Most people let self-doubt stand between them and the thing that they desire most in their life.
Self-doubt is powerful.
And it has a grip on many of us.
It is a quiet and subtle dream killer.
Here is how I approach self-doubt, especially as it relates to setting a new goal or attempting to create something new in my life.
If you set a new goal for yourself and the goal is going to stretch you, as a good goal should, then is likely you will experience some self-doubt and fear. This is a very good sign because it means that you have the opportunity to grow. To overcome the self-doubt, is to grow.
On the other hand, if you pretend that self-doubt doesn’t exist and just ignore it, you do not overcome it. Instead you let it determine your action with very little awareness. Most people, at this point, run away from the feeling by changing the goal or deciding that they don’t like goal setting because of the negative emotion (self-doubt) that it causes.
Instead, be willing to feel it…to feel the self-doubt.
Let’s think about it. What does doubt feel like? I am guessing that it must feel pretty terrible to work so hard at avoiding it, right?
If you had to describe your self-doubt, what would you say about it?
Can you distinguish the way that it is different from other feelings you experience?
Does it have a color?
Do it move through your body at a slow or rapid pace?
Where is located in your body?
If you can get there and describe your self-doubt,or any emotion with this level of detail, then you are the one in control of it. When we avoid our emotions or try to push them away, we experience resistance.
It is always the negative emotion + resistance that feel unbearable.
And that is where the emotion is controlling us instead of the other way around.
I would describe my own self-doubt as being located in the pit of my stomach. It is slow moving with a subtle vibration to it. It is usually dark green and feels heavy.
I know this may sound a little weird, but stay with me on this.
Because I have paid attention to my self-doubt. I recognize it as soon as it shows up. In fact I have even been know to talk to my self-doubt and the conversation goes something like this…
“Hey self-doubt. What’s up? I have been expecting you. I just set a new goal (or I want to do this new thing) and whenever I put myself in a situation like this, you show up! I know you are here because of the thoughts that I am creating in my mind and you will leave when I have found new thoughts to think. So, self-doubt, let’s do this!”
OK, you might be laughing at me at this point or have stopped reading this altogether, but seriously, imagine this…
What if I actually let a dark green, heavy, slow moving with a slight vibration in the pit of my stomach emotion, prevent me from working on a stretch goal in my life?
Seriously, that would be the saddest thing ever.
And as I wrote at the beginning – most people let self-doubt stand between them and the thing that they desire most in their life.
If you allow yourself to experience self doubt and describe it in detail, lean into it and embrace it, you begin to realize you can do it. You can do self-doubt. You can do humiliation. You can do fear.
This works with any emotion!
What would happen if you were willing to feel any emotion on purpose? Not just tolerate them but really feel and allow all of them. Think about the all the things that you would be able to do and the relationships that you would hold the space for. Think about the goals you would set and dreams that could be fulfilled.
It is called taking emotional responsibility for yourself. Instead of your emotions taking responsibility for you.
Give it a try this week and let me know how it goes. I look forward to hearing from you.