Have you noticed that I’ve talked about confidence a little more than usual lately? Truthfully, it’s been because I had a weird summer, well, 2017, relationship with confidence. It’s funny, I actually started noticing a distinct difference in confidence levels at work and personally. It started last year when I was very self-aware of my ahem, new curves that I suddenly felt like I could rock. Personally I struggled with the weirdness of having a very different body, yet completely loving it and owning who I am. Professionally, I felt like I was starting to hit my stride and was comfortable with where I was for the most part. But then we had an integration and my role changed and well, I was pushed and I wasn’t super comfortable with it because it was change.
Fast forward a little bit and once again, life got weird. I felt a little lost earlier this year. Honestly it started with my 26th birthday because I was terrified that nothing could top what a great year 25 was. I felt like I needed to find who I was again but I wasn’t sure how to even start that. Plus, how freaking often does one have to find who they are? WILL THERE BE ANY AGE THAT YOU’RE LIKE YEP THIS IS ME, I’M DONE! I digress, you get the idea.
My job has always been great, but this weird self-doubt decided to set-in. Even little things that I knew how to do I doubted myself. And what happened? Things didn’t go as well as they could have and I got more mad that a) I didn’t go with my gut and b) I was letting doubt win. It’s a terrible self-fulfilling prophecy cycle. What’s worse is that this was all internalized stuff. I wasn’t being told I wasn’t doing a good job. I doubted myself which then made me mad I did that, then if something went wrong, I got extra hard with myself. Again and again. I should have stopped and doubt my doubt, not myself.
But I hadn’t read the quote “doubt your doubt, not yourself” which of course, totally hit me like a ton of bricks. The timing was perfect as I was in the middle of a classic beat-down cycle with myself. I read it and it caused me to pause and think, “Why do I instantly assume I am not enough, doing enough or am doing it wrong?” Nothing was indicating anything WAS wrong but I was still plagued with doubt that was completely self-imposed. We are always the hardest on ourselves and focus on things that no one even notices!
It’s not an overnight fix, but thanks to my therapist, I’ve been able to put that oh so important little step between feeling doubt and blaming myself. The moment that I start feeling doubt, I question where it’s coming from. Is it coming from something someone is saying? Is it based on past experience? Are you feeling more sensitive to any feedback lately? Most importantly, is this something you are telling yourself? Am I doubting my doubt or am I listening to it?
Since asking myself these questions, I’ve noticed some things. I’ve noticed I’ve gained confidence, true confidence (couple with the tips I shared here) and handled things differently. I might have some doubt, but I’m much more in tune with WHY I am doubtful. It’s always something I will work on, but I’m finally able to say I’m doubting my doubt more than myself.