Today we’re addressing self doubt. I want to explore with you the ways in which self doubt holds us back, what’s waiting for you just past your self doubt, and how to move forward in your life even if self doubt is still a strong part of your inner world.
First, some context. As recovering codependents, many of us still have a strong attachment to approval, instruction, and permission from others. We don’t know how to be okay without it. We want to be assured that something will turn out the way we want it to before we pursue it. We want the guarantee of success ahead of time so that we don’t actually have to experience risk or vulnerability. We’re not always willing to accept the inherent risks and the vulnerability that our goals and dreams require of us. What happens when we don’t know how to let the self doubt and the fear just BE? We let it control us. So then, not only is the self doubt there, but it’s in charge. It decides FOR us what we can and can’t have.
Let’s bring this down to earth a little bit -- can you think of a time when you wanted to apply for a job you thought was a bit out of reach, or a time when you wanted to state an unpopular opinion to a group of friends, or maybe a time when you wanted to go out in an outfit that felt a bit risky for you, and you didn’t do it? What held you back? Fear, self doubt, an unwillingness to experience the discomfort that these things would have required from you? In that moment, whatever moment you’re thinking of, you weren’t the one in charge, you weren’t the one getting to decide what was possible for you, what was available to you. Your self doubt was the one deciding that. Looking back, are you happy with the way that played out? Do you wish you had been willing to risk that vulnerability and discomfort and potential rejection? Do you want to continue to let the doubt and fear dictate what you do and don’t get to do in your life? If you do, if avoiding the discomfort of risk, of vulnerability, or potential rejection is more important to you than you showing up for yourself, then honor that. Ask yourself why, get clear on that, and see if you like those reasons, but if you do then by all means -- do you. Do what you need to do.
If you don’t though, if you don’t want to let self doubt, fear, and concern for what others might think control what you do and don’t do, then get ready to experience some discomfort--at least for a while. Know what you’re signing up for. Know your reasons why. And decide.
Let me make the case for discomfort: the reward you get for deciding to allow fear, self doubt, insecurity, and vulnerability to be a part of your experience but not a hindering force in your life is so much more than the job you get after you apply, or the engaging conversation you have when you voice your opinion, or the rush you feel when you actually step out of your house in that crazy outfit that you really love. The reward you get when you decide to feel self doubt and live your life anyways is your life. When you’re making decisions that are basically dictated by what you think you’re allowed to do, by what you think others will approve of, by what you know will work out perfectly with no risk, you’re not even making your own decisions. Those decisions are theirs, you’re just doing what you think you’re allowed to do. That’s not even a life, that not freedom, that’s you just...like yes technically it’s your life but you’re not making it yours. Isn’t that interesting? What if you lived as if you had to make your life your own? Right now, right now, are you living your life truly as if it’s YOUR life, or are you living your life within the confines of what you think your life is allowed to be?
If you’re doing anything that will expand you, you can’t have this guarantee, and that’s perfect. That’s part of the process. You going through that and being in that liminal space is going to transform you in ways that will serve you forever. So avoiding it is self sabotage.
So if it’s not security and external validation and instruction and permission, what do you REALLY need when you’re experiencing self doubt? It’s literally the skill of allowing an emotion. But truly, that’s all you need. That skill and the willingness to use it.
Let me just remind you, my love. There are racist, white supremacist, anti-Semitic, transphobic, misogynist assholes running the country…go live your life. Look at the thoughts in your mind that are making you doubt yourself and laugh at them. Rewrite them, turn them into affirmations and reminders of your strength. Stare them in the face and be brave in spite of those thoughts, in spite of allllll the stories and messages in your mind that would seek to freeze you with fear. The world needs you to be able to allow your feelings of doubt, insecurity, worry, to allow these feelings and to act anyways. What do you want to do? What do you imagine you could do if you weren’t held back by doubt and fear? I really want to encourage you to do those things. To deal with whatever is in your way, to deal with those thoughts in ways that I’ve talked about on this podcast before. Tons of episodes about this, but episode 18 about self sabotage will really help you with this. No one else gets to decide what your life looks like, no fearful thoughts and doubtful thoughts in your mind get to decide what your life looks like unless you decide that they do. That’s really true--you can decide not to take full ownership over your life. Lots of people make that decision. Lots of people make that decision until they just can’t anymore. We all have our breaking points when we finally decide to step into our lives for real. If now is that time for you, god bless you. You’ve got this. You really do.
If you’re ready to drop the self doubt, or at least to learn how to process it so that you don’t have to be living at the effect of your insecurities anymore, come join me. This is what I do all day everyday with my amaaaazing clients, and I’d love to talk with you because you deserve to know what’s possible for you when you aren’t held back by your self doubt and your fear. I’m very intentional about the clients I work with, so you can fill out the application & schedule a free call so that we can talk about your life, your specific goals, and your own codependency healing journey.
To apply and schedule your free call with me, click here.