It’s normal to experience feelings of doubt when we are faced with new or challenging situations. Self-doubt is characterized by feelings of uncertainty regarding one or more aspects of the self. It’s something that we all may experience at certain times in our lives. It’s definitely something I personally deal with, because every day as a business owner I’m hit with a new and different challenges. I may walk into my office one day and land three new clients, while the next day I’m dealing with the never-ending supply chain problems and employees not showing up to work. It’s an ongoing thing and its totally normal to face self-doubt. I am legit in the middle of finding a new warehouse, a new home, going public, making (no joke) tens of thousands of products, and the list goes on.
Self-doubt for me looks like, “Can I do this? Can I make all this work? How many pounds of things can I stuff into a 5 pound bag today? Etc. etc. etc.” The thing about self-doubt is, you just have to get over it. You have to remember who you are and move forward.
If persistent self-doubt is not addressed, it can lead to:
• Procrastination or lack of motivation (this is a big one)
• Emotional instability
• Low self-esteem
• Difficulty making decisions
I definitely experience anxiety and this constant pit in my stomach with long to-do lists. But by implementing a few of the tips I’m posting here, things have been getting better. If they worked for me, hopefully they can work for you too! I always like to use my own thoughts and things I’m dealing with in these posts because I know they’ll help at least one person who reads it.
If self-doubt is holding you back from taking a leap with your career, or in another aspect of your life, it helps to remember that we are all human. We all make mistakes along the way and it’s okay to do so. When we doubt our abilities, it’s often because we don’t want to make any room for mistakes. However, mistakes are also how we learn and grow. So next time you drink too much and miss that laundry day, or over sleep and forget an early morning Zoom call, don’t sweat it. Every day is A NEW DAY, remember that. Just try to be the best you can be each day!
Remember Your Past Achievements
Remember when you may have been scared to do something, but it actually ended up going really well? A lot of achievements are born out of initial uncertainty or doubt. It helps to remind ourselves of the times that things have gone right, because the same thing could happen in the present moment. So, think about all you’ve done and what you can keep doing. If you won an award for example, how many other people haven’t done that, but YOU DID. Also think about daily wins. I talk about this a lot. Even if you just got out of bed after a battle of depression for a week, you did it. If you chose to go to the gym over not going, or chose to eat healthy, those are wins as well! On the flip side, it’s good to not focus too much on the past, or past failures we might have had. The present moment is a new opportunity to do well, even if things didn’t go right the first time.
Try to Not Compare Yourself to Others
They say that comparison is the thief of joy. This saying rings true in many ways. If you’re experiencing self-doubt because you’re afraid you won’t accomplish something at the same level as someone else, then it can be a paralyzing feeling. I never once think about other beauty brands, everyone works and rises at a different pace. Everyone’s journey and ideas of success are different. What we can control and focus on is our own path and where we want to take it, regardless of where other people are at or what they have done. This rings true for Instagram as well. Don’t get caught up comparing yourself to fake lives or fake successes which are highly publicized on that platform.
Be Mindful of Your Thinking
When negative thoughts begin to creep in, sometimes they can be hard to recognize because we’ve become so used to them. Next time these thoughts persist, take a moment and ask yourself if you really believe that they are true. Consider how positive thinking may shift your mindset and allow you to be more confident in your abilities. Start saying positive affirmations! Write them on your mirror. Whatever you have to do, do it.
Remember That You Are Your Harshest Critic
Would you doubt the capability of a friend who took on a new job, or doubt the way they parent their kids to the same degree you doubt yourself? The answer is likely no. We will always be the harshest critic for ourselves. It’s a nice reminder to treat ourselves with the same kindness and compassion that we have for others, instead of being so critical towards ourselves.
Identify Your Values
Take a moment think and write down and what matters most to you. It may be that you’re kind to others, you’re a good friend, or that you contribute to something meaningful in your life. When we recognize these values and what truly matters to us, the fear of criticism from others falls by the wayside. And when we live aligned with our values, it doesn’t feel as detrimental to be criticized or make mistakes. This has done wonders for me.
Keep a Journal
Journaling is always a therapeutic exercise to practice. Writing down your thoughts of self-doubt, or your experiences with imposter syndrome, might be a good release. You may even realize after you see your concerns written down, that they may not be as detrimental as you thought they were. This can help to gradually overcome self-doubt.
Hopefully these tips and practices will help you overcome self-doubt, one step at a time. Remember, you can do this! Believe in yourself.