Do you ever feel like you’re being tossed to and fro in the sea of self-doubt?
Or, do you ever feel lost or overwhelmed when it comes to making important and critical life decisions?
If I had a default button – it would be self-doubt.
Plagued by self-doubt, I’ve wandered aimlessly through many seasons of life decision-less, willingly giving my power away to parents, friends, boyfriends and institutions who I felt knew the answers better than I did.
This often only ended in one thing: disaster.
There is great merit to seeking out advice and taking it.
The danger comes in when you are plagued with an unhealthy dependence on other people’s ideas and opinions of what you should be doing to the point that you totally fail to follow your gut and give your own inner intuition some valuable airplay.
When you allow self-doubt to eat away at the core of who you are, it can chew up all of your creative energy and result in you never tasting those gourmet goals and delicious dreams.
Maybe, it’s time to overcome self-doubt once and for all!
The famous general Sun Tzu said in his book, ‘The Art of War’ that when trying to overcome an enemy “if you do not know your enemies nor yourself, you will be imperiled in every single battle.”
So, if dealing with self-doubt has become something of Harry Potter Dementor proportions, then it’s time to declare war and end the vicious cycle of losing the battle with self-doubt:
Weapon 1: Watch your inner dialogue. Practice sweet words, allowing yourself to speak encouraging and uplifting rhetoric to your heart. Practicing self-compassion can slice through the miry clay that’s swallowing up your inner compass.
Weapon 2: Watch your tongue. It’s not just what you’re thinking and feeling, but also what you’re speaking out loud and declaring. If you’re overly committed to Hugh Grant-esque self-deprecating remarks, try to remember that this isn’t a Hollywood movie but the story of your life and you get to speak your destiny into being.
Weapon 3: Cut out disrespectful people. I used to do some freelance work for a well-known and accomplished Canadian artist and tolerated some seriously bad behaviour from this individual. After an incident that left this person yelling at me and accusing me of things that I never did, I had to pull out of the project. This taught me one extremely valuable lesson in life, friendship and love – I do not work for, nor will I live with someone that disrespects me. Making this decision can increase your ability to trust yourself again and maintain your dignity.
Weapon 4: Surround yourself with people who appreciate your unique talents. Aligning yourself with people who can recognize your potential and treat you like an equal is an integral piece in solidifying your sense of self-confidence. This is not about overly relying on them, but rather fostering a healthy and positive relationship with people who can help nurture and appreciate your unique take on things. It’s important that you also select individuals who hold your boundaries as dear to their hearts as their own.
Weapon 5: Do some digging. I’m a great proponent of going deeper into finding out how and why the self-doubt is lingering about like a noisy toad inside your life. Getting an experienced and skilled coach, counselor or mentor can really help you get to the bottom of your stagnating self-doubt pond and drain it so that you can fill yourself up with something fresh, new and confident.
Weapon 6: “She came along and she spoke so sweetly, Changed everything, took my heart completely, I, I love that girl.” ~ Endlessly, Green River Ordinance. Practicing self-love on a daily basis can really validate your sense of empowerment. Self-love causes you to gain the focus and clarity you need to never dwell in self-doubt to the point where it completely takes over your ability to move forward with energy and boldness. Self-love gives you the confidence to overcome self-doubt.
Weapon 7: Hindsight is 20/20. Look back over your life and pinpoint as many situations as you can where you were fulfilled and healthy. Try to find those situations where you decided to do something that people told you couldn’t or shouldn’t be done, or where you followed your own intuition and desire against convention or popular opinion but had the time of your life doing so and accomplishing those things in a positive, uplifting way. Taking inventory of your past wins can reinstate confidence in your decision-making process.
Maybe you do undoubtedly know what’s best for you!
Do you have more tips on how to slay the dragon of self-doubt? Please share them in the comments below.
© PRIYA H. DEVALIA
Copyright © PRIYA H. DEVALIA 2014 All rights reserved
Photo Credit: Elisa Latif, Mona Elisa Photography (www.monaelisaphoto.com)