Self doubt. Oh it’s a good friend in my life, maybe even my best? Do you also know it far too well for your liking? It’s genuinely something I do on a daily basis and have only really started acknowledging its presence quite recently.
Growing up, I was always in a slightly competitive world. At age 7, I started acting, so had to learn hard and fast how to stand out from others and show the best of myself in a 15 minute window. At university, I continued dabbling in acting and always had to give myself a massive pep talk to go to auditions. I had an irrational fear of not being good enough. Instead of allowing my strong points to shine through, I would doubt every single little thing that meant I might not get the part, or would wonder how dare I even consider myself good enough to go up for things when everyone else was so much more talented and smarter than I was.
A lot of the time, it would result in me regretting not going. I’d watch plays and think “I would have been perfect for that”. And as I transitioned into “adulthood” (I’m still not sure I’m there), I promised myself I would have a little more faith in my abilities and talents.
Apparently, at the age of 27, I haven’t quite mastered it and have instead thrown myself into a career where I am constantly doubting my ability to do certain jobs and throw myself into things I maybe haven’t done before. But part of me is starting to ride the fear.
I quite accidentally stumbled into working in the food and wellness industry and had never really used a camera before or even cooked anything remotely nutritious until my PCOS diagnosis, so I really had to learn on the go. It can be overwhelmingly scary when you’ve never done a job and suddenly you have to act as if you are in total control and know exactly what you’re doing. In fact, the fear of the unknown is pretty much what it boils down to.
But I am really trying to own this irrational fear that has been so limiting and restricting for so long. So I’m sharing a few tips that I hope might help you all too!
1. Don’t compare yourself to others
This is a huge one in a world where we constantly scroll through edited images of people’s best lives and try to remember it’s not always like that. But instead of beating yourself up over how much work they produce or how great they look, instead, look to them for inspiration. My biggest link here is Pinterest. See them as a Pinterest board for where you’d like to be.
2. Believe in yourself
I know this is easier said than done but really and truly if you don’t believe in your talents then no-one else will.
3. Celebrate each small step
You may have done something you’ve never done before and felt truly terrified (me most days), but once you’ve done it once, you know it’s always so much easier the second time around. So give yourself some love and appreciation when you’ve done something a little different!
4. Be kind to yourself
Don’t beat yourself up if something didn’t go to plan and know that if it didn’t work out today, have a little faith that it might do the next.
5. Surround yourself with people that want to see you shine
I’ve somehow managed to find people in my life that think I can do anything I set my sights on. Sometimes it’s a little scary but other times, knowing they believe in you can give you that boost.
6. Fake it til you make it
Honestly, something I do most days and somehow I make things happen. Pretending you have confidence and knowing what you’re doing can sometimes make you believe it too!
7. Give yourself a talking to
This is something I’ve started to do quite regularly and may seem a little odd. But when I’m really stressing over something and wallowing in my own darkness of self doubt, I take a breath and literally say to myself out loud “Why are you worrying? You know you can do this!” And somehow it feels a little less scary.