Self-doubt and self-criticism seem to be as common as eating. It’s painful to doubt and criticize ourselves, yet despite it taking a major toll on our self-esteem and self-confidence, we still seem to do it.
So, how do we stop it?
First, let us just say that we get it. Like you, we face the same types of challenges as most people, including that voice of the inner critic and self-doubt. Truth be told, we’ve never met a person who hasn’t experienced self-doubt and self-criticism. If you know someone who hasn’t, we’d love to meet them.
The wild thing is that we’re born without self-doubt, insecurities or negative thoughts about ourselves. Then we get jaded by life, and more specifically, the people around us. We get bullied, criticized, ridiculed and abused – often by people who are closest to us – at home and school.
Over time, we adopt these thoughts about ourselves from other people, such as parents, teachers, kids, religious leaders, society, ex-boyfriends/girlfriends, etc., and we made them our own. We programmed our brains with these limiting self-beliefs without even realizing it, and that’s why they feel so real and true – because we made them ours.
However, these self-doubts and negative self-beliefs are NOT YOUR OWN. This is so important and powerful to understand. When you become aware and understand where your self-doubt came from, it will no longer have power over you.
So, how do we change this? How do we get rid of the self-doubt and feel more confident in who we are? How do we eliminate negative self-beliefs and value who we are as people? How do we begin loving ourselves exactly as we are? How do we believe in ourselves – knowing that we can achieve anything we put our minds to?
There have to be some inner shifts, and the first inner shift that needs to occur is…
Moving into self-acceptance. A shift into self-acceptance means letting yourself off the hook of perfectionism and not caring what other people think of you. It means not making your self-acceptance conditional upon achieving a certain goal, looking a certain way or seeking approval from someone else.
The minute you come into self-acceptance and understand who you truly are, how much you’ve overcome and that you are always doing the best you can, you will feel more confident. Now, self-acceptance doesn’t mean you give up, settle, become content or stop pursuing what you’re called to do. It means you stop judging yourself and open your heart to where you stand today in this moment.
It also means that we have to learn to go beyond our feelings and negative thoughts and choose to do what is right and what we strongly believe in even if we feel scared. That leads us to the next point of helping you get rid of self-doubt…
Declutter your self-talk. Become aware as to what you’re saying to yourself. If your self-talk is filled with negative thoughts about yourself, do you think that will help you feel more confident? Of course not!
So, you have to change your self-talk. Of course, this is a gradual process, and the goal is to turn down the volume of your self-doubt and promote more self-confidence. So, whenever your self-doubt creeps in – which it will – be kind, love and accept how you are in this moment. Stop shaming and bashing that part of you. As strange as it sounds, compassion is needed for all parts of you and is most needed in those moment of negativity.
Allow that self-compassion to soak into the self-doubt and then move out of it by changing your inner dialogue with your new truths about the type of person you truly believe yourself to be.
“The things that people want you to quell, the thing that they want you to be less of, it’s typically the thing that you are gifted at.” –Luvvie
Change That Up!