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25 Things to Know and Do About Self-Doubt

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#1: Self-doubt is sometimes a reflexive self-defense mechanism that your brain uses when it feels vulnerable.

It's less about actually doubting yourself and more about the fear of change and moving forward. While it's natural to have the urge to stay safe, staying safe sometimes contraindicates well-being.

#2: Doubt the doubt.

Deepak Chopra said that first, but it's worth repeating.

#3: Kick something.

Doubt is liable to make you feel powerless, so you might as well bully the furniture.

#4: Call a person who values you and ask them to tell you why you're great.

They will tell you things that surprise you and give you new reasons to doubt the doubt.

#5: Think about that time you loved something really well, be it a person, a cat, or a favourite blanket you carried with you until it fell apart.

Don't think about how that love began or ended. Just sit with that feeling you had in the middle of the story, because that's when the power you have inside you was able to really come out. You can do that.

#6: Keep carrot sticks handy or other good food that your mouth really has to work at to eat.

That will give you something healthy to do while you grind your teeth.

#7: Go for a walk with a checklist of things to notice. Treat it like a treasure hunt.

This will help your brain break the cycle you've looped into and move you on to other thoughts.

#8: Don't let those people who tell you to love yourself and your body make you feel like you're doing it wrong if you don't.

Loving yourself in the way you might love something external to you probably involves a pathological level of dissociation that is both a) unsustainable and
b) unbalanced.

#9: Put on a song you love, turn up the volume, and dance.

Being in your body will help you get out of your head.

#10: Remember that your self-doubt has nothing whatsoever to do with the actual measure of your worth.

Self-doubt needs no empirical evidence to survive. It lives independently of your actual qualities and abilities.

#11: Eat chocolate.

It is the food equivalent of love.

#12: Do something you know you're good at.

Give yourself a break from the thing causing your self-doubt by giving yourself a confidence booster shot, even if it's something as simple as baking that perfect loaf of bread you boast about.

#13: Sleep.

If you feel the need to nap at some unusual hour, do. Self-doubt loves a weakened constitution.

#14: Make someone's day.

Send a friend flowers, walk into a local charity and ask if there is some menial task they need done but can't get to, or pick up a stray and take it to the humane society. Watching yourself transform someone's life, if only for an hour, does wonders for your self-faith.

#15: Drink water.

Did you know that even subtler levels of dehydration can bring on anxiety? It's easy to confuse physical distress with deeper internal conflict.

#16: Do something that made you feel good in the days before self-doubt became such a complex beast.

When I was a kid, I would buy a small bag of those gummie cherries that taste a bit like cough syrup and dole them out to myself slowly all day when no one was watching like they were my secret medicine. I don't do this one enough now.

#17: If that eye twitch won't quiet down, stick an eye patch over it and say "Arrrrrgh".

It's okay to own it.

#18: Remember that your doubt is not an authority on anything.

Self-doubt is a mood, not an individual with the right to dictate truth to you.

#19: Think about how it's not possible for you to suck as much at whatever is triggering your self-doubt as that person who really, really sucked at it.

That guy who actually died on stage? He's already filled the statistical quota for that kind of thing. You're golden.

#20: Borrow someone else's belief in you.

Remember that person who loved you really well and mentally tuck them in your pocket. You might not know that you have what it takes, but they do.

#21: Dress up in the clothes that make you feel the most attractive, confident, and strong.

Playing the part can bring on feeling the part.

#22: Self-doubt is a sign that what you are doing is important to you.

It can be a tool that helps you to slow down and take care as you move forward.

#23: Learn a new skill.

If you're spending a lot of time concentrating on how your old skill set isn't so hot, maybe its time to update your personal resume.

#24: Take some of your power back outside, and you'll feel it inside.

Get rid of something or someone that makes you feel bad about yourself. Sometimes self-doubt is an internalization of negative feelings that actually have nothing to do with how much you're not perfect at something.

#25: Share something with people that you've been afraid to say out loud.

Self doubt blooms in isolation, and hiding things that are important to you can make you feel unnecessary shame. Let yourself out into the light, and you'll be surprised by how many people say Me, too.
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