Self-doubt. You probably cringed when you read the words a moment ago. Don’t you hate it when you get caught up in the world of negative self-talk?
The problem is, it’s so easy to wind up there. One offhand remark from someone you look up to or a reminder of a past failure can cause you to downward spiral all over again. You’re focusing on failure. You’re telling yourself every reason in the world why you should stop now. In short, you’ve just derailed yourself completely.
Don’t get in your own way. Instead, take back control of your life. It’s time to pause and pivot as you start by saying ‘no’ to self-doubt, using these simple techniques.
Say the Words
This may sound overly simplistic but just say “no” when self-doubt creeps in. Tell yourself firmly you’re not going to listen. Say it out loud if you need to. The point here is to stop traveling what is very likely a well-worn path you’ve been down a thousand times before. By firmly telling yourself “you’re not thinking about this right now,” you’re freeing yourself to engage in a new thought, perhaps one about what exciting place you’re going next.
Remind Yourself This Isn’t the End
Feeling like a failure because something went wrong? Instead of wallowing in self-doubt (it’s ok to take a minute to feel bad), take a step back and examine the situation. Remind yourself everyone fails from time to time. The important thing is to figure out what you can learn from the experience.
Self-doubt creeps in when we don’t feel prepared. What is it about this moment, right now, creating these feelings inside? If you’re worried about failing, what part of the process do you expect to go wrong? What resources can support the gap you are experiencing? This might be an opportunity to learn something new. Mastering a new skill goes a long way toward erasing self-doubt.
Change Your Self Talk
Self-doubt is firmly rooted in the things we tell ourselves. So why are you putting yourself down? Here’s where you need to replace all the negative statements with more positive counterparts. This is a process that you have to be very conscious of, so be on the lookout for those negative statements so you can attack them the moment they appear. For example, if you think you’re going to fail, remind yourself out loud of your past successes. Or, consider how you would respond and encourage your friend or relative in the same situation. Share the same wisdom and grace in the way you talk to yourself.
With a little practice, you’ll find it’s not as hard as you think to get rid of self-doubt. The key is to pay attention to what you’re telling yourself and act accordingly. Try out a few of these strategies to pause and pivot to a more empowering perspective when you need to. In no time at all, you’ll get yourself back on track. You’ll have this new attitude down in no time
Robin Nordmeyer, PCAC
Owner, Founder | ADHD & Executive Functions Coach