A common concern I hear from my clients, and something I’ve experienced myself, is self-doubt. It’s so frustrating to have desires and goals for yourself and then you get in your own dang way because self-doubts start creeping in! Or if you overcome the initial self-doubt and end up beginning on a goal, self-doubt ends up tagging along with constant thoughts that you can’t do it and that you’re not good enough.
Agh!! Enough is enough! These thoughts are so frustrating and self-doubt is so discouraging! Because of my own frustrations with self-doubt, I researched a few ways that I think will personally help me and that I’ve been told by many others has helped them.
1) Self Talk
If you tallied all of your thoughts as building yourself up or tearing yourself down, which would have more tallies? If you’re like me, the thoughts that tear you down and cause you to doubt yourself will have more tallies. Maybe those thoughts are for protection from failure but they are also a hindrance for progression and exploration. These thoughts can be so persuasive but also destructive. I feel sad that there have been numerous times I have listened to these thoughts and kept myself from doing something I wanted to do. Negative self-talk for many has become a way of thinking, so it’s going to take patience and persistence to begin to change these thoughts.
On the website, “Psychology Today” they list out four ways to overcome negative self-talk. First, you need to notice the critic. If you’re like me and have been thinking this way for a long time, it seems “natural” so it is important to notice when the negative self-talk is happening. Next, the author suggests that it could help to “separate the critic from you.” Maybe it would be helpful to give it a name or title so that you can put some distance between this inner voice and yourself. After identifying and labeling the negative self-talk, you have to learn to talk back! Tell your negative thoughts that they lie, they won’t lead to happiness, or anything that works for you to not buy in to what you are telling yourself. Lastly, it can be helpful to replace the voice. Become your own ally and best friend!
The double-edged sword of expectations: they are good to have but at the same time, they can be a source of self-doubt and disappointment. Expectations are another area that I get in my own way. I expect that I’ll perform poorly, I expect to perform well, I expect how others will react and all of this holds me back. If I expect myself to perform poorly or if I expect myself to perform well, I may not even try. Expectations can be unfair to put on ourselves and to put on others so it is helpful to evaluate what expectations you have and how you can be more realistic.
3) Don’t Care What Others Think
I have found that another thing that gets in my way is caring way too much what others think. It is vulnerable to open yourself up and be authentic, try something new, or go after your dreams. I think it is time to stop letting fear of others’ judgment keep you from moving forward. If you are true to yourself, you aren’t going to be friends with everyone, but hopefully you can be more of an ally for yourself. It can also help to not take what others say so personally. Usually people don’t mean to offend and if they were trying to offend you then that tells you something about that person.
I am ready to “get over myself” and stop getting in my own way of the things I want to achieve. In the beginning of trying these things, I foresee myself facing feelings of embarrassment but I think as I am able to internalize these three steps, I’ll be able to be more authentic to myself, and for me, that is the most relieving feeling. This isn’t an exhaustive list of “how to get over yourself,” so I challenge you to find what works for you and feel free to share so we all can learn what has helped you push yourself.
Vilhauer, J. (2016, March 18). 4 ways to stop beating yourself up, once and for all. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/living-forward/201603/4-ways-stop-beating-yourself-once-and-all