Laurie and Jessica
Laurie is an artist. Her passion is making art, and recently in one of our coaching sessions she shared how she often drops to a place of self-doubt when she paints, and before she knows it, she’s spiraling down to the familiar place of ?not good enough? and she’s done painting for the day.
Jessica, another woman I coach, is an entrepreneur who was recently promoted. While she enjoys managing her new team members, she’s often triggered by one of her team members, and when it happens, her self-doubt prevents her from trusting herself and this negatively affects her ability to be the leader she can be.
As I was exploring the topic of self-doubt both with Laurie and Jessica, I recognized a phenomenon that is familiar to me from my own experience as well as from other women I meet.
Something triggers our self-doubt and we easily put on the ?I’m not good enough? hat, which often feels natural for us and even safe. We are used to wearing the self-doubt hat. Doubting ourselves serves us. When we drop to self-doubt and stay there for a while, we don’t have to stretch ourselves and become confident. It is less work and more protective.
Both Laurie and Jessica have done the inner work. They’ve been working with me for a while. Their level of awareness is pretty high, and they understand where the self-doubt comes from and when and where they have been programmed to doubt themselves.
My approach with both of them was to come up with strategies to help them shift from self-doubt to confidence in the moment. Since I felt that they had spent enough time understanding why they drop to a low level, it was time for real action.
My own self-doubt
Self-doubt is very familiar to me. It used to settle in the back of my mind more in the past, but in the last few years I’ve become more intuitive in my work and have learned how to better keep it at bay. From debating whether I should teach a class or offer a program to believing I could succeed as a speaker; I’ve learned to use tools. Once I speak, teach, or coach I’m usually very confident and in my power, but just before I start, I’m sometimes in a different place. When I’m confident, it rocks. When I doubt my intuition, I don’t rock. I’ve learned to use a few tools to change my power from self-doubt to confidence so I can speak, teach, and coach?and rock!
And now?. your story
When is the last time you doubted yourself and felt your level of anxiety pick up?
What recent memory do you have from a moment that required confidence and it was hard for you to get there?
Make the memory live in your mind so you can remember how it felt in your body, and imagine how different it would feel if you were skilled in shifting from self-doubt to confidence.
When having a moment of doubt, what can we do in the moment? How do we shift from self-doubt to confidence in real-life situations?
Shifting from Self-Doubt to Confidence in 8 easy steps??
- Change your posture
- Look around you and find something uplifting
- Leave the environment
- Talk to yourself in the mirror
- Smooth your energy field
- Find a cheerleader
Pause, Breathe, Smile.
The act of taking a deep breath releases tension in the body, and if you make yourself smile at the same time you start feeling better right away.
Can you recall how it feels in your body when you have that moment of self-doubt? Your muscles might feel tense, maybe you clench your hands or arms, your legs might be wrapped around something and you might even be gasping or holding your breath. When you consciously move your body and change your posture, the movement releases some of the negative emotions.
Typically, we think that our behavior follows our emotions, like when we stand tall and proud because we’re feeling confident. Harvard psychologist Amy Cuddy suggests the opposite is also true. We can become more confident simply by striking a power pose ? or stretching out. Stretching upon awakening is Cuddy’s recommendation. ?Before you even put one foot on the floor, stretch your body as wide as possible? says Cuddy. Before you engage in a moment that requires confidence, stretch your body and strike a confident pose.
Wherever you are, set an intention in the moment to uplift yourself energetically. Look around you and find something that will emotionally and energetically lift you to a higher place. It might be a picture on the wall with vibrant colors or maybe a book on the shelf. Detaching yourself from the uncomfortable feeling and paying attention to something that makes you feel good will help you shift from self-doubt to confidence. If there’s nothing in your surroundings, create a mental image of something uplifting that you can call on at the moment you need it.
If changing your posture or finding an uplifting source in your surroundings doesn’t work, consider leaving the environment, taking some time to regroup and then come back. This works well when you are working on something by yourself that requires great confidence.
Looking in the mirror reminds you of who you really are and helps you accept yourself as you are. See how beautiful you are, inside and out, and allow your inner-self to shine. Tell yourself out loud how beautiful, confident, and strong you are.
Our aura, or energy field, is our first energetic contact with other people or the environment. Our energy field interacts with those of others and picks up on surrounding vibrations. If you can’t see it, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. When I teach my Reiki classes, I let people experience their energy field. Any imbalance of body, mind, or spirit will be manifested first in our aura and then in our physical body. Aura brushing is an effective tool to release negative emotions and make you feel better on the spot. Just like you brush your hair, brush your energy field. When experiencing lack of confidence, smooth or brush the energy field towards the earth and then sweep it back into the body. I love teaching this technique in my Reiki Classes and people love how simple and easy it is.
Sometimes a connection with another human being helps you feel better. You can choose to give a voice to your self-doubt and share it with another person, or you can actually choose not to and simply start a conversation with somebody else. Sometimes it feels right to make yourself vulnerable and ask them to help you gain your confidence back. Other times, it won’t help you to share your self-doubt because you will still be focusing on self-doubt and actually talking about something else will bring you the inspiration and good feelings you need. Find that someone you know will give you feelings of confidence.
We all feel self-doubt at times. No person is free from this. However, there are things we can do to shift from self-doubt to confidence on the spot. Start practicing these 8 simple steps whenever you start feeling self-doubt creep in. You do have the power to change. Like anything else, developing new skills takes practice. Choose curiosity over self-doubt. Don’t let yourself be crippled by self-doubt one more day!
Which step makes you curious to try it? Please share your comment below. (come back and read my reply!)