Our doubts are traitors,William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure
and make us lose the good we oft might win,
by fearing to attempt.”
The whispers in my head…
Each of us hears our own little nagging voice, whispering endless doubts. You know the “its too hard”, “it’s not for you”, “you’re not good enough” type messages.
This chatter holds us back, make us timid, and diverts energy to second guessing our decisions. Leaving a big barricade of fear in our way!
But how do we pick up the battle axe and slay that internal monster?
So glad you asked…
Worry and doubt often go together, but you can also have one without the other.
Since I have already covered worry, and how to say good bye to that, as well as, doubts driven by self image, today I hope to focus on pulling these things together for us to push through and really find ways to see ourselves in a mentally strong way. You’re not alone in this struggle.
It is a battle we all face, and the internal turmoil is hard to deal with, because your having to face some hard truths and untruths about yourself.
Let’s start by sussing out how you might go about identifying what is driving your worries and doubts.
First, let’s take a very practical look at worry and doubt, in a non textbook way. My blog, my definition – LOL!!! 😂😂
Worry is the constant mental energy focused on what could happen or reflecting back and constantly thinking about how others are thinking about something you did. Also, over focusing on a past event to analyze it over and over to see how you might have messed it up.
Doubt is the constant haranguing you give yourself voiced through that nasty internal voice that is setting your mindset to think your not good enough, smart enough, capable enough etc… (Here’s a secret: you’re freaking amazing! You’re the most amazing YOU there is!)
The mental energy that these two things take away from doing awesome stuff, is so depleting and impacts you both emotionally and physically. With lots of negativity flowing through your brain, heck positivity has to literally bash you on the head and say “hey did you hear me …”job well done!”
Therefore, the amount of energy it then takes to stay positive, be in a mindset of moving forward and believing in your capabilities, is just plain exhausting.
Many of us decide to fall to negativity and create additional barriers for themselves. I think it is probably a protection mechanism because it feels safe and predictable. If I were sitting with you right now, I would be helping you make a plan to BREAK THE PATTERN! Find comfort in being positive, sharing positive, and bucking yourself up.
I have had periods in my life where I have felt ugly, dumb, not capable, a complete failure, and just a disappointment to myself and others.
I have sat through discussions where people have said statements that were just plain insensitive and I took it to be directed towards me and felt pretty lousy afterwards, letting even more doubt creep in. What was really a danger was when I started to believe the doubts. Breaking through that wasn’t easy, it took really looking hard at those doubts and becoming real with myself. It also took recognizing that those statements had nothing to do with me and everything to do with them.
Sure I have told you my tales of resilience and confidence and being strong, but I have also been sharing stories of utter despair and a mental attitude of muck. Worry and self doubt are definitely mucky!
All that to say, this led me to writing about self doubt and worry and how we can battle it. It brought me back to a time where I learned about “positive affirmation” statements. The premise is you take three index cards, and on each one you write your three affirmations.
Then you place one card on your bathroom mirror, one in the car and one in your binder (it can be electronic these days as long as it is front and center).
Each morning you read your affirmation on that mirror three times, when you get in the car you do the same and when you get to work repeat again. Then reverse at end of day.
These positive affirmations are forward looking and are of what you want to become or what you want to believe about yourself. They will change over time as you begin to really believe the affirmations. When you fill your mind with positive thoughts about yourself, you start pushing back the negative you get day to day and that nagging negative internal voice. This is how you can start to win the battle against the negative self talk.
How to create a positive affirmation
Here one from my past:
As an emerging professional:
– I have what it takes to succeed
– I can learn and adapt to all I am given to do
– I am a servant leader helping others success.
The process is to turn the negative thoughts holding you back, into empowering positive thoughts that fill your mind. The ones above were to erase my doubts about my ability to lead, my doubts about helping a team make an impact and my doubts about being able to learn and not seem dumb.
Some steps to battle self doubt.
1. Stop and really listen to how that nagging inner voice is shaping your thoughts. Meditation is a great way to do this.
2. Take an inventory of the negative thoughts and find the top three things your thinking about that is reinforcing your worry and doubts driving negative self talk.
3. Then write it as a positive statement and create a positive affirmation card
4. Repeat it daily for as long as it takes to believe in what your positively saying about yourself. (Stick at least 30-45 days)
5. Also take an inventory of the people around you. Are they negative and pulling you down. Is your day filled with the “shoulda, woulda, coulda crowds?” I promise that after 30 days of really focusing on positive self talk those negative folks will stick out like a soar thumb.
I read this quote a while back:
“Your the average of the five (5) people you spend the most time with”Jim Rohn
Let that sink in. 😳
I immediately started looking at my closest interactions and honestly I had to adjust a few.
Slay your doubts by being mindful about what your feeding your mind.
Seriously, feed it junk and you will feel like junk.
If your surrounded by negative input, you will be putting out negative output. If you want to win the battle of self doubt, you have to win in your own mind and surround yourself with those that will help you grow and thrive in a healthy way.
Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, needs someone that will pick you up, dust you off, tell you your awesome and help cheer you on. Don’t kid yourself, even the most seemingly amazingly positive person needs help staying positive.
In the end, the battle is worth it to win. The results are true joy, fulfillment and your defined success. Although, I have conquered many battles through time, there is always new worry and doubt that seeps in where I have to take up Excalibur again!
So keep vigilant and Shine Brightly!
Views my own.
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