Things tick along nicely until they don’t. I’ve hit a bump. There are things I’ve committed to that I can’t put off. The hard stuff.
There are days when I feel confident, when I believe in my own ability; but it can be hard to remember those moments of positivity when I feel self-doubt, or when I think I won’t ever quite measure up to the amazing success of other women entrepreneurs I watch and admire.
Feeling self-doubt is normal. I can either let that thinking get me down or get me going. It’s my choice.
In an interview with Alice Wong, she shared this wisdom “Deep down, you know you can do it. Nothing is impossible. The reward for the solution is more problems to solve. That’s good for your brain muscles. That’s exciting. That can override self-doubt. I look back in reflection and things that seemed hard weren’t that hard. We are too harsh in what we tell ourselves. We want to be perfect. Perfect is a killer word. No one is perfect. Success is what you learn and the progress you make. It takes persistance” Alice Wong, Asia Society Australia Board Member and former Head of Asian Leadership at the Westpac Group.
Most of us are worried about whether we’re good enough.
We feel it as being nervous, anxious, shy or we experience it as other feelings, but the core is a universal fear and self-belief that we’re not good enough. As a result, we create layers around ourselves of who we believe we need to be vs. who we really are, and the gap in between is how we experience ourselves, through a lens of I’m not good enough.
I’m not good enough is a self-destructive belief
There is a myriad of ways – sometimes unconscious – our thinking and behaviour is shaped by this belief and we play small. For example, when you:
- Crave approval and validation from others
- Fear criticism and take everything personally
- Say “it’s nothing” or “it was luck” when you’re acknowledged
- Feed your fear with sugar, alcohol or something else that gives you the certainty of short term comfort even though it’s an unresourceful habit
- Feel like you have to prove something
- Want to be everything to everyone and look like you’ve got it all together
- Put things off until everything else is in place
- Doubt yourself by worrying and feeling stressed about making a mistake
- Compare yourself to others in way that puts you down
- Hide in being busy or by trying to hide your weaknesses and flaws.
We all deserve to be good enough
Brené Brown says in her book: The gifts of imperfection – “I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid, but that doesn’t change the truth that I am also brave and worthy of love and belonging”
Have the courage to connect into the real you
Here are 5 ways to change your focus, get out of the I’m not good enough trap, and develop the practice of having the courage to be you.
1. Accept yourself
You are whole and complete – right now, and exactly as you are. However you rate yourself out of 10 for anything – whether it’s a 1 or 8 or something else – it’s you. Be okay with where you’re at, or you’ll never feel the satisfaction and fulfillment you want to feel when you achieve something (because there will always be your perceived gap). There is nothing lacking. There is no gap. There is only progress to be made.
2. Trust yourself
Learn to have self-integrity. The fastest way to increase your self-esteem is to follow through on the promises that you make to you.
3. Be positive
Take time to acknowledge you, even for small things. Retrain your inner critic on what to focus on by develop a daily ritual of asking yourself “What three things can I acknowledge myself for today”?
4. Don’t make it about you
C.S. Lewis was smart to point out that humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less. We have a tendency to put too much focus on ourselves and let our egos get in the way. As a result, we feel self-doubt or another negative emotions. When you focus on others your perspective about you will change.
5. Stop comparing yourself to others
Rather than look at the best in others and compare it to the worst in yourself, instead model others who have the results you desire.
The upshot is, your choice of focus will always determine your experience. If you knew that you could handle whatever challenge was in front of you, what would you attempt or endeavour to do? I reckon I’m going to tell myself the hard stuff is the good stuff and get into it.