by Pamela Wills (CPC), Self Discovery & Confidence Coach
I've decided it's time to talk about the dreaded Bermuda Triangle of negativity: Doubt, fear and worry. Wait, maybe that's kind of heavy all at once. Maybe we will just stick to the first one for now: Doubt.
Wikipedia defines doubt as a status between belief and disbelief that involves uncertainty, distrust or lack
of sureness of an alleged fact, action, motive, or decision. We all experience doubt at some point in our
lives. The first time we ride a bicycle without training wheels. The first time we drive a car without an instructor present. The first time we jump off a diving board. It's natural to question our abilities sometimes, to ask ourselves whether we can really accomplish something. Will I make it? Will I succeed? Can I really do this??
Unfortunately, doubt can easily and often does take on a much bigger role in our lives. Every time we stumble just a tiny bit, there it is, storing that misstep in its memory banks for the next opportunity to drag us down. Doubt lurks around every corner, waiting for us to fall so that it can step in and speak up to make us feel unworthy.
Of course, my own personal version of doubt has her own voice in my head AND her own name: Doubting Donna. She is closely related to and aligned with my old nemesis, Negative Self-Talk Nellie. And she really is a drag.
Let's take a closer look at this first cornerstone of the negative triumvirate.
What are you doubting?
If you have not recently paid attention to your own downer doubter voice, it is possible that you don't even recognize its dull, lackluster timbre. The next time you feel doubt creeping up behind you, just stop for a moment and listen. What does it sound like? What is it doubting? Does it say boring stuff like this:
Well, I am here to tell you that the best way to kick your dull, annoying doubter voice to the curb is to just tell it to ZIP IT! You heard me. Doubt has no business living rent-free inside your head. It's eviction notice time!!!
Zip it and KICK it!
How to get it done is the question, right? Here are some ideas:
1) Call it out First things first. See doubt for what it is. Call it by name. Make it visible, don't let it hide
behind excuses. Doubt can be a sneaky little thing. Shine a big bad light on it and watch it squirm!
2) Figure it out Where did this doubt come from in the first place? Can you follow it to the source?
When was the first time you felt like you couldn't do this particular thing? Put that first event under your microscope for a minute and feel where it all began. No need to overthink it, just look at it for a minute or so. Face it down. Watch it squirm.
3) Read the signs Is there a pattern here? Do you often or always doubt yourself in this particular situation? Does someone else? Look for a pattern. If there is a pattern, remember -- you do not have to wear that pattern anymore! You can always decide to wear a totally different pattern. Maybe paisley suits you better than plaid... You'll never know unless you try.
4) Draw a map Make yourself a plan. Decide to conquer those doubts. Then research ways to kick them, with details. Once you choose your route, write it down. We've talked about this before, but it always bears repeating: the writing-it-down part makes it real. Get real.
5) Prepare for turbulence Might happen. What will you do? Take a close look at your plan and check for weak areas. Doubting that you can ace an exam or an interview? Afraid that your plan full of affirmations and positive self-talk might not stick? Ask a friend to practice with you. Ask your Mom to be your cheerleader every day for the week leading up to the big day. Ask me to coach you through a rough patch! Asking for help is sometimes hard, but you'll be glad you're wearing a seatbelt when the turbulence hits.
6) Go for it! It's eviction time! Taking action is the final step. Now that you are armed with a plan that even
includes contingencies, you are ready to face that sneaky doubter voice. But now, before it even opens its mouth, you will be able to tell it to just ZIP it. Your planned (written) strategy will keep your positive momentum going and help you kick that doubt to the curb. Why not keep your written plan in your pocket for important situations? Can't hurt, right?
Done and done
Dealing with doubt won't be easy at first, but like anything, will get easier with practice. Just remember to be nice to your Self. And ask for help! It takes a strong person to realize and admit weakness. You can totally do this!
As your Self Discovery and Confidence Coach, I bring you the tools to BE your SELF and OWN your TRUTH through use of practical life strategies (goal setting, confidence training) and creative exercises (mind-maps, vision boards).
Usually, my clients decide to work with me from difficult, codependent, emotionally abusive and/or controlling relationships where they have no voice, feel invisible and underappreciated, find themselves without goals or direction and have no plan for the future.
I know how to help because the same thing happened to me. Now that I have successfully found my Self and learned how to own my truth, I can guide you or someone you know through the steps it takes to succeed, too. Email me directly at Pamela@ElasticityCoaching.com or visit my website at www.ElasticityCoaching.com.Let's talk so we can identify your challenges and decide on your course of action. I look forward to working with you!
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