5 STEP PLAN TO DOUBT YOUR SELF DOUBT
Self doubt is normal but you should not let it hold you back. Follow my 5 step plan to keep moving your creative biz forward in times of self doubt.
Self doubt is perfectly normal, our brain is hardwired to question and analyze everything we do but we must learn to recognise that we have the ability to move past our own self doubt. We can stop standing in our own way as soon as we accept that self doubt is just a tiny piece of our own puzzle and we stop letting it define us and limit us.
There is a lot of airy-fairy and intangible advice out there about overcoming self doubt so I have put together a very actionable 5 step plan for you to start seeing results right away. So grab your journal and get ready to ask yourself some big questions…
THE FIVE STEP PLAN TO DOUBT YOUR SELF DOUBT
Know your ‘why’, define what you want
Quit being your own barrier
Back yourself, call upon your wins
Seek practical clarity
Identify possible hurdles and chances
STEP 1: KNOW YOUR WHY, DEFINE WHAT YOU WANT
Understanding your why, and knowing what you want is essential to personal development. You’ve probably experienced that battle in your mind when it comes to decision making, the one between ‘keeping safe’ and ‘growth and expressing yourself’.
This inner battle is normal. It is human, it’s a part of your psychological make up. You can blame your inner cave(wo)man for that! Your brain just wants to protect you and it will override all other thoughts to do so. Unless, you are committed to something so much bigger than yourself, unless you have a real strong and deep purpose, that’s when the bravest part of your brain can be heard and start to lead the way.
Knowing your why is the starting point for everything else in your life. It may not show changes in what you do each day, but it will definitely change how you do it, and that is huge. I would definitely recommend exploring journaling this topic further and getting clear on your bigger life purpose, but for exploring a particular self doubt your first task to get clear on your ‘why’ is to define exactly what it is you want to achieve.
What is my main goal? (this could be a long term or short term goal)
What is it specifically that I want to achieve?
What am I uncertain about?
What specifically am I doubting?
Get super clear on this. The more clarity you have about your uncertainties the more success you will have will creating certainty throughout this activity.
STEP 2: QUIT BEING YOUR OWN BARRIER
Now that you are clear on what you want to achieve the next step is to work on breaking down the psychological walls you built yourself along your journey so far. When I say quit being your own barrier I say it truly from a place of tough love and big compassion, because I know that it can be hard to go through this stuff but I also know that it is essential in overcoming self doubt.
As I mentioned in step one, your brain just wants to protect you and part of that process is to build these walls, a barrier to keep everything harmful out, and keep you safe inside. The funny thing is as creatives we pride ourselves on our imagination, however, your imagination plays a large part in constructing these walls. When our imagination is fuelled by fear it has a tendency to overestimate risk and show us only the worst possible outcomes. This is where the “what if….” (“what if I fail?”, “what if I make a fool of myself?” questions cloud our judgement and our beliefs. Over time, the answers to these “what if” questions can become our belief system.
To break down the barriers that are holding you back you can start to gently challenge your belief system.
Why am I feeling uncertain about this?
Has something happened in my life to trigger this feeling?
Does this feeling make any sense? Why/why not?
How could I move forward if I was completely certain and confident about this?
This exercise is allowing your mind to be open to the possibility that there is another way. The next step builds upon this possibility.
STEP 3: BACK YOURSELF, CALL UPON YOUR WINS
Now that you are open to viewing things in a different light, the next step is to prove it to yourself. Give your self doubt undeniable evidence that you can do this! This exercise will reinforce certainty over uncertainty. List all of the amazing things you have accomplished and are proud of, big and small. Then answer these questions, give lots of details and be specific.
Have I experienced self doubt in this area before?
Have I ever overcome self doubt to achieve these things?
Have I experienced and overcome the emotions I am feeling now before?
What empowering beliefs did I have back then to achieve those outcomes?
How did I talk to myself?
Were there any specific pattern in my behaviour that allowed me?
Picking up on any patterns in your behaviour is key to helping create an action plan to move forward from your self doubt.
STEP 4: SEEK PRACTICAL CLARITY
Self doubt often stems from a lack of knowledge or understanding, it is almost impossible to reassure yourself if you have no clue as to what your real options are. It can be small nuggets of information you pick up or wise words of support from someone you know that can make all the difference to your self belief.
So be practical and get clear on what you can do to get the help/support/knowledge you need to move forward.
How can others support me?
Do I need to learn any new skills?
Can I gain any experience in this?
How can I shift my thinking to support my situation from an optimistic view?
When you are armed with knowledge you create space to make an informed decision and you can give your situation or problem context.
STEP 5: IDENTIFY POSSIBLE HURDLES AND CHANCES
As humans we want to plan and prepare for life, but plans are linear and life is not. Curve-balls will come your way often as will unexpected opportunities. When these two show up, inevitably your self doubt will too. So while it can be good and reassuring to have a plan, keep it a working plan, a changing, an adaptable plan. One that is open to hurdles and chances, because they will come your way. Being prepared for possible challenges and opportunities is one way to ease uncertainty.
Any goal worth reaching is one worth fighting for, when you meet a hurdle, remember it does not mean YOU have failed. It just means that you have met one of life’s curveballs and you may need to learn, grow and adapt to move past the curveball and stay on the path to your goal.
What hurdles could pop up along the way to my goal?
What is the absolute worst case scenario?
How will I handle these challenges if they occur?
What could unexpected opportunities look like?
How/where could I seek them out?
What a mantra can I give myself now, to say to myself when challenges pop up to help me handle them?
Develop an action plan: a step by step timeline so you know what you need to do at each stage of achieving your goal
Take decisive action and journal: keep a record of your progress to boost you back up in times of self doubt, you can use this a learning tool also, to see your patterns of behaviour
Create accountability: Find a way to hold yourself accountable, who can you share your goals with, how can you check in regularly on your progress?
Celebrate your success: Every step of the way, not just when you reach your end goal. Every time you celebrate a small win you are reinforcing certainty and self belief, squeezing out self doubt
I know this 5 step plan is going to be a great jumping off point for you. A tool you can keep referring back to each self doubt starts creeping in. But, the plan only works if you do, you have to put in the work to see the results, so don’t just read the steps, grab a pen and your journal and start getting it all out. You can do this!
Are you ready to overcome your self doubt and finally start leading the creative workshops you’ve been dreaming and journaling about forever!? Get the free guide, a 10 Step Road Map to running successful creative workshops.