I’ve thought a lot about what to share this week. I have several recipes, curious ideas, and lists in the works I wanted to ha e ready. But none of these felt right. What’s been on my mind this week is uncomfortable and vulnerable, and I wasn’t sure what to say or if it was worth sharing. But it’s been weighing on me, and I bet at some point it’s left an irksome weight on you.
This week I’ve felt overwhelmed with self doubt.
I know I can be an anxious person. I’m high responsibility and I can put too much emphasis on the rules. All these things tend to make me a prime target of self doubt. But I’m also practical and pretty good at focusing and I like to get to work. These aspects of my nature give me confidence when I’m feeling stressed.
I’m working on identifying the triggers that cause my periods of feeling so exhaustingly self doubtful. Have you noticed any in your life?
For me the culprit might be a project that isn’t going well, or a relationship that is always tense despite my efforts, or a goal that’s never met. Sometimes it’s comparison – comparing myself to others or even my past self.
It’s helpful to remind myself that “this too shall pass”, but this week I needed more than this phrase to get me though. Here’s what helped...
Calling a supportive person to chat
I know from experience that if I’m feeling any negative emotion at all, I’ll immediately feel better for at least a little bit if I talk to my dad or my grandma. They build me up without me having to say I need it, and without being sappy or insincere.
I should say it’s important to not make someone in your life your “negative emotion” person. No one is only happy to hear from me when I need to vent or when I’m not my best self. But identifying those people whose mere voice or presence makes you feel better can be important for when you just need a little extra moral support.
Crossing something big off the to do list
I was feeling doubtful about my role at work this week. This kind of self doubt is my least favorite. I love my job, I feel tremendous loyalty to organization I work for and those we serve, and I hate feeling like I’m a weak link. So to combat this feeling I carved out ample time to work on an important but not urgent task. I took extra care to make sure everything was exactly as I wanted it, I got the feedback I needed from others, and I got the task turned in ahead of schedule. After hitting “send” on that particular email, I felt great. A little of my confidence in my work came back, and by the end of the day I was feeling a lot better.
Write it down
Take a minute or two to write down what’s bothering you or what you’re feeling insecure about. Then spend time thinking of solutions. If thinking up action items is too daunting a task, list a few of your favorite attributes or accomplishments. No need to be modest! You’re great. If you don’t want to shout it to the world, at least tell your journal.
Get enough sleep
Sometimes when I’m spiraling into the black hole of self doubt, a good nights sleep cures the ailment. I’ve realized self doubt tends to creep in when I’m tired. So shut off Netflix and try and tuck in 30 minutes early. It seems simple, but it can really help.
Ask for help
After days of agonizing doubt, I finally reached out to a friend and asked for some advice. She made me feel like I wasn’t alone, and reminded me there was nothing wrong with asking for help. I needed the reminder.
I hope self doubt isn’t a frequent visitor in your life. But when seasons of self doubt find you, remember that you’re not alone. It’s not forever. Sometimes the only way past is through.