In celebrating the launch of the new Feel Awesome Masterclass I’m teaching, I’ve put together a “How I learned” series to show you the steps I took to getting where I am. Check out the other 3 posts (linked when published): How I learned to be unapologetically me, How I learned to be more confident talking to people, and How I learned to (finally) raise my standards.
The biggest barrier I ever felt stand between me and the life that I wanted, and the person I wanted to become, was self-doubt. Looking back on my life, self-doubt was the creepy, crawly monster that found its way into my brain whenever I started to dream. And it crawled in every chance it got.
When I dreamed about the right guy, or being accepted by the girls at school, there it was, asking, “Are you even good enough?”
If I dreamed about landing my perfect job or getting a big promotion, it asked, “Do you even deserve it?”
And when I dreamed about building my own business, there it was, again, “Can you even do this?”
“What if you fail”
“What makes you any different?”
“What if he finds someone better?”
“What if they don’t like you?”
“What if every single negative thought you’ve ever had about yourself is absolutely, 100% true?”
See, self-doubt spreads; it hits every corner of your life, and when we let it take over, it becomes really hard to get rid of it. It spreads like a virus. It mutates. It’s contagious. You start doubting yourself in one area and suddenly, you question yourself in all the others.
And before you know it, you’ve crowded your head with these questions, leaving no room to dream, and most importantly, no room to believe in yourself.
So, how did I finally learn to believe in myself?
I got to a point of complete and utter exhaustion. I realized I was never going to move forward, in any capacity, in any area of my life, if I didn’t start showing up for myself. I realized that if I didn’t root for myself, how could I expect anyone else to? How could I walk into a job interview and hope some stranger would see I’d be worth something to them, if I didn’t see it myself?
What if, I thought, instead of using my energy as a force against myself, I used it to push myself forward. What if instead of building walls for myself to climb, I built machines to knock down those already built for me?
If self-doubt was like a disease that spread, could I cure it?
Here’s what I did
- A lot of introspection – I dissected my thoughts and like a game of cards, one by own, put them into different piles: what was real and what was self-doubt. I had to get really honest with myself in figuring out where my insecurities were taking over. This was the hardest part.
- I did a lot of self-talk conversion work – Now, if you’re taken any of my classes or have downloaded any of the exercises I include in some of my posts, you know how strongly I believe in conversion work. I seriously do this all the time. I took what was in the self-doubt pile and one by one, changed my vocabulary. I changed the I can’t to I can and the what if I fail to what if this works? I changed little words I used to refer to myself: the ones that go by unnoticed like, weak, shy, inexperienced. I dissected stories I had constructed for myself – the limitations and inadequacies. I took all of that with every fiber of my being, flipped it.
- I surrounded myself with people who believed in me (and yes, turned to coaches and mentors when I needed it) – I realized the people around me played a huge role in the way I saw myself and the toxic relationships in my life were keeping me from showing up for myself. This one was huge.
- I learned to invest in myself, both in care and in skills – If I didn’t feel good enough to be hired for a specific skill, I invested in getting better at it. Learning things is a real thing, isn’t it? But you don’t beat yourself up for not knowing it, you go learn how to do it! So I invested in the skills I knew would make me feel more confident selling myself to pursue my dreams. I also learned to invest in care for myself – mental, spiritual, and physical. Suddenly, there was a huge shift because I became this someone who was worth enough to be cared for and nourished, and that was so, so powerful.
- I shifted the focus from success to effort – So when I went for the things I wanted or tried to do things to become the person I wanted to be, I didn’t kick myself for not getting it the first time around. I celebrated the fact I tried. And the more I tried, the more I started to win. So, the cheerleading I was doing for myself wasn’t to win, but rather, was only get up and try.
Because what it all comes down to, my friend, is the fact that it’s all in your head.
[Tweet “You are the self in self-doubt.”]
Once I did all of the above, my life started to change. Little by little, one area to the next, one dream after the other.
So here’s what happens when you start to believe in yourself
- You are much, much kinder to yourself (and life gets a little more gentle)
- You become your own biggest ally (and suddenly, raising your standards becomes easier)
- You become more confident (and therefore, more courageous)
- You become much more invested in your future (and suddenly, your dreams start coming true)
And I’ll tell you, lying awake at night, excited about a limitless life is a lot better than being stuck in my head, asking myself questions about whether or not this or that.
Remember that you are the self in self-doubt and you can do something about it.
Let’s learn to feel awesome. Take the Feel Awesome Masterclass with me.