How To Conquer Self-Doubt
Reclaim your confidence today
We know the moment the hero steps into the frame and he's about to take the leap as everyone watches. He's on the ledge, ready to confront his demons, but he backs away slowly as he becomes overwhelmed by his emotions. We've had this feeling, many times over, where we feel like we're not enough. Where we feel like we're not prepared when we're faced with a challenge. Is it survival mentality or self doubt? I believe it's what we call self doubt and the only way we conquer is to shed what we think about gaining confidence and embrace a new thought.
I know a lot of people with self doubt. I suffered and I consider self-doubt a disease as it stands between you and what you want in life. It makes you feel like there is something wrong with you when in fact there isn't. I may not have the scars, but I have memories of it. Suzanne Koven, a writer and physician at the Massachusetts General Hospital, mentioned in a letter that "one of the greatest hurdles you confront may be one largely of your own making." and this is what could not be more true when it comes to self doubt.
Self doubt is a disease
We're going to explore ways of self doubt and how it affects our lives. At the moment we'll be looking at self doubt as it manifests in our own thoughts and its effect on our own worldview.
What I mean by this--if you walk with me for a second-- is that when you hear people laughing for example, what comes to mind? Let's say you are passing through people on the sidewalk and they start laughing, what would you think? Would you think they are laughing at you, or would you think that there is nothing to make fun of and they are probably laughing at their own things? Do you feel like they should not be laughing at all because it annoys you regardless and they are too loud? Do you tell yourself it's none of your business?
You may fall in any one of these groups and tell you what there would be nothing wrong with you. They are all valid feelings in response to what people do and you have every right to feel the type of way. Henri Bergson, a philosopher once stated that laughter makes us maintain the rules of society, and that the act of people laughing will make us check what it is we're doing, to see if it's inline with what society regards as proper.
On the other hand, Sigmund Freud believed that jokes make us feel relieved from the responsibility that is always upon us. So it might be that you fall in either one of the two groups of people who:
- Feel like they are being judged or,
- Feel like it's normal for people to laugh at them or something else
There is a slight balance to this assessment as it brushes over the reality that no one wants to be made fun of and if people are making fun of you they are being mean and nothing else. And with that in mind it's safe to say our level of attention is a little bit limited, but doesn't fall out of the norm.
When you hear people laughing, it doesn't matter how far they are. The first thing that comes to mind when you are having self doubt is that they are laughing at you. There is a lot of things you can come up with, like the clothes you're wearing or the way you're walking. I once had my brother tell me that when he's walking around lots of people, he feels like he no longer knows how to walk!
This is a feeling that we have when there is self doubt in question and the only way to conquer it is to sometimes endure what it is that makes us feel doubtful of ourselves and take on roles that people will depend on us for a very important task. There is nothing more challenging than taking on a role that puts you in pressure. People are waiting for you to deliver, and you don't. That is a big deal, but it's important.
For people who have self doubt in their lives and struggling to find ways to deal with it, the best cure is to make sure you know you cannot satisfy anybody. Not just everybody, but anyone. It doesn't matter who it is, it may be a parent, your mother, your sisters, your spouse or girlfriend. You can never satisfy them all the time and that is why it is important to give yourself a break--because you're going to need it.
There is nothing that will help you learn this fact more than letting down a couple of people in your life. I don't say this for you to go out and let someone down, especially the one you love. What I mean is that give yourself a chance to let someone down and now that it will be ok. Don't beat yourself up too much over something you cannot fix. Learn the gravity of how much it cost you to let someone down and don't let it be a drag in your life. Move on and start something new. Make a learning experience out of it and benefit from it--and make sure you keep doing the right thing.