As an ex digital marketer, current Empowerment Coach, and a member of a community called Albinism India Group, I have spoken to lots of people, who have cited Self- Doubt as a reason for not being happy and feeling demotivated.
People from all walks of life; juniors, seniors, freelancers, start-up guys, marketing professionals, investment bankers, those praised for their beauty, those who look different, successful or not have had to deal with self-doubt at some point.
Even global leaders, sportsmen, athletes, politicians, celebrities, internet influencers are not spared of this feeling.
EVERYONE feels it. You are not alone.
How then do some of them get past it and achieve what they want? How do celebrities perform on the world stage without fear?
How did India’s Neeraj Chopra win the first-ever Olympic Gold medal for his country in Track and Field?
1. They replace Self-Doubt with Strengths and Qualities
When was the last time you thought about your strengths and positive qualities?
Those who leave self-Doubt behind will answer, every day.
Most of us will not know what to say, because we do not discuss our strengths at all.
Our conversations with friends and colleagues are about
– Our negatives
– What We Lack in
– Our Weakness
– Reasons why things went wrong
– Reasons why things will not work out
– Our Failures
– What if, I can’t do this
Negatives are a daily part of our conversations but our qualities and strengths aren’t. Think about this, if you keep talking about the negatives, where is the room for anything else?
2. They do not seek external validation
“I was always looking outside myself for strength and confidence but it comes from within. It is there all the time.”
Think about the Indian men’s hockey team who won an Olympic medal after 41 years and the women’s team who made it to the semi-finals of Tokyo 2020 for the first time ever. They did not seek validation from others. They believed in their skills, their talents and achieved the results.
Most of us give up because our colleagues think it’s a bad idea or our parents don’t understand us. We need the constant approval of our friends and family to pursue our dreams. Their belief becomes more important to us.
We tend to focus on the flaws. But never do we pat ourselves for coming up with the idea, giving a great presentation or standing up to the client, or coming up with a last-minute solution.
Ergo, Self- Doubt.
3. They celebrate themselves
One tiny step back, one small hiccup, and we immediately start spiraling but very rarely do we celebrate ourselves. This constant behaviour of being too harsh on ourselves leads to self-doubt. We keep reminding ourselves of the times we failed and faltered but talking about our wins, especially the small ones just doesn’t come naturally.
So many of us brush it off saying no big deal, but IT IS. It is a big deal when you cook perfect pasta or manage to lose 500 gms in a week. Make it a big deal when you confidently say a No or when you learn a new language. Celebrate your wins. It’s the nicest and the most rewarding way to beat self-doubt.
It’s a gradual process but applying the above 3 techniques will go a long way in beating the dreaded Self- Doubt.
Here’s a simple but effective exercise that will help you get rid of Self -Doubt.
Start Now, fill in the answer to these 4 headings and you will definitely feel good about yourself.
Note: You may find it tough because we are not used to listing our positives but think hard. Force yourself to finish it. Ask friends and colleagues if you have to. Take your time but set a deadline for yourself and do this.
My top 5 Strengths/ Qualities that do need any validation from outsiders:
(Think of inherent traits, characteristics, something you are naturally good at)
5 wins (big/small) from the last 2 months that I would like to celebrate:
(Now that you have listed them, go ahead and celebrate. Reward yourself with your favourite ice-cream flavour, buy a new dress or something that’s been waiting in your cart for a long time. In any way that will make you feel good- reward yourself.)
Top 5 Skills I am good at:
(Things you have become good at after learning and practicing. You could also be naturally good at it.)
5 things I love about myself:
Note what you feel about yourself after completing the exercise. You will find yourself reflecting back on how you have accomplished so much in life. How you overcame obstacles and displayed great strength. You will value yourself more.
Do this more than once if you need to. Keep going back to the answers. Make practicing the 3
principles a regular habit.
Self- Doubt will take a back seat in your life.