3 ways to conquer self-doubt (once + for all!)

Self-doubt 0

Free choice is precious. We get to choose how we feel … what we say … what we think.

But why do many of us feel chained by self-doubt + second-guessing?

Lots of reasons. Often it’s rooted in our early years, when on some level our opinions weren’t encouraged or validated.

Enter: Self-doubt.

Which often means: “Although I’ve thought carefully about my decision, before I’m ok with it, I need to run it by others.” (Yep, that was me for many years).

But… as long as we rely on others for something we need to do for ourselves (believe in ourselves), we’ll feel SAFE

But NOT SECURE.

And probably GUILTY.

(Yep, that’s how I used to feel. A triple whammy: “safe,” insecure, guilty).

SAFE ~ Because if something went wrong with the choice I made, I felt I could hold responsible – even blame – whomever I’d relied upon.

NOT SECURE ~ Because as long as I looked for validation from others, I couldn’t feel the security that comes when we believe in ourselves. (Confidence is an inside job.)

GUILTY ~ For feeling afraid … doubting myself after I’d made a decision.

A certain amount of fear is a natural part of decision-making. This natural anxiety (apprehension) has nothing to do with self-doubt.

This healthy fear has an important job. It triggers adrenaline … which fuels decision-making.

Without this hit of adrenaline, we probably wouldn’t take action.

Enter: Procrastination + self-doubt.

So how did I – and how do you – conquer this self-doubt (once + for all!)?

Today’s video, which I made for you, offers tips for confident decision-making.

These are some of the tips I relied on to become a confident decision-maker.

Essentially, it’s about:

1.  Knowing that healthy fear prompts good judgment. Which supports good
decision-making.

2.  Forgiving ourselves if we feel guilty for doubting a decision we made.

3.  Affirming: “I make good decisions.”

xo.

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                                             CLICK TO WATCH

Update: The video invites you to sign up for email updates + get a free stress management audio. The audio has been replaced by a mini-ebook about creating healthy relationships.

In an earlier vlog I shared how much fun it was to do the column at Hawaii Reporter + why I put that terrific project to rest.

Click here + to view that earlier vlog.

PS: Have you made a good decision recently?

ENJOY THE COMMENTS BELOW OR ADD YOURS

14 Comments
  1. For the longest time I had a very hard time making any decision. I was good at looking at all sides of an argument, but choosing what point of view I favored was very hard.

    I’m better at making decisions now, but learned from your video about the part that fear has played in this area of my life. I can see where fear of the response from those who disagree with me, necessitating my standing up for my decision, has often caused me to keep quiet!

    • Hi Pam: Glad you see unnatural fear for what it is — a suppressor of our true voice. Happy to hear that the video shed some light on this!

  2. I can remember when I was a child, choosing something, and then an adult saying, “You don’t really want that do you?” and then I’d change my selection to something that was “approved.” That really caused me to doubt myself and look to others to confirm my decisions.

    I’ve spent some time cleaning up these childhood issues and feel pretty confident about making choices these days. However, it’s amazing – the right “look” or a comment in a certain tone of voice can still make me stop and reconsider my decision.

    • Hi Gertrude: Childhood imprints can run deep. Each time we become aware of an “old tape” playing, is an opportunity to grow.

      That is a blessing. :)

  3. Love today’s video. Perfect timing because I’m getting tired of second-guessing me.

  4. Powerful blog. I’m going to share it with a friend who never decides something unless first, a few other people ok it.

    • Hi Joe: Thank you for passing the blog onto your friend.

      I love referrals or resources from people I trust. It makes the decision-process much easier – from which blog post to read to what computer to buy.

  5. “Freeze and not take action.”

    That’s me when someone calls to question something I’ve done.

    Then I take a “timeout” and do something I know I can do “right” to get my courage back.

    • Hi Karen: Sounds like you have a plan of action that works for you.

      Although, how about — instead of freezing, feeling warm and confident when someone questions what you’ve done.

  6. I’m a doubter and now I see my kids doing it too. This blog is helpful to me personally and as a parent. Thanks a lot.

    • Hi Sandy: You’re so welcome. It’s really excellent that you’re wanting to break the doubting cycle, and not pass it onto your kids.

  7. Although the decision isn’t a recent one, it is a commitment that had a positive and dramatic impact upon my life.

    I decided that I was worthy of the same respect that I gave to my friends, family and even strangers. The implementation was gradual and grew with steady momentum.

    Then I learned and adopted a philosophy that enhanced that decision and made life easier: “What other people think of me is none of my business.”

    Wow, two great decisions – both with remarkable results.

    I’ve also decided that tomorrow I’m going to stop procrastinating.

    Okay, I was kidding – I’m going to stop procrastinating next week.

  8. Hi Ron: Wow, those are two powerful decisions.

    1. To feel worthy.

    2. To not worry about what others think.

    Actually, I had an experience recently, where those 2 really came in handy! Glad you shared them with the readers here.

    Oh, and keep up the humor. Don’t procrastinate on that one. :)

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