Four crippling self-doubts and how to beat them
Self-doubts are the thoughts and voices in your head that stop you from trying something new, knock your self-esteem and confidence and make you feel unworthy.
These negative thoughts can make you feel like you’re the only person that has self-doubt and that the people around you are confidently getting on with their lives.
In my experience that really is not true, everyone has self-doubt and at some point we all have to battle with those doubts. The difference is whether you let your inner critic stop you believing in yourself or you decide to go for it anyway.
I have found that there are four particularly ‘crippling self-doubts’ held by people. Doubts which you need to eradicate to feel confident and happy.
Crippling self-doubt #1: I’m not good enough
Fact: You are good enough just as you are.
Yes you could possibly be healthier, more confident, earn more, have a bigger house or more friends, but is that going to make you happier?
At the core of us we are all good enough, and accepting that is the key to happiness. Instead of chasing after the next success and expecting it to make you feel fulfilled, love yourself as you are now.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have goals, just that knowing you are okay today is more important.
Crippling self-doubt #2 – I’m stupid
Fact: you will have evidence that disproves this doubt.
Many people pick up the message that they’re stupid in childhood, when the brain isn’t developed enough to understand the meaning of behaviours and words. The cause can be as simple as a comment by another child or teacher in class, or parents giving more praise to a sibling about school work.
I have found that when I challenge clients to find evidence that disproves this doubt, it always exists and then we can work on replacing that belief with a something more realistic.
If this is something your inner critic says then have a go at looking for evidence that contradicts the words.
Crippling self-doubt #3 – Other people will laugh at me or reject me
Fact – Other people are focused far more on themselves than you.
We all know logically that we shouldn’t be worried about what other people think about us, however it is quite natural for you to have those thoughts. Being part of a family or ‘pack’ is important for safety and survival, which means wanting to belong is part of our DNA.
If you are finding that this worry is having a crippling effect on your life and stopping you from feeling comfortable in yourself then it’s important to challenge it.
As I said, 80% of the time other people are focused on themselves, what they just said or want to say, what they’re having for tea etc.
If you worry what others think when you are making conversation, one tip is to really focus on them and be present in listening to what they say and asking questions. This level of interest will help you easily connect with them and everyone likes to talk about themselves.
Another tip is to remember that you can’t get on with everyone and what would be the worst that could happen if you didn’t hit it off with a new acquaintance?
Crippling self-doubt #4 – I’m not important enough
Fact – We are all equally important and only when you change this belief about yourself, will others treat you with importance.
This self-doubt is often expanded into “I’m not important enough to be”:
- loved or
- treated with respect or
- listened to.
Whichever version you have, then you need to challenge this thought with evidence from those that love you and think you are important. Again it is about you as a person and not what you have or what you do.
Your self-doubts don’t have to stop you achieving your goals, and I would love to share my system of techniques and tips to enable you to eradicate or manage them.
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About Joanne Painter
Jo is an enthusiastic and experienced confidence coach, who works with clients to help them build their confidence and self-esteem to achieve things they never imagined they could.
Based in Bishops Stortford, Jo offers face to face coaching, Skype and telephone.