Are You Surrounded By Self-Doubt?

Do the people in your life, the ones closest to you, do they motivate and support you to do more and get out there and go for it, or do they support your fears and self-doubt?

You think you can’t do whatever ‘it’ is, or you might be sitting on the fence, trying to convince yourself you can actually do something out of your comfort zone, go for a new job, speak on stage, write a book, or learn something new. Unfortunately those closest to you, push you back over the fence and reaffirm your self-doubt, and convince you of all the reasons why you can’t do it.

You are thinking about going for a new job, your friends or family tell you, “you already have a secure job that provides for your family”, or “that sounds challenging, are you sure it’s what you want”, maybe this “it’s a lot further from home, it will be hard to get there”. While there is no doubt their intention is to support and look out for you, and while these comments may not sound overly harsh, (and I know there are many comments that cut much deeper than these examples), but with every comment they make, you are convinced that what you have now, in the job you don’t like, with a company you don’t enjoy working for, you are convinced that is the right place to be.

Maybe you want to take on public speaking, and you receive comments reminding you how scary it will be up on stage, with all those eyes looking at you. No shit, of course they will be looking at you, thanks for stating the obvious.

Or when my mother kindly told me that one of my first blog posts sounded like someone else had written it. The “I’m proud of you” came later, but it was too late, her initial words were the ones that stuck.  (p.s. I don’t, and you don’t, need the validation of others, even your mother, everyone is allowed their thoughts and opinions. What matters is what you believe, but more on that another time).

Do your friends and family convince you that your partner is good enough?

If I think back to a past relationship, I had friends and family tell me for years that what I was going through was normal, it comes with being married they would say.  I knew in my gut something wasn’t right, but I wasn’t listening to it, or more importantly, I wasn’t trusting myself, and instead went along with what everyone else was telling me. I decided that this was as good as it gets, this is normal. It took me more than 10 years to learn to trust my gut, and trust myself, but life teaches us lessons in a variety of ways, it is up to us whether or not we learn from those lessons.

Think of an example in your life, maybe it’s going out for dinner with friends. You mentally aren’t that excited about it, so it takes another friend, or a colleague from work, to tell you that you shouldn’t go, or you’re right, it wouldn’t be that much fun, plus you have had a super busy week at work, and have a big weekend planned, plus it looks cold out, and you are sounding sick (you get the idea).

So you decide to stay at home and watch something on Netflix, and while you were happy you stayed home, given its on Netflix, you could have watched it the next night. I know this is an introvert’s perfect night but sometimes life presents us opportunities in ways we don’t expect.

Yes it is possible that the dinner may have actually been terrible, and in many instances you might have been better to stay at home, but what if it wasn’t.

What if you miss out on catching up with an old friend you haven’t seen for years, who you didn’t know was going, maybe you miss out on meeting a potential love of your life, or an opportunity for the job you have always wanted, or maybe you simply had a really nice night out with friends, just because.

Now, if we take it a step too far, what if that old friend you haven’t seen for years after you lost contact with (yes there are a few people that us introverts really want to catch up with), what if they happened to die in an accident on their way home after the dinner you didn’t attend because it was easier to stay home and watch netflix. Ok a bit morbid, but it helps get my point across.

Sometimes we need to go for the ‘what if’ situations, and go out to dinner, go for that job, speak on stage, write that article, and take the risk on it being an amazing night, and one that helps you participate in life a little more than you were planning to.

It takes a lot of courage to stand on your own, and be strong even when everyone around you is trying to push you back over your fence of self-doubt. 

You need more people around you filling you with confidence that you can do it, or that it would be fun going out to dinner.  As much as you will deflect all the positive comments, the ones telling you that you can do it, that you will do great speaking up on the stage, or that you do have what it takes to get that job, write that book, you need more of those comments when you are a serial self-doubter.

It may mean that you need to have some new people in your corner that are more supportive of your dreams