Experiencing self-doubt is a natural part of being human but for some of us, the feeling of inadequacy can be overwhelming and hinder how we approach our professional and personal lives. Changing our relationship to self-doubt is not an overnight transition and requires self-awareness and compassion, especially on those days when we’re being highly critical of ourselves. Though it’s not possible to squash self-doubt completely, there are ways to ease up on ourselves and soften the doubt that we feel. Here are just a few of those tactics:
Recognize what’s holding your back: All of us experience self-doubt but if you find yourself not taking risks or using opportunities to learn from mistakes, then you might be holding yourself back. Take a step back and reflect on what could be causing the hindrance. Think back and reflect on your story. You may uncover a memory or other factors that have impacted that way you relate to shortcomings or mistakes. Recognizing our story is a powerful practice and can help us in shifting the arc of our narrative going forward.
Change your relationship to fear: If the idea of taking on something new and making a mistake scares you, then it’s time to examine your relationship to fear. While being scared of failure, rejection, or a mistake is not uncommon, it starts to become an issue if you stop taking chances which could ultimately help you grow. Learning to befriend fear is one way to halt self-doubt because once you’ve come to truly accept failure as a part of life, then self-doubt starts to have less of a role in your life.
Find your community and support system: Finding folks who support and cheer you on is important. Not only can this support elevate your confidence but when you start to share your challenges and story with others, you’ll quickly find that you are not alone. Being reminded of our shared experiences as humans can be helpful in putting things into perspective.
Celebrate your victories: Self-doubt can also be softened by pausing to celebrate all victories, big and small. Chronic self-doubters may need to practice this over and over again! But like any skill, practice will strengthen your ability to take pride in what you do. Anytime you receive positive feedback from a student or just feel like you nailed teaching that boot camp, take a moment to feel good and pat yourself on the back.
Changing your relationship to self-doubt is a journey so take it easy on yourself when you start to feel discouraged. Be sure to return to these tactics and remind yourself that feelings of self-doubt are normal and part of the human experience.
At OfferingTree we’re committed to helping you in your journey in any way that we can! Though our suggestions in this article require personal work, we can assist with the technical and administrative aspects of your work, giving time back to you to focus on what matters most – your professional and personal practice. Drop us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org or take a look at our tools at OfferingTree.com.