“Doubt is the rust of life. Doubt hold you landlocked in paralysis unable to move either way. The time you spend doubting is the time you are not alive. So rid yourself of the doubt, take that step one way or another, your heart knows what is best, but take it right now.” Author Unknown
In all transparency the time this quote rang true the most was I in the midst of trying to make my marriage work 4 years back (pre divorce). I was so broken and unsure about what to do and I desperately wanted a sign to point me in the right direction. I was paralyzed by the possibility of each decision and what it would be bring and how I would be affected. The truth was either way I would be affected. Either way it would be hard.
I had an overwhelming feeling of what I “should” but I also had a gut wrenching instinct of what I wanted to do.
I think doubt floods in and out of our lives at different levels of intensity. Sometimes it is with big things like marriage, relocating, or switching jobs. Other times it is with little things like what to eat and what to wear that day (females know this).
No matter the experience it keeps us locked in a state of uncertainty feeding worries and anxieties about making the best decision possible. It leaves us wondering if we are worthy enough, if we are good enough. It requires us to take a stand on either who we are or what we believe and put that out to the world, without knowing how the world will respond back.
Yes sometimes we need time to think, to contemplate, to make smart decisions by analyzing all the potential outcomes, but sometimes we also need the permission to just make a decision that we know is in line with what we need, want, or what best fits the situation so we can take that next step forward.
Self doubt is paralyzing and while we all want to make the best decisions to impact our lives, realize that we can only control the decisions we make and how we react to them, not the outcomes itself. There are no guarantees on outcomes.
It is scary to take the next step without knowing exactly how things will workout, but along the way you build the values of confidence, conviction and resiliency.
“When you doubt your power, you give power to your doubt.” ~Honore de Balzac
It becomes less scary and you learn to get comfy with newness, change, and discomfort and know that whatever life throws at you, you will be ok, one way or another.
Going through a divorce was one of the most life altering events I have ever experienced. It was the only time I had ever lived alone or supported myself in my life and here I was with the world saying, “Here you go Adele. Here is the freedom to figure it out and make it happen.”
But I did it, quite well I might add. It built my courage, bravery and confidence and make all the other unknowns a little less life shattering and that is why today I am talking about amazing things that happen when you stop doubting yourself and start trusting yourself.
You get less attached to the outcomes and more engaged in the process.
Getting attached to outcomes is like a game. You either win or lose and tie your emotion in that. The worry with self-doubt always remains, what if? What if things don’t workout? What if I struggle? What if I am not good enough? How will people react?
All these are valid worries but none of these are solutions to any problem. Sure you can forecast and create a back up plan, lets say if you leave to a new job and it doesn’t work, but excessive worrying and contemplating drains mental energy that you could be applying to other pursuits. It doesn’t really do anything to help the outcome.
BUT when you can learn to put that energy into the process of figuring it out, doing the work, comfortable or not, you give yourself more power in the process. And like the quote above says, “When you doubt your power, you give power to your doubt.”
You have more confidence in yourself and what you believe in.
When you doubt less and find more conviction in your choices you build more confidence in your values, yourself and what you believe in and stand for.
Is it easy to describe what you stand for, or what you believe in? Or does it make you shy away and wonder what you really want out of life?
Can you freely share your opinion with others without worrying how they are going to react? Or do you hide it because you feel unsure? Do you doubt your opinions or do you back them?
The more you stand behind yourself the more comfy you get with what you think, feel, and value and feel less worry in sharing it with others. You learn and grow and build more confidence in the process.
I know for me, I have grown over the years and have done best to conform less and expand myself more. Sometimes you just have to show up to the world as you are and be ok if certain people aren’t on the same page as you.
You realize you don’t need to be perfect.
Author, Brene Brown says, “Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good,” and I just love this because so often I find we tend to think that if we can’t make the perfect decision we can’t make any at all.
The more you give yourself permission to just be good the more your choices will relinquish control over you. It doesn’t matter if your choice is the 100% prefect choice, it matters more that you learn to figure out whatever the choice gives to you.
I use to feel this way with eating and exercise. I just wasn’t sure what to eat or how to workout to the absolute best of my ability to get the best results. What if carbs were my problem? Maybe I should do Paleo? Should I be running more or lifting more? I don’t know. What are the perfect choices?
I’ve learned that trying to make the perfect choice often leads to no choices. Or a lot of mental anguish spent trying to figure it out.
I would collect more and more information, seeking the perfect plan without really implementing anything to see if it worked. I was constantly searching, constantly wondering, constantly doubting, unable to take action, unable to move forward.
But once I did. I built confidence, mistakes and all. I made more choices, built more confidence and the cycle now repeats itself.
You build resiliency.
I love the word resiliency as it embodies strength. Strength though hardship, strength through discomfort, strength through life. Falling and getting back up. I don’t want to crumble when life gets tough or hard because it is inevitable that it will.
Even if you feel you crumble in moments it is how you come out of it that matters. You learn to embrace the discomfort instead of constantly seeking safety.
I don’t want to question my actions, my thoughts, and who I am on a regular basis worrying I don’t meet certain standards, wondering if I am good enough, or it my choices will equate to the perfect outcomes.
While tough times are uncomfortable and frustrating they build our strength for the next obstacle.
You get comfortable with discomfort.
One thing in life I know for sure is that is does not always feel easy and that we will experience challenges and struggles. When you put yourself out there in moments of discomfort you get better at dealing with them.
“The best way out is through.” Robert Frost
This can be as simple as doing something new each day, that is out of your comfort zone. This can be having the difficult conversation you don’t want to have instead of avoiding it. This can be as simple as making more decisions.
This can be as simple as facing a fear. Not something you are terrified to do but maybe something you have always really, really wanted to do that makes you a little fearful but a little excited as well.
The best part is with this is that you don’t let failures hold you back, you don’t avoid situations that can benefit you just because they are not so comfy, and sometimes, sometimes, you get over that big huge fear you have been hiding from.
You find clarity in your thoughts.
Self-doubt, either with who you are, or with your decisions, is mental clutter. It is an operating system that leaves you in a state of misery because nothing is ever good enough, nothing is ever certain.
Once you start to practice trusting yourself more, with your choices, and who you are, it frees up some mental space in your head. Decisions don’t feel quite so agonizing. The challenges have a light at the end of the tunnel. You find value in who you are and what you believe in,
You start to do more of the things you want to do in life.
You start to live your life intentionally each and everyday.
You start to embrace who you are and what you believe in.
And you give yourself and other permission to do the same.
I would love to hear your thoughts on self-doubt in the comments on my Facebook page!
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