Something I’ve come to realise recently is how important taking time and space for yourself is when it comes to navigating with self-doubt. Ever since recovering from anorexia and building my self-worth, I’ll admit that I haven’t *really* struggled with self-doubt. Especially when it came to blogging and my job.
This could be because I’ve been doing both for a long time and I feel very comfortable in each role. I’ve been writing and sharing online through blogs for 10 years now, and I’ve been at the company I work for, for nearly six.
It wasn’t until I decided to push myself out of my comfort zone, rethink my career and become a coach that I felt self-doubt hitting me at full force.
Launching a new business, promoting myself, doing things I’ve never done before has all made me well acquainted with my self-doubt.
There have been moments of comparison, moments of negative thought spirals and moments of me asking myself ‘what the hell am I doing?’. And there have been a few different things that have helped me through this, reflecting on positive feedback, savouring and banking the feeling I get when I just *know* I’m on the right path and educating myself on self-doubt and how it manifests for me.
But one of the most helpful things has been to give myself space – away from social media and away from other content. Space to reconnect with myself, my purpose and the bigger picture.
If you’re at a point where self-doubt is sitting on your shoulder, for whatever reason, consider doing the following steps:
Book some time off
If this is possible, booking a day or two away from work, your business or whatever it is that’s prompting feelings of self-doubt can be so helpful. Plan for it to be a quiet couple of days, resist the urge to fill it with social plans, the key thing here is to create space.
If you can’t take time off… well, first, ask yourself why not… then aim for smaller chunks of space. A morning here, an evening there. Just be sure to book it in.
Come away from online noise
Podcasts, blogs posts and social media can all be fantastic tools for learning and connecting with others. However, when your inner critic is shouting at you and comparing you to others, it’s easy to feel deafened, confused and well – a bit shit.
If you feel this is happening, stop looking at what everyone else is doing. Stop searching for answers in other people’s content, you already have the answers. (And yes, fully aware of the irony of this!!)
Reconnect with yourself
Now you have a bit of quiet time, remind yourself of who you are outside of your business/project/whatever it is that’s making you doubt yourself.
What are your passions? How would your friends describe you? What makes you happy? How do you want your life to feel? What makes you, you? Try journaling through these questions and check in with your personal goals.
Reconnect with your purpose
No matter how much I doubt myself, having a purpose is what stops me from spiralling every time. Take this time to ask yourself why you’re doing what your doing.
Remember, it doesn’t have to be some grand purpose that serves others, it could just be that it makes you happy. That’s not a purpose to be sniffed at.
Try using a mind-map to help you figure out what your ‘why’ is and if you can, write it up in a sentence or two. Keep this somewhere you’ll see it.
Reflect and plan
OK, we’re getting there guys and hopefully your inner critic is calming down a little. Now, look back at the signs that have shown you you’re on the right path. Have you had lovely feedback, comments or messages? Have you had people tell you what your doing is great? Don’t dismiss these. Pop them in a mental (or physical!) evidence bank to come back to whenever you need it.
Next, start planning – what steps can you take to bring you closer to your purpose? What do you need to make that happen? Having some action points will help you transition from thinking/reflecting to doing.
Find some support
You don’t have to go through this alone. Once you’ve taken a bit of space, get back online and message people who you think will get it. Join Facebook groups, speak to friends or colleagues.
And of course, if you think you would benefit from a more structured support system, consider coaching. Having someone to talk through your self-doubt moments with is invaluable – as a coach myself, I can’t tell you how important it is for me to speak to my coach regularly about these kinds of things.
I’ve come to a point now where I actually value my self-doubt. I know it’s only showing up because I’m pushing myself to grow. I’m stepping outside of my comfort zone. And while that’s scary, it’s also incredibly fulfilling.
I’m going to expand on this subject in this month’s newsletter (which is going out Sunday 28th October) and talk about the discomfort of growth, how we can make it more comfortable and share some resources that have really helped me along the way.
If you want in on this, make sure you subscribe before Sunday. What do you find most effective when it comes to navigating self-doubt?
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