Each morning we get an amazing opportunity to start again.
No matter what occurred yesterday or the day before, today is a new day and new choices can be made.
This is the incredible gift of being human: getting to start fresh each and every day.
And this means that every day we need to re-commit to our own personal, unique, and special journey.
When we feel good and excited about our life, this daily commitment might not be too hard. But when we aren’t so sure about ourselves—and feel shaky about our ability to cope and succeed—this reality of starting again each day can often feel like too much.
A big contributor to being unsure we can succeed in our life is the experience of self-doubt.
Let’s not fool ourselves—everyone experiences self-doubt.
I know this can be hard to believe, because some people just seem so much more confident and together than us; they just must be having a better time in their minds. This is what we often think: that other people have it better in their minds.
But nobody really has it better. Everyone is wrestling with their own mental demons.
This is the danger of engaging with the comparing mind; we often end up looking to other people as a way of making our own lives seem less adequate.
Comparing ourselves to others is useless, because everyone feels like they are not enough in some way—and this is what self-doubt is all about: not truly believing in ourselves.
This is the most normal part of being human there is—doubting that we are enough just as we are.
Unfortunately, this can also be a painful experience, since self-doubt can be insidious. It creeps in really making us believe it is true.
Self-doubt has us believing that perhaps our life will never work out. We will never reach our goals, we will never feel self-love, and we will never wake up with a smile on our face happy to be alive. These are the types of messages self-doubt tells us.
And the more we listen to self-doubt, the more we believe it.
Self-doubt trips me up constantly. I am so accustomed to the messages of self-doubt that I often think those messages are real. When self-doubt explodes in my consciousness, I become completely confused and my confidence shrinks down to a minuscule dot that can no longer be found.
When self-doubt really gets a hold on me, you will find me in my purple onesie, curled up under a blanket, watching endless episodes of ’90s sitcoms, and telling myself nothing will ever work out.
This is what self-doubt does to us. It pulls out every failure from the past and reminds us of how things never quite work out—so how can we expect anything in the future to work out?
Self-doubt is loud, and self-doubt can be constant. But here is what self-doubt isn’t: self-doubt isn’t truth.
Self-doubt is just perception—just one perception within a choice of millions.
This is your superpower. The ability to choose your perceptions.
When self-doubt comes into your consciousness, one trick is just to name it. Don’t believe, but just call it as it is.
Instead of going down the rabbit hole of self-doubt and listing all the ways you are scared, confused, and failing at life—just call it out. Simply say: “Right now, I am having an experience of self-doubt.” Or, even simply state: “Self-doubt is arising.”
This type of looking at the moment as it is gives us the opportunity to truly face what we are experiencing, without believing it as truth.
You don’t need to try to change your thoughts to ones more positive. No need to visualize rainbows or unicorns or yourself as rich and famous. Just be aware that there is a movement of self-doubt traveling through your consciousness, notice it, and let it keep moving along.
Because tomorrow, you will wake up and start again—and if you don’t become too attached to self-doubt, it probably won’t be there. Instead, a new perception—a new state of consciousness—will have arrived, and you can show up for that one too.
This is your life—a movement of perceptions. They are not to be believed, but they are to be experienced.
An Exercise to Help Us Overcome Fear & Self-doubt.
Author: Ruth Lera
Image: Unsplash/Aziz Acharki
Editor: Yoli Ramazzina
Copy Editor: Nicole Cameron