of others has always given me.”
Self doubt sucks. I know this because I have suffered from it for my entire life. The thing about self doubt is that we ALL suffer from it, a few brave souls speak up and own it, but most don’t. They already feel inadequate, just imagine how much worse it would be to admit it and talk about it – hell no!
Well I am here to say that it’s time we own it, deal with it and know that we really do know our stuff!
I posted this little video below last Sunday in a moment of impromptu madness. I decided to set myself a challenge to post something, anything in one shot, in bed soon after waking, with the most unflattering of morning light and all. I propped my phone on a tissue box on my knees to keep it straight and just pressed record. No plan or idea of what the hell I was going to say, I just wanted it to be authentic and I was happy to be vulnerable, and vulnerable is a huge deal for me. It was sheer torture to hit upload and nothing can come close to describing the agony of watching it. What the fuck had I just done??? I wanted to drag it down, boy did I want to and almost did, about 100 times. But I decided I needed to embrace my message and put myself out there. I did it for me, thinking that perhaps at best a few kind friends and family might take a peek and give me a little “there there, it was nice” pat on the head. Man was I wrong! Before I knew it, it had been watched and shared a ton of times and comments were flowing quicker than I could keep up, not to mention private messages and all sorts of feedback. I shared it in two mastermind groups in my moment of vulnerability and the feedback in the groups brought tears to my eyes.
I have spent years doubting myself, my talents and skills and I am here to say again that it SUCKS! I am going to write a whole separate post about imposter syndrome which is the technical name for it, but no matter what name we give it, self doubt is a destructive monster.
So what can we do about it.
1. Take comfort in the fact that we ALL experience it. I quoted the great Tennessee Williams in the beginning of this post, but I have read about and spoken to hundreds of people who talk in the same way. I was amazed when I read Robbie Willliams’ biography a few years back, to hear him say that he has no idea why people pay to come and see him and that he doesn’t rate himself as a performer.
2. Focus on your strengths. You DO know your stuff. You are a great mother, teacher, doctor, footballer, author, painter, writer, dancer, cook, wife, receptionist…..fill in the blank.
3. Stay in the present moment. If you begin ruminating, rehashing and over thinking, self doubt just gets worse and grows bigger and uglier. Trust me I am an expert at all of the above. If you find it hard to stay present go for a walk, meditate, listen to some music, dance, anything to get out of your own head.
4. Journal it. Write it down, get it out. Writing and getting your thoughts on paper is a very cathartic process.
5. Read through old things you have done, presentations, notes, feedback, testimonials, messages whatever you have, and remind yourself just how fucking awesome you are. If other people are telling you, surely it must be true right?
It is time for YOU to start believing just how much you rock!