How many times a day do you tell yourself that you can't do something? Once? Twice? Or does it happen every goddamn second that you try to step out of your comfort zone?
If you've really never found yourself stuck in that kind of thought process, then congratulations - you're the 1%. And my hero.
But it's more likely that you're delusional.
You see, a little self doubt isn't all bad. It's all part of being human. You know that saying - 'never judge someone until you've walked a mile in their shoes'? Well, there's a lot of truth in that. Walking in someone else's shoes for a while is where empathy comes from, and compassion, and understanding that there's more to life than what you can get out of it. What you put into it matters too.
But when self doubt becomes self sabotage - it's not good. And that's the understatement of the century.
So, how do you ignore that little voice in your head that keeps you second guessing yourself? Maybe you can't, and maybe you shouldn't. After all, sometimes it's necessary (i.e. when that way too expensive dress is on sale and it's still way too expensive). But you can definitely learn to live with it and show it who's boss.
The next time that self doubt comes knocking at your door, you need to stare it down and send it on its way.
And here's how;
- Make a list of all of the reasons that you 'think' you can't do something.
- Create a second list and try to qualify each of those statements.
- If you can come up with an actual FACT to support any of your 'I can't do it' thoughts, then jot it down on a third list.
- If you can't come up with any supporting facts at all - then it's a sign that your self doubt has taken over and it's making you think stupid shit. So you need to tell that BS merchant where to go. And fast.
At the end of the exercise, you keep the third list - which contains ONLY the thoughts that have factual evidence to back them up - and you ditch your list of 'this is all the made up crap that I'm thinking because I'm panicking and probably being irrational'. Because you are being irrational. This isn't like the time that your ex was being a jerk and trying to convince you that you were over-reacting to win an argument (we've all been there), this is about you - being too damn hard on yourself. And you need to stop.
If you're interested in CBT, this is pretty much the same gig - minus the psychobabble. It works for me and I'm the least self help tips tolerant person on the planet.
So try it out. If it doesn't work, I guess you're a lost cause. If it does work, you owe me a pint.