~ Lynda Field, Author.
We all struggle with self-doubt at times in our lives.
It can have a huge effect on your self worth as you get locked in to a negative holding pattern of limiting beliefs.
I’m currently working with several clients who are facing the challenge of a lack of self-belief. Self-doubt has taken over.
One woman described her personal challenge of attending a meeting where she was paralysed by the voices in her head saying:
- “You should say something! What’s wrong with you?”
- “You are the least important person in the room!”
- “Your ideas won’t be listened to so you might as well keep quiet!”
- “What happens if you say the wrong thing?”
- “No one wants to listen to you – You’re invisible!”
- “You’re lucky to be here!”
She was constantly fighting these voices during meetings with influential stakeholders and battling with negative inner dialogue. She doubted her own ability and her judgment was impaired. She’d compare herself to others, stay quiet and play small.
I’m sure you’re familiar with this cycle and have experienced the dis-empowering effects that self-doubt creates: A self-fulfilling prophecy of doom.
How you think, affects how you feel, and this ultimately effects how you behave: your action and results.
My client had very low self worth and was frightened to speak out for fear of saying the wrong thing or looking stupid. She believed that she had less value than anyone else in the room. These messages played over and over in her head. She started to believe them!
Here are some ways to help you break out of this negative cycle and become clearer on your path to personal success.
It begins by changing the way you think and feel about yourself and increasing your levels of self-awareness.
1. Get clear on what you want to change about yourself – And then DECIDE to do it! Confident people aren’t lucky or gifted – they have to work on their confidence. People who are prepared to do some work on themselves will develop confidence.
What do you want to change? What does having confidence look like, sound like and feel like for you?
DECIDE to do something about it today.
2. Know your own value – Most of us don’t know our true worth. We play small and dumb-down the value we have to offer.
Knowing your own worth and value is so important. We are all equal – no human being is better or of higher value to another- all ego or fear and not real! What do you bring to the party?
Don’t be affected by what you perceive other people might think about you…It’s just an assumption.
Knowing you have worth will help you to feel more confident in a situation and you’ll begin to feel more in control.
Write a list of strengths and value you have to give.
3. Confront your self-doubts – You are what you believe and YOU create your own reality through your thinking. The only person getting in your way of personal success is YOU.
Confront your self-doubts by focusing on what you CAN DO (not what you can’t do). Flipping this around can make a huge difference to your thinking.
You ALWAYS get to choose your thinking:
a) Negative, self-critical and under valuing.
b) Positive, self-forgiving and appreciative.
Set your mind for success.
4. Fasten your seat belt – Hold on! Success is a little like a roller-coaster ride – there are ups and downs, twists and turns. Sometimes you’ll feel uncomfortable. Accept that this is normal. It’s not the situation, but how you handle the situation that matters.
You won’t always come first or have everything turn out as planned. Human beings are imperfect… celebrate this! You have permission to stop trying to be perfect. Life is all about learning and growing and this is a positive thing.
5. Take positive action – Take responsibility for your thoughts and actions. It’s easy to stay stuck as the victim and use excuses to continue to play small. Stop comparing yourself to others – YOU are enough. Claim your power back by taking a first step towards a short-term goal. Scared? Then do it scared! Try something new – take a few risks. Taking action is a brilliant motivator. Life is an adventure.
6. Become a student of YOU. Experiment with new approaches. For example, if you’re frightened of speaking up in a meeting start by verbally supporting someone else – you’ll hear yourself speaking out loud and you’ll become visible to others.
Banishing self-doubt requires you to take charge of your thinking. When you believe in yourself and know your value this has a positive impact on your actions and results.
You can do it!