1. Everything is temporary.
When you doubt yourself what are you thinking about? How ill-equipped you are to do a particular activity? How little you know about a topic? How much better that other person is? How you’re not where you want to be yet?
What do all of these thoughts have in common? You’re worried about your inability to meet a standard in this moment. Well, guess what? You won’t be in this exact moment forever. One day you won’t doubt yourself. One day your joy will override your fear. One day your doubt will be replaced by curiosity. I hope that knowing your self-doubt won’t last forever will give you peace.
2. I’m doing the best I can.
Even if you’re doubting your abilities at this moment, give yourself some credit. You’re doing the best you can right now. You might have a lot of room for improvement, but being overly critical of yourself won’t help you move forward.
Allow yourself to be a beginner. Allow yourself to be on a journey. You probably will make mistakes. You probably will encounter challenges. But you will learn so much from those mistakes. Your life will be richer because you started before you felt like you were ready.
3. I can always learn more over time.
You are not limited to the knowledge you have right now. Each day offers an opportunity to become better. Being happy with small wins will take the sting of self-doubt away. When you see yourself growing and improving, when you realize you're doing things you had no idea how to do in the past, your belief in yourself will grow.
You might not be where you want to be, and you might not even be where your friends are but you don’t have to stop yourself from getting started because you don’t know it all yet.
4. Perfection is a myth.
People who seem perfect to you for whatever reason… they only seem that way. Perfection is a myth.
The more we live, the more we find out what we’re interested in and what bothers us. The more we live, the more we encounter things that don’t go according to plan. And so we spend most of our time moving toward things that make us happy and away from things that make us unhappy. But we’re always encountering more of these things - good things and bad things. And we do our best to deal with these good and bad things by either learning to cope or clinging and escaping.
Life, by its very nature, is never going to be perfect. We will never like everything. We will never agree with everyone. We will never master everything. And if that’s your definition of perfect, and if you’ve come to enjoy that constant push and pull, then okay maybe your life is perfect. But for most people perfection means everything is working out - no doubts and no failures and no worries. There are no disagreements and no evil. And striving for that type of perfection, putting that much pressure on yourself can discourage many people before they even begin.
Once we accept that nothing is ever 100% right for everyone, once we discover that perfection really is a myth, we can get to business just being ourselves. And no one will ever be as good at being you than you are.
5. I am not my failures or my successes.
There is more to life than the outcome of our endeavors. If you’ve been disenchanted because you’ve failed in the past, it’s time to stop relying on your past to determine your future.
Focus on what you’ve learned - no matter if you’ve won or lost. The lessons will fuel you. The lessons will keep you living in the moment. The lessons will show you that you’re capable of growing, of adjusting, of paying attention. And those qualities will help you tune into your next quest.
Everything you do doesn’t need to be a success for it to qualify as valuable. You give your experiences meaning. Apply what you’ve learned to the present moment, and your self-doubt will shift into confidence.
6. The end result is not the most important thing.
Self-doubt typically means you’re worried about your ability to meet a standard or expectation.
You might want to go full time in your business after five months, but if that time passes and you can’t quit your job just yet, does that mean your business failed? No! Does that mean you’ve accomplished nothing in the past five months? No!
You might want to be able to squat your body weight at the gym, but if you’ve been working on it for a year and you haven’t hit that goal yet, does that mean you’ve made no progress? No! Does that mean all of the time you spent at the gym was a waste? Absolutely not!
The end result is not the most important thing. Who you become as you pursue your goals, that is the most beautiful gift. The characteristics you develop that ultimately help you see yourself and the world around you in a new light can truly lift your spirits.
7. I’m getting better every day.
Say nice things to yourself. When you're on this life-journey and self-doubt creeps up, remind yourself that you’ve overcome self-doubt before. You accomplished things you never thought you’d accomplish. You learned things you never knew you could learn.
Whatever challenge you’re facing right now will one day be only a memory. You’re getting better with every second. You’re chipping away at your doubt little by little - proving to yourself that you’re always capable, that you’re always worthy of your own respect.
8. I love and accept myself.
When we doubt ourselves, often it’s because we’re focused on the expectations of other people. We think we can’t possibly be as talented or as intelligent or as beautiful as someone else. And so we decide that what we have to offer doesn’t deserve a spotlight. We doubt our ability to be accepted or appreciated. What if all you needed to do was give that acceptance to yourself?
What if before that job interview or that presentation, that first date or that bold and fiery declaration you whispered “I love and accept myself?”
Once you believe you’re good enough, you won’t be so worried about if other people think you’re worthy. Treat yourself the way you want to be treated. Fill yourself with love.
9. I trust the flow of my life and the mystery of the universe.
At some point, you have to let go. Resisting what’s entering your life as if you can completely control every tiny aspect of your day is exhausting. It’s also impossible.
You have control over how you respond to your day - but you can’t control external forces. You can’t force people to be nice. You can’t make people give you genuine compliments. You can’t make other people agree with you all of the time.
But you can learn to trust in the bigger picture. You can choose to believe that your life unfolds in magical and wondrous ways. You can choose to believe that seemingly bad moments can lead to exhilarating ones. You can choose to trust that all of your experiences have value and that life is more than an endless unfolding of things you want.
When you know you can’t control it all, you have no reason to doubt yourself. Do what you can, and let the rest go - you can’t manipulate it all anyway.
10. I’m ready enough.
You might not know exactly what’s coming. You might not be completely prepared for the experiences in front of you, but you’ve done enough. You’ve learned enough. You’ve read enough. You’ve practiced enough.
It might not mean you’ll fly through your future experiences without failure or without falter, but you will get through them. You have enough experience to survive whatever is coming. You are always ready enough to live through the moment. Y
ou might not like the way you interpret the experience. It might take you by surprise, you might feel sad, you might be upset… but you are ready.
You can make it through. Being surprised or sad or angry does not mean that you weren’t ready - it simply means you’re human.
If you can learn to focus on what you’re doing instead of your judgment of what you’re doing, you’ll waste less time and feel happier in every moment. Separate your actions from your perceptions. There is a time for criticism and a time for creation - and when you’re able to work through those separately your self-doubt will disappear.
What has helped me learn to get rid of self-doubt and take action towards my dreams? Meditation. Practicing living in the moment and learning to focus on things that actually brought me a sense of calm came directly out of my meditative practices. These practices have given me the gift of getting out of my own way, they taught me to appreciate moments of stillness, and helped me practice the art of awareness.
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