How to Let Go of Self-Doubt

the counter intuitive road to results that matter

Credit: Pixabay

Are you really going to hit publish?’. ‘People won’t get that’ ‘That’s too personal, you don’t want people to know that about you!’. These are just some of the many thoughts that flash through my head while I write a post.

How the Noise Drowns out the Inner Voice

There was a time when these thoughts had such a tight hold on me that they weren’t even in my conscious awareness. These thoughts prevented me from even getting to the stage of sitting down to write. There was a time before that when it didn’t even occur to me that I might enjoy writing as a medium for communicating ideas, engaging in conversation and experiencing some personal growth.

I believe that each and every one of us has a message within us and a desire to bring this message into form. The problem arises when we think that self doubt doesn’t belong in the creation process.

It is all too easy for me to compare my inner world with the external world I see of others but any assumptions I make in these moments are just that — assumptions, that make an ass out of me when I mistake them for facts.

Self-Doubt — A Simple Reframe

Before we talk about the one and only solution to self-doubt, let’s engage in a simple thought experiment and create a reframe. What activities do you currently perform where you are extremely self-confident and live without self-doubt?

What comes to mind for me are simple, everyday things like breathing, and thinking. I don’t doubt myself in these areas and so my attention very rarely focuses on these things, I do them automatically and without much worry or anxiety.

With this in mind instead of resisting self-doubt, I have chosen to see it as a signal that something contains meaning to me at a deeper level than my conscious mind can comprehend. I don’t tend to self-doubt in areas that are not very meaningful to me so I like to look at self-doubt as an impulse I can follow to start creating a life of meaning.

You can think of self-doubt like Hansel in disguise as he leaves a trail of breadcrumbs for you to follow.

Releasing Your Grip on Self-Doubt

In the moments when I am just not seeing things clearly I like to look to the one antidote to self-doubt that I know of — action. Action is a wonderful thing because it can be done even when you are shitting yourself inside.

Have you ever watched one of those people who go sky-diving and cling to the side of the plane with all their might before they jump. I think this is a very normal and natural reaction when faced with an unknown circumstance.

But did you ever see someone make the jump without first letting go? You can think of the jump as the process, the edge of the plane as inaction and the closed parachute as self-doubt.

You can choose to hang onto the side of the plane (inaction) or you can take the jump with the closed parachute on your back (self-doubt) with the faith that the parachute will eventually open up (self-confidence) before you hit the ground.

Thankfully as this is a metaphor, even if you hit the ground, you can always take another sky dive with the knowledge of a few more things that didn’t quite work.

Consider this quote from Steven Pressfield:

Turning pro is a mindset. If we are struggling with fear, self-sabotage, procrastination, self-doubt, etc., the problem is, we’re thinking like amateurs. Amateurs don’t show up. Amateurs crap out. Amateurs let adversity defeat them. The pro thinks differently. He shows up, he does his work, he keeps on truckin’, no matter what.

If the message hasn’t hit home yet then consider the below equation I created from some horses pulling a chariot.

The horse of self-doubt + action always comes before any carriage of confidence

Over to you…

When was the last time you did something that you were petrified to do? How did it turn out? What lessons did you learn?

Call to Action

If you enjoyed reading this post then you will love The Happy Mindset Show. Each month I interview people who have had the courage to step out and lead a life uniquely their own.

I speak about self-education, art, creativity, language & culture.

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