That Creeping Feeling of Self doubt

From a childhoods innocent perspective, adulthood appeared so much simpler and free from worries or fears. The reality is so much more complex, as we become entangled in a web of responsibilities, expectations and worries.

Forging your own path, stepping into the unknown is not only daunting, but sometimes full-on terrifying! Change is inevitable, but even when it’s a choice it can introduce a pile of doubts and fears.

I’m embarking on a new adventure, which is very exciting, but equally scary. I will be right out of my comfort zone, pulling on skills that haven’t been utilised for years, dusting off the old brain cells and creaking those neurons back into life. I am so, so lucky that I even get the opportunity to do this, in a country that supports progression and education, with a family that is more than happy to support my dreams and goals. So what’s the problem???

Out there, lurking in the dark corners of my grey matter, is the big fat fear of FAILURE…with all its associated demons of self doubt. What if I don’t know any of the answers? What if everyone finds out I have no idea what I’m doing? What if my brain just does not have the capacity to work at the required level to succeed? (The list goes on…!).

Serendipitously, I have come across some podcasts this week covering just that subject…self-doubt, and the great news is that everyone faces it, unless they are a psychopath (excellent! I can cross that one off the list!). I would definitely recommend a listen, there are some great gems of wisdom contained within.

We’re all so individual that listening to the same words will bring out different things for everyone. The things that stood out to me, offering both comfort and a call to action, were the following:

  • Everyone experiences self-doubt – so in that sense it’s very normal.
  • It’s worth finding the root cause of self doubt and targeting that area.
  • How we speak to ourselves is hugely important – instead of focusing on what we can’t do, we could turn this around and tell ourselves about what we have done well…in essence be kinder to ourselves.
  • Self doubt will always be around, but it needs to be kept in its proper place.
  • Self belief needs to be the driving force to achieve hopes and dreams and combat fear.
  • Self doubt can be a good thing, as it makes us evaluate choices and weigh up their value and worth.
  • Don’t give voice to the demons…or fear of what others may think, because 1. we never actually know what other people are thinking and 2. Those that care about you most usually have your back.

So my plan is to put this into practice, alongside lots of deep breaths (without inducing an attack of fainting) and the mantra FAIL stands for First Attempt In Learning (thank you Radio 2 for that beauty!).

Podcasts: Hashtag Authentic with Sara Tasker & Sas Petherick

Courage & Spice with Sas Petherick


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