Our thoughts are more powerful than we think. If you constantly have negative thoughts swirling around and you don’t catch them, they can start to manifest in unfavorable ways. An issue that clients often run into is that they second guess themselves and don’t have a solid foundation to stand on because they don’t trust themselves. If you have parents who criticize you, are a perfectionist, have low self-esteem, or have chronic, pessimistic thinking, it’s easier to be doubtful of yourself. Here are five tips on how to stop second-guessing yourself:
Learning how to trust yourself is the biggest step to ending your self-doubt. Trusting yourself is easier said than done, and it is a process. It takes practice to learn to listen to your gut, but if you put the work in, it will become easier and easier. A way that you can build your self-trust is to zoom out and look at yourself as a whole person. When making decisions, draw on your abilities or your past experiences in order to check in with yourself and make smart choices. You could make a courage journal, where you will record all the ways you acted courageously so that you can look back on it and remind yourself how strong you are. When you can look back and see what you have accomplished, it makes it easier to stop second guessing yourself.
Become more aware of your thoughts and feelings
Awareness is half of the solution. Once you are aware of your negative thoughts, you can intervene with a positive thought. Sometimes, our minds are resistant to these positive thoughts and they don’t want to believe them. It can be a struggle to stop second guessing yourself. For example, if you’re anxious about something out of your control, your brain might not be able to relax if you just repeat “I will be okay” over and over again. It might be better to say “I choose to relax”, “I choose to be happy,” or “I choose to create a positive outcome.” That way, it becomes a choice rather than something you should do.
Find comfort in making mistakes
This is something that you might have heard so many times that it has lost its meaning, but it is true when they say that everyone makes mistakes. We wouldn’t be having this human experience if we didn’t make mistakes, and not being able to make a decision because you are afraid of making a mistake keeps you stuck and stagnant. It is better to have tried and failed than to have never tried at all. Failing doesn’t feel amazing, but life isn’t meant to be easy or feel amazing all the time. When you fail, you have the ability to learn from your mistakes and to continue to push forward.
Fall in love with learning
We often second guess ourselves because we expect to be perfect and to know everything all the time. We are human and we are always evolving and leveling up. If we knew everything, we would stay at the same level our entire life, which isn’t the point of having this human experience. Falling in love with learning will help with your self-doubt because instead of expecting perfection from yourself, you start to see the beauty of learning new things about yourself.
Become familiar with the unknown
“If uncertainty is unacceptable to you, it becomes fear. If it is perfectly acceptable, it becomes aliveness, alertness, and creativity.”(Eckhart Tolle) When we fail to embrace uncertainty, we become so filled with fear that we fail to listen to ourselves. Decision-making starts to feel impossible because we are so scared that if we make the wrong decision, something bad will happen to us. If we embrace the unknown and approach it with curiosity and the love of learning, not only do we start to embrace life, but we are then able to make decisions from a place of strength rather than fear.
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Alli Cravener is a social media coordinator and writer who is passionate about connecting people through words. Alli studied English at Arizona State University and has found her niche uniting concept and content in the realm of mental health and the expressive arts. Alli’s interests include painting, history, learning about other people, and wearing the color pink. She likens herself to a “mouse in a palm tree”, and she loves it that way.