A Lovely Sunday for a Breakdown: 3 Tips for Dealing With Self Doubt
It was full on and it was pathetic.
The tears started to pour down my face before I could stop them and my breathing quickly turned into deep gasps for air. I could feel my body contorting into ugly cry mode while a look of utter confusion and shock quickly spread across my husband’s face as he tried to console his basket-case wife.
Even the writer of a bliss-themed blog that loves to pontificate on the benefits of happiness and gratitude has her moments of wanting to light her daisy-adorned gratitude journal on fire…and this one was a doozey.
What had started out as a lovely Sunday filled with hot coffee, deep and meaningful conversations and Super Soul Sunday had quite suddenly turned into a stormy and tear-filled hellscape.
A severe and sudden case of the “Who Do You Think You Are’s” otherwise known as acute self-doubtitis had reared its ugly head and manifested itself as a gloopy cacao and chia mess strewn about my entire kitchen. After royally botching what should have been a rich and creamy raw coconut chocolate mousse for my upcoming e-cookbook, a mix of overwhelm and self-doubt had quietly seeped its way into my brain and was now causing me to question everything in my life….and my poor husband wanting to hide for cover behind the breakfast bar.
Who was I kidding? I am no culinary whiz. In fact, I’m the opposite. While my husband can whip up a delicate vinaigrette or a melt-on-your-tongue flakey crust at the drop of a hat the only thing I tend to whip up in the kitchen is a full-on meltdown.
Luckily I decided to step away from the chocolate mousse wreckage and breathe. I also came across this little gem from one of my favorite websites, tinybuddha.com.
“At one point or another, we all question whether or not we are doing enough, making enough money, or if we are going to be “successful” enough. I know this firsthand, as I’ve spent long periods of my young adult life in a persistent state of fear and self doubt. What I’ve learned from my experiences is that if I don’t nip the self-limiting thoughts in the bud right away, this “woe is me” mindset can become debilitating.”
I can relate 100%….how about you?
My natural state is somewhat mousey…shy, fearful, self-conscious (insert any additional introvert-centric negative personality traits here). However, once I realized that those tendencies were no longer serving me I made a conscious decision to replace them with much more empowering emotions and traits such as confidence, fearlessness, ambition and strength. I’d say it’s going pretty well, however, deep down I’m still that same mousy person whether I like it or not so I need to be prepared when those old nagging tendencies show up again and again and again in my life.
For a naturally shy girl with mouse-tastic tendencies putting myself out there through my various pursuits including a burgeoning network marketing business, writing projects, website and blog posts can sometimes leave me feeling a tad bit on the vulnerable side which inevitably leads right back to my go-to method of self destruction….self doubt.
Welp, I guess identifying the problem is the first step, right? Here’s a few more steps from Sirena Bernal with Tinybuddha.com that I have been doing my best to implement when I start feeling under the weather with a case of acute self-doubtitis.
1. Stop comparing my accomplishments to others
Comparison merely leads to feelings of inadequacy and competition, neither of which is helpful when it comes to the creation of a full and successful life. As Bernal explains, “Your colleague’s accomplishments are not a litmus test to grade your own success.”
We all have our own stories, set of statistics, and time table. We’re all on our own journey and we’re only shortchanging ourselves when we compare our journey to somebody else’s. We need to do what works for us, follow what inspires us and check the comparisons at the front door.
2. Forget about what everyone else (or what I think everyone) thinks about me
First of all, there’s waaayyy too much thinking going on here. Don’t get me wrong, thinking is a good thing but once it crosses the line to overthinking then it’s just overcomplicating things. This is especially true when we become over-concerned about what everybody else is thinking about us.
“When you care about what everyone else is thinking of you, you inhibit yourself. You’d rather do nothing and not get judged, than do something and risk criticism.”
Worrying about what other people think of you is a crippling place to be especially if it’s keeping you from taking action. At some point in time it’s imperative to let go of people’s opinions (or imagined opinions) otherwise you’ll always be in a constant state of self-doubt.
As Eleanor Roosevelt once said so aptly, “You shouldn’t worry so much about what others think of you if you realize how seldom they do.”
Besides, a little bit of criticism means that you’re actually putting yourself out there, so maybe that’s all something we should shoot for just a little bit.
3. Create a helpful mantra
I admit, I love myself a good positive top-of-mind mantra that I can use to re-center myself. I have a few that I pull out in different situations…
“Everything always works out beautifully for me.”
“I am loved.”
“I live in beautiful, luscious abundance.”
“I am so thankful.”
….and the list goes on and on.
These mantras remind me how amazing I am, that I’m accomplishing great things, that I’ve got so much to be thankful for and most of all they remind me to be a bit easier on myself and treat myself with love and acceptance. Building confidence and feeling loved are two of the most potent acute self-doubtitis antibodies known to man. Learn to love yourself unconditionally and watch those grimy little doubts disappear.
As Stuart Smalley might say, “I refuse to beat myself up.” And I concur.
So I decided to listen to my own advice. After my initial chia chocolate encrusted freak out I quickly realized that I don’t have to be a whole raw culinary genius to publish my own Mila e-cookbook, I merely need a passion for tasty whole raw chia recipes that people across the world can utilize to help them consume the world’s #1 source of plant-based nutrition. I’m passionate about Mila and nutrition and gosh darn it…that’s good enough for me.
As I wiped down the kitchen, fished the bowl of molten chia chocolate out of the trashcan, and apologized to my husband for my meltdown I was reminded…
To doubt oneself is human, but to identify self doubt before it lays you out flat and exchange it for a much more empowering emotion is super human…and isn’t that what really all going for anyway?
I’d love to hear from you! Do you suffer from acute self-doubtits? If so, how do you deal?