Overcoming self-doubt starts with elevating your self-image
As you journey through life, you may find yourself in an unappealing place, as all of us sometimes do.
It’s dark. It’s cold. It’s frightening.
It’s the realm of self-doubt.
Self-doubt is a tricky little sprite, not easily identified, and rarely combatted. Instead, we sweep her under the rug, hoping that somehow we’ll feel better about ourselves if she just stays hidden and denied.
But, like clockwork, self-doubt returns again.
Perhaps self-doubt creeps up on you during a work meeting, or while shopping for a new dress for a friend’s wedding, or even while at home cooking the family meal and wondering if what you threw together will even taste good.
Regardless of when self-doubt kicks in, the real issue is why?
Even those of us who feel we’ve fairly got it together, self-doubt tends to creep in now and again.
The perpetrator, of course, is a shaky self-image.
With a healthy self-image, self-doubt can’t lurk in the shadows because they are few and far between.
If you’re one of my longtime readers, then you know all about my personal transformation and how I upgraded my own self-image. It was no easy task– but, I did it and so can you.
I had to do an in-depth case study of who it was I truly wanted to become, and, I had to take a good hard look at my beliefs about myself.
Looking at the image I had of myself, I had to examine the messages I was giving myself about who I was and how I was showing up in the world. I had to dissect the beliefs I had about myself and really question their validity.
And, I needed to spend some time considering who I wanted to be in this world.
Imagining my future self, I asked questions like:
- Who does she spend time with?
- What’s in her purse?
- What kind of books are on her shelf?
- What does she wear?
- What does her home look and feel like?
- How does she show up on social media?
- How does she keep commitments to herself and others?
These questions – and more – were all questions I had to ask myself in order to become the person I ultimately wanted to be.
And it wasn’t until I finally began practicing being this person day in and day out that the self-doubt started to fade.
I’ll tell you, I had self-doubt about everything! About being an entrepreneur, about being a good mother, about my body and my weight, about my relationships … Starting to sound familiar?
How we see ourselves creates a precedent for our entire lives.
So, how can we overcome self-doubt? How can we strengthen our inner power and finally give ourselves the chance to rise above a less-than-stellar self-image and transform our lives?
Go within when self-doubt appears.
It takes time and practice, but with consistency, you can get better at becoming more self-aware. And this self-awareness is the key to dealing with self-doubt.
Pay attention to your personal triggers and self-talk whenever you feel self-doubt. Notice the situation you’re in, the language being used and the emotions that appear. Then, replace them as best you can with positivity, affirmations, and self-compassion.
A really helpful practice is daily journaling. If you’ve been following my podcast or blog for long, then you’d know how much I value journaling. It’s a fantastic way to learn more about yourself and release negative emotions.
Journaling, specifically, about your triggers, your obstacles, and the dreams you want to accomplish can banish self-doubt in a very therapeutic way.
Leave yourself love notes
Another sweet and effective way to overcome self-doubt is by leaving yourself little love notes. They can be as small as a few sticky notes on your computer or your refrigerator. Or they can be as involved as writing a full-blown Letter to my Future Self.
By focusing on the things that you love about yourself (and I know you can think of a lot if you just sit down and make it happen!) you can regulate your inner-thinking and reprogram your mind.
You may have heard me speak about “cybernetics” in a past podcast, but in case it’s a new term for you, I’ll briefly explain it.
Cybernetics is an internal automatic program that machines use to operate. For example, a thermostat in your home regulates the temperature and your car’s cruise control regulates the vehicle’s speed. Similarly, we all have our own human cybernetics, internal programming that is our “default mode” of operation.
So, if your cybernetics is a negative self-image that assumes the worst and expects problems, then you will always experience self-doubt.
It isn’t that you’re broken or wrong; you’re just programmed to focus on the negative.
But with love notes strewn about your home and positive affirmations filling up your journal, you can finally get the chance to change your outdated cybernetics and upgrade how you see yourself. It takes consistent effort, but it absolutely works.
If you really, truly, and wholeheartedly believed that you are beautiful, worthy, and smart, then everything in your life will reflect that back to you. You will subconsciously open the doors of success and happiness automatically.
Take a social inventory and consider cleaning house.
When they say you are what you eat, they should also add, you are who you spend time with.
Who you hang out with will very much influence how you see yourself and, in turn, will either create self-doubt or eradicate it.
Ask yourself, are the people in your inner circle the type of people who inspire you? Do you spend time with the type of person whose influence will upgrade your life? Are you surrounding yourself with those who will uplift you and support the type of person you want to become? If the people in your life aren’t the kind of people you can look up to, then it may be time to upgrade your social life.
The funny thing is, you may not even be aware of how detrimental your relationships can be to your life and your ability to overcome self-doubt.
You may have just fallen into a “comfort zone” with the people you spend time with, not even realizing that they may not be the best examples for you.
Surround yourself with the kind of people who have what you want. Not material things – I’m not talking about cars or nice houses – but rather immaterial things.
- A Zest For Life
Self-doubt is natural, but it doesn’t have to be your norm.
When we start to upgrade our self-image, in time, our tendency to self-doubt will diminish. We no longer have to be slaves to our negative cybernetic programming and can fully become who we truly are.
Fortunately, when self-doubt enters your life, it’s a fabulous opportunity for self-reflection and self-realization.
So, the next time you begin to feel the diabolical fingers of self-doubt curl around you, remember that it’s your time to shine. Use the methods I mentioned above to overcome your self-doubt and embrace the opportunity to grow.
The Self-Image Manifesto
You’re Invited To Live An Extraordinary Life!
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