Think back to the times you’ve experienced self-doubt in the past. Maybe it was right before you finished a big project or while brainstorming new ideas. Maybe it was after you received some great accolades or after pulling an all-nighter. Knowing what things tend to leave you doubting yourself is a great way to prepare for the self-doubt before it creeps in!
The next step is to think through the dialogue you’ll have with yourself when you start feeling that way again. Perhaps you need to remind yourself that self-doubt is normal and that it will pass if you keep doing the right things. Maybe you need to keep a file of encouraging quotes nearby that you can read through. Or you might take a step away from your office or computer to breathe some fresh air and clear your head.
I first learned the skill of practicing my self-doubt dialogue after our third daughter was born. After giving birth the first two times, I inevitably succumbed to that feeling of being overwhelmed and emotional in the days after their births, but as I noticed it the third time around, I just began to remind myself that the feeling was normal and that it would pass. I practiced focusing on the positives — how beautiful and perfect she was, that we would have help when we were released, and that I had experience with babies already — and the feeling subsided much sooner than it had the first two times, even though I had had an emergency c-section.
In fact, I experienced the same type of post-birth doubts after launching Life Your Way last month. After 4 days of round-the-clock work, I immediately began doubting myself as soon as I flipped the switch to make the new site live. Instead of wallowing in that self-doubt, though, I simply walked away, reminded myself that it would all be clearer in the morning and tried not to dwell on the doubt.
Self-doubt can paralyze us and stop us from achieving the our goals, so practice how you’ll respond to it so that when it starts to creep in, you’ll be ready to fight back!
How do you deal with self-doubt? Are there opportunities you’ve missed because you’ve let it paralyze you?