Who does not know it? We want to make a decision, maybe we even have to make a decision, but we are insecure. Again and again we have to overcome our self-doubt.
"Will this be the right decision?"
"What if I would do it differently after all?"
"Will it all work out the way I thought it would??"
"What consequences will my decision have for others?"
Overcoming self-doubt: Struggling with yourself
Often these thoughts torment us for days, maybe even months, depending on what it is, before we manage to make a decision. And even after that we still quarrel with ourselves, have self-doubts whether it was really the right decision now.
I see it again and again in my coaching sessions: people, but especially women, who – following their dreams and desires – make their decisions, but then struggle with themselves.
Do you also often struggle with yourself? Do you want to overcome your self-doubt? Do you want to finally be able to make decisions with a good feeling? Without fear and uncertainty?
Overcoming self-doubt: The thoughts behind a decision
I just had this conversation again with a participant who very often struggles with her decisions.
These decisions are good, they are great, because they bring them further. You make her feel like she’s doing the right thing.
But what she does have are doubts, fed by the conventions that keep getting in her way. It is the problems that want to prevent them from going their way.
Then come questions like: "Can I do this?? Am I allowed to make decisions that make me happy, even if it means I can’t take care of everything anymore?"
When she makes decisions that make her feel good, that make her happy, she immediately feels bad about herself. The self-doubt comes up again.
Overcoming self-doubt: The dilemma
But where does this self-doubt come from?
Behind this often lies the following dilemma: We still have the image of the traditional role of women in us.
The woman who has to take care of everything. The woman who has to make sure that everyone is well and happy. It’s hard to believe that this image is still so ingrained in us after so long, isn’t it??
We put our own dreams and desires to realize ourselves on the back burner, because that would mean that we can no longer take care of everything.
Incidentally, a similar dilemma arises for men who opt out of the traditional role model.
Men are expected to be able to provide for the family, to earn a good living, no matter how. But what if you might be happy in a job where you can’t be the sole breadwinner? A job that requires the woman to contribute something to the living as well? Quickly these men are labeled as failures, but is that really fair?
Overcoming self-doubt: The environment has an effect
And that brings us to the next point: traditional images are one reason for self-doubt, but the other is our environment.
Think about what you have been completely enthusiastic about in the past. Was it perhaps the idea to just quit and put ourselves out there? Or a trip to a country where tourism is perhaps not yet fully developed? Or study something that might not fit the traditional image of a woman or a man?
I am sure you will all have something in mind. And now think about how your environment reacted to your ideas.
Was it perhaps a reaction like, "You’re completely insane!", "Dream on!", "No way in life this will work out!", "That’s much too dangerous", "Realize what’s at stake for once!".
Yes, I know this all too well. And believe me, this is probably one of the most effective ways to sow self-doubt.
Our environment, our recognition in society, is a very important asset for us as human beings. It is deeply ingrained in us to do everything to gain recognition in society. And this is independent of gender or anything else, both men and women are facing this dilemma nowadays.
In really each of us this desire is deeply rooted, so we are so incredibly afraid to let our desires and dreams guide us. Rather, we are guided by the values and recognition of society. If we break out of this pattern, self-doubt is inevitable.
It’s incredibly fascinating how deeply these images are imprinted in us and what old beliefs are still stuck in us, trying to convince us that they are "right".
Don’t let your beliefs be your guide! Instead, let yourself be guided by your own dreams and desires!
You don’t really know what these look like? Maybe my story will inspire you a little:
Overcoming Self-Doubt: A story about your own imagination
When I was about 14 or 15 years old, I took the bus to and from school every day. It was always very noisy, the bus was packed to the ceiling.
Most of the time I was busy discussing the most important news with some of my friends. Which girl is flirting with which boy, who has a new hairstyle, who is invited to which party, what kind of topics you have as a pubescent teenager.
But once it was different – well, probably it was different a lot, but I don’t remember that anymore. But I remember this one time very clearly: I couldn’t get a seat on the way home, I stood around annoyed in all the noise and held on to a bar, squeezed in between all the other students.
My mind must have wandered, because somehow an inner image rose in me, a kind of vision. I suddenly knew that when I am old, I will be a wise woman. I had a really great feeling of what it would feel like to look back on my life, resting in myself.
This image actually stayed with me for a few weeks, but then I forgot about it. Only from some years the memory came back and since then this picture is my life star that guides me.
