One of the beautiful things about having a blog is that when you are going through something, you have a place to release your thoughts and make contact with the world with the hopes that someone is out there reading this and going “same, girl, same.”
I have been dealing with a lot of self-doubt lately. In the last couple of weeks, I made a lot of decisions and made a solid financial commitment that will hopefully take this blog, this brand, and my businesses to the next level. There is a lot of risk with what I am doing, and I can’t pretend that I am not mildly terrified. Taking risks and going out on a limb is a completely foreign concept to me.
I was raised to be pragmatic and to essentially run away from anything where I run the risk of failure or a sense of danger; I have played it safe with my career, my money, my relationships, my travel, and my life in general. As a result, I never felt fulfilled or that I was living within a purpose; I was merely living just to be living – a hapless drone going through the motions of every day. My decision to do this blog was my first endeavor to dare to do something different, and doing this has allowed me to grow creatively, dream wildly, and fall into my purpose. The Mental Wealth is no longer a passion project but has become an act of love for myself and the world that I choose daily. But as we all know, acting in love is a risk itself – it is a risk of faith, time, effort, and heart. So when I made the decision to grow and truly financially invest in The Mental Wealth, it is not lost on me that I am daring to put myself, my finances, my beliefs, my time and all that I have and all that I am into something that has the potential to be great but the potential to be an epic FAIL, and that is scary. No wonder, I have been feeling self-doubt.
Self-doubt is a very natural reaction to have especially when you are making really big life-changing decisions. Self-doubt floods your minds with all sorts of questions that you make yourself anxious and panicked. “Am I making the right choice?” “What if I fail?” “What if I succeed?” “What sacrifices am I going to have to make?” “What will everyone think of me?” All the “what ifs” and questions are enough to make you question whether you should even be taking the risk at all but self-doubt is a very normal human response. Self-doubt is a primal instinct, and the root of all self-doubt is fear – the fear of uncertainty and the lack of control over the outcome. But just because it is embedded in our DNA, it doesn’t mean we can’t overcome it. Here are a couple of reminders and tips to overcome the most crippling self-doubt spell.
- Acknowledge that self-doubt is normal and show yourself some grace for having a very human response to change. I don’t know about everyone else but I am my own worst critic, and I often tell myself I am just being “extra” or ridiculous for feeling the way I feel about change, big or small. Why is it so much easier to be nicer to someone else going through something than it is ourselves? Truth is, change is scary and I am not super human that it doesn’t affect me. I often feel anxiety and question myself, my intentions, and my ability but I need to realize that the discomfort I feel is part of the process. Beating myself up or minimizing my feelings don’t help; I need to show myself the same grace and compassion I would have for someone else going through a major change.
- The closer you get to living in purpose or within your own intentions, the more self-doubt will come knocking on your door. From the minute I decided that The Mental Wealth was destined to be more than this blog but meant to grow, expand, and evolve into this vision in my brain, I felt like this was my purpose. However, almost as immediately as I had found my purpose, self-doubt crept into my head. The truth is purpose and self-doubt go hand in hand, and I honestly believe that if you don’t have any doubts or fears about your purpose then you need to evaluate if your vision is worthy or big enough. The things that are life-changing should always be a little scary because that makes the journey that much more rewarding and the personal growth immense.
- Self-doubt is part of the growth process. Whenever we feel that it is time for a major change, it is usually because we have outgrown out of the shells of our current selves. The thing about growing is that it is often uncomfortable and sometimes downright distressing, and self-doubt is an important part of the process. Self-doubt is the internal fight with ourselves where we try to discern which discomfort is going to be the lesser of two evils: the discomfort of the complacency remaining in the status quo or the discomfort of the new and unknown. Self-doubt really forces us to think our actions through which we need to sometimes protect us from ourselves or to really force us to greatness..
- Enlist your #VibeTribe to help you suss out your doubts and get real feedback. Self-doubt is two parts fear and one part shame, and shame can make you turtle inward and feel so alone. Self-doubt makes you scare of rejection and outside opinion but you don’t have to be. This is why it is important to have a #VibeTribe to help you suss out what is real versus what is self-sabotaging. You #VibeTribe are your people; they give you the pep talks when you are scared to move forward but also “keep it 100” when you are being a little grandiose or unrealistic. I am lucky to have to have a mine; they are strong, opinionated, and don’t sugarcoat anything with me (even when I wish they would) when it comes to my dreams. So when I begin to question myself and my abilities to do so, I turn to them. I don’t need the opinions of everyone and their mother; there are bound to be naysayers as you chase your dream. Find value in the opinions of your select few who have earned your trust and really have your best interest at heart.
- Don’t act in fear but in faith, and self-doubt at its core is fear. Like I said before, the root of self-doubt is fear. Fear is a very powerful emotion; for the emotionally secure and strong individual, it can be an amazing motivator so fear is not always a bad thing. However, more often than not, fear causes people to either act irrationally, to remain stagnant, or both. We typically know what we need to what we need to do, what’s the next step, and how to level up deep down; call it divine calling, gut instinct, personal truths, whatever but we know. Self-doubt is that little voice that makes you afraid of your own potential. Don’t act on what your fear tells you; listen to it, think on it, and then move forward in faith that you ultimately know what is best for you and what is going to make you happy.
Self-doubt does not have to kill your dreams. Ultimately, only we can do that. But as much potential and power we have to destroy our purpose, we have just as much power to bring things to fruition, and in there, we find the hope and courage to keep pushing forward. Or at least, I do.