Doubt – it’s the thing that can creep in and create a mess in your inner world. Sometimes it starts because of our own internal state and other times it comes from something outside of us – most likely, other people.
“What did that look mean? What was that comment all about? Why did she use that tone with me? Why wasn’t I invited to the party? Why is she acting upset with me?”
Judgement from others can really derail our plans because it’s hard enough to set our own self-doubt aside, but with outside criticism in the mix, that doubt becomes magnified. It can knock you off your path and make you question yourself and your own intentions: “What did I do? Why is she treating me this way? Doesn’t she know I’m a good person . . . am I a good person?”
When I was younger I’d be miserable at times worrying about what others thought of me, but as I grow older I don’t struggle with this as much – one of the great benefits of maturity.
Here’s the thing I try to remember, when going through times where I feel judged and find that I’m doubting myself: all I can do is my best. The most I can do is to put out my best intentions. I cannot be responsible for how others interpret my actions.
“Doubt yourself and you doubt everything you see. Judge yourself and you see judges everywhere. But if you listen to the sound of your own voice, you can rise above doubt and judgment. And you can see forever.” ~ Nancy Lopez
Oh to be Human: beautiful, flawed, well meaning and imperfect.
I think much of it can come from our childhoods, when we’re just figuring out our own opinions about ourselves and the world around us, we take in everything people say to us and some of those words can be detrimental. Sticks and stones my ass, WORDS hurt way more!
Growing up with an overly critical father, it felt like nothing I ever did, said or accomplished was good enough for him. My skills, my smarts, my talents, my personality- none of it seemed to quite measure up to his expectations, which I internalized as my own expectations.
Add in being bi-racial in a town full of white people and there were always jokes, comments, looks at me like I was an alien, and stupid assumptions people made because of it. Suddenly I wasn’t white enough, black enough, pretty enough, normal enough. I felt out of place and misunderstood for quite a large chunk of my childhood.
And I think it’s that word, ENOUGH, that gets us into trouble. It’s the sign that self-doubt is creeping in. “I’m not smart enough, skilled enough, prepared enough, brave enough, popular enough…” quickly becomes, “I can’t.”
But the thing is, that little voice is big fat LIAR! Enough for who? Whose expectations and ideals are you trying to live up to, and why?
You ARE ENOUGH for YOU! You are in the right place, going at the right pace, for YOU! There is no one else to measure up to, because you are your own individual living a life that only you can live.
So the next time you think, “I can’t, I’m not ________ enough”, recognize that as self-doubt (a big fat LIE), flip the script (“I AM brave enough. Eff you self-doubt!”), and push beyond the boundaries of what you think you can do. Because you are capable of so much more than your mind may sometimes let you believe.
My struggle with self-doubt is lessening the more I’m able to get out of my head and re-connect to my center, to my true self, the place that knows & believes I’m capable of anything.
Readers (yeah, you!) speak:
- Maria from Lime Tree Life shares facing fears & finding focus
- Lea, a self-employed artist & mama, on self-doubt
- Nichole, from The Aesthetic of Life, on moving through fear
- Jessica, from Raindrop Tea, on what makes her doubt herself
What makes those thoughts of self-doubt creep in, for you?
Is it coming from old stories and experiences?
Coming from people’s criticism and judgement?
How do you deal with doubt when it comes up?
Leave a comment below! Or post your thoughts on your own blog, or public facebook note, share the link in the comments and we’ll add it to this post above for everyone to check out!