It is a kind of navigation point, maybe a destination where I want to arrive in my life. Something I am eager to achieve. An inner wish, if you will.
Whether it was really a vision or just the dream of a pubescent teenager bored on the school bus, I will probably never find out, but personally it helped me to create my own little life star.
Will I really be a wise old woman? And what does the word "wise" actually mean?? And when I am "old? These questions may come to you now too, I don’t know myself, but it doesn’t matter either!
More importantly, the fact that I like this image, that it feels good, that it’s appealing and attractive. The thought of this makes me feel calm and content and happy!
Overcome self-doubt: The 6 best tips
I need the image, because the constant of my life is the change, the constant challenge. How often have I asked myself what I am actually doing here, when I had once again made a decision that greatly changed my life.
Each of these decisions brought self-doubt and fear, and yet I moved on, because I have my life star that I always use as a guide. I’m constantly striving to be happy, to keep growing, to take the next step, to realize myself. There is no time for self-doubt.
How I managed this? Here are six tips on how you can manage to overcome your self-doubt, grow from it and find your very own life star.
Tip 1: Give room to self-doubt
Yes you heard right! I talk about overcoming self-doubt all the time, but the first step to doing this is to admit it to yourself.
Don’t be too proud to admit self-doubt. You can only overcome these if you consciously deal with them. And believe me, this is harder than it sounds. Because nobody likes to deal with negative thoughts and feelings, but this step will get you ahead!
So go ahead, listen to what self-doubt arises in you. The trick is to notice them, but don’t make them your own.
Leave room for self-doubt, but do not identify with you. It’s ok to have these thoughts, but with that also enough! You may also find out where this self-doubt comes from. Maybe from the traditional role model, or maybe from their closest environment?
Tip 2: Give your self-doubt an answer
You now have the thoughts clearly in front of you, to overcome your self-doubt the next step is now to find an answer to these doubts.
For example, if the thought comes to your mind whether this was really the right decision, you could answer: Yes, it was the right decision, because I have thought everything through well. If you are wondering if you are allowed to make a decision in this direction, or if it is too selfish to pursue your goals the way you do, then answer: Yes, I am allowed to, because I am a human being with dreams and desires just like everyone else and if I don’t pursue my dreams, then certainly no one else will do it for me.
Be confident in your answers!
Tip 3: Sometimes a third party makes it easier!
If you still have self-doubt, it can be helpful to consult an objective third party. But please only use someone you trust 100%, who also knows your dreams and wishes and wants to help you achieve them.
This can be a good friend, but it can also be a close work colleague. Sometimes an objective third opinion can completely change our own perspective on a decision. Maybe this person doesn’t recognize any problems and so can dissolve your self-doubt into thin air without any problems.
Tip 4: Be aware of past successes.
Surely this is not the first decision you have made in your life. Be aware of how often you have already been right with your decisions.
Often we don’t even notice these successes anymore because we take them too much for granted. Or unremarkable. But especially in moments when it comes to overcoming our self-doubt, every success, no matter how big or small, is immensely important.
You may even have made a very similar decision in the past and done well with it. If it helps, you can also make a list of decisions you’ve made and what positive impact they’ve had. Because that’s also where you’ve made it and overcome your self-doubt.
Tip 5: Find your life star
It has always helped me to orient myself to my life star when making decisions. He was always a nice and important support for me to go my own way, even if it is unconventional and should come headwinds.
To find your own personal life star, you need to ask yourself the following questions: What is your goal in life? What do you feel when you ask yourself this question?? And what is the inner knowledge that guides you throughout your life?
How do you see yourself when they are how old? What makes it different? For what is it worth taking unusual steps and stepping out of the crowd?
How do you want to see yourself? How do you want to feel? And how do you want to be seen? What do you want to be able to look back on with pride? What makes you really happy?
Tip 6: Dare to decide!
The longer you struggle with yourself, the more difficult the decision becomes. And the more difficult it becomes to overcome self-doubt.
Therefore, do not torment yourself forever with the thoughts of pros and cons, dare and make a decision to which you also stand confidently. And you can do that, too, because you made it out of your very own conviction.
Overcome self-doubt: Conclusion
So and now doubt no longer! Dare, maybe take the unconventional path, but by all means:
Overcome any self-doubt that may stand in your way of doing this.
You want to know more?
Then contact me – I look forward to hearing from you.
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