A little self-doubt is healthy to ensure that we don’t bulldoze our way through life, however, with so much uncertainty in our lives at the moment, self-doubt is getting the better of us and knocking confidence in our abilities.
Until we truly accept the things that we are unable to control we won’t be able to fully focus on the things that we can; and so we waste our precious energy and exhaust ourselves by fighting a losing battle which self-confidence cannot thrive in.
For many of us, the carpet has been ripped from beneath our feet, and our carefully crafted lifestyles and careers have been disrupted in one way or another, which is wreaking havoc with our self-confidence.
If you’ve found yourself going round in circles these past few months, or are just feeling plain and simply stuck then rest assured, you are not alone!
Trying to push though things in a reactive state of mind however is not the answer, and this can do more harm than good. Forcing confidence within yourself to move forward could wind you up worse off in the long run with unsupported plans of action falling through which diminishes your self-confidence further and will then support self-doubt in the future.
You must ensure that you are building on solid foundations so if you feel as though you are walking on shaky ground right now then it’s time to pause, take stock and review.
Start by giving yourself a little confidence boost and reflect back on the last 10 years to identify your past successes and accomplishments in both your work and personal life. This in itself should serve as a reminder that you are very much capable but don’t stop there. Delve into these past achievements further and see if you can pin-point some of the elements that contributed to such a positive outcome for you.
There is likely to be a few circumstantial elements that may or may not have been within your control but you should definitely notice some behavioural patterns emerging with specific actions or environments that created success in whatever it was that you set out to do.
Digging deep into your past enables you to find solid evidence to overcome self-doubt which will support you in moving forward confidently and questions are a great tool for learning. Just as you learn about others by asking them questions you can do the same with yourself to uncover insights into what is holding you back.
When negative events occur in our lives then we sometimes generate automatic responses to protect us from the same thing occurring in the future. These responses can be triggered by anything relating to a previous negative experience. The trigger could be something like a similar location or a similar sequence of events occurring which of course doesn’t mean that the outcome this time around is going to be negative but until you find out exactly what it is that is causing your self doubt you will be fearful to move forward. Sometimes our automatic responses hinder us instead of protecting us and this is why it is always important to do the investigation work within yourself and get to the root cause.
Ask yourself what is the evidence that is supporting your self-doubt. Is it something that you have failed at before? If so, what were the circumstances then? Was it within your control or outside of it? And even if it was within your control, if you changed your approach this time then could the outcome be different?
This is a tricky conversation to have with yourself so it’s helpful to work through self doubt and challenge your beliefs by physically writing it all out on paper. This will allow you to gain a much better perspective as it makes it clearer for your brain to process. Keep on challenging your beliefs with more questions to ascertain whether they are valid or not.
This is also a great exercise in identifying strengths and weaknesses and makes you better informed of the ways in which you should move forward and what you do and don’t have control over.
There is an enormous amount of pressure to be and do many things but you are far better to capitalise on your strengths and seek out opportunities to building on them instead of wasting time and energy trying to turn your weaknesses into strengths. Seeking out opportunities and environments where you strengths can flourish is a far better way to increase your confidence quickly and easily rather than forcing yourself into environments or tasks that call upon your weaknesses.
About the author
Camilla is a Self-Image Specialist and Confidence Coach. She is also the founder of multiple beauty and creative agencies that work with individuals, corporations and luxury brands.
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