I carry around self-doubt around the way I carry around my purse. I always have it with me, it’s usually too heavy, and no matter what I do, I can’t seem to keep it clean. Honestly, I am not a very introspective person-I don’t think much about my feelings or their origin. I’m fortunate to have not struggled with mental or emotional health issues, so I’ve never really felt the need to get in touch with my feelings. I resisted mindset talk because I didn’t think I needed it. ha. Looking back, whenever I doubted myself, I would ultimately receive some external validation to help me feel confident. Accomplishments such as honor roll, coaches awards, deans lists, getting my dream job offer, and promotions all helped shape my confidence.
Last year, I quit my job and changed my career path. It’s a path I never thought I’d travel, and to be honest, it has brought forth a lot of feelings and emotions I never realized I had inside my head. You can read a little more about my career changes here. Most prominently, a shadow of self-doubt crept in to my mind and heart in a way that I never knew existed inside me. There are moments this doubt has been all-consuming. In those moments, it has left me sleepless, panic-stricken, and anxious. I’m not saying this to make you or me feel bad, I’m saying this because it’s real and it’s relatable, but I have found ways to make it manageable.
How to Battle Self-Doubt
What to do when self-doubt creeps in? Honestly, I don’t have THE answer. However, I’ve found certain strategies work well in setting up my day so that I feel accomplished at the end of the day. When I feel accomplished and productive, it pushes my mindset more towards positive, rewarding, and affirmative. A few things that have helped me along the way:
- Physical fitness and goal setting at the gym: the gym has always been a place of peace for me. I feel refreshed and energized after moving my body. I have found that focusing on physical achievements at the gym and setting legitimate fitness goals (a new move, a new PR), has helped me feel a sense of accomplishment that I may not feel so much in my work that day.
- Stepping away vs. working harder: Newsflash: working yourself to the point of burnout or exhaustion is not the answer. There was a night a few weeks ago that I got 9 hours of sleep (vs. 5-6 average) and the next day I felt SO much better. Since then, when my eyes are burning or I’m just too tired to think, I put the laptop away and snuggle on the couch with my family instead of getting in another hour of (not quality) work.
- Daily five and brain dumps: I learned both of these methods from the Goaldigger Podcast (Jenna Kutcher has the BEST advice and I highly recommend listening to her podcast for more of this goodness)! The daily 5 is writing down the 5 things you need to accomplish in that day. You do not move on to anything else until you’ve checked them off your list. A brain dump is also something that has helped me immensely! A brain dump is basically making a list of EVERYTHING that is bouncing around in your head. I write down everything from “stop at CVS” to “make dinner” to help me sort through my thoughts.
- Positive Thoughts: sounds easy and obvious in theory, not-so-easy in execution! Our thoughts control our energy and attitude. Since I’m no longer in an office environment, I do not have the external pressure to maintain calm and cool! Staying positive and practicing positive affirmations makes a world of difference in my attitude. I’ve found writing them down before I begin my day helps me walk out the door thinking positively.
- Practicing Mindfulness: For a while, I felt like time was just slipping away from me. I was doing so many things at once that I wasn’t focusing. I try to finish one task to completion before moving on. Focusing my time and energy and understanding where I spend my time (gooooodbye, mindless scrolling/story watching/inbox refreshing) has helped me feel better about my days. I can look back on my day and understand how I spent each working hour.
I hope this post made you nod your head, not feel so alone, and offered some solutions. We all need affirmation that we’re doing our best. I hope to offer that support within our community! We’re in this together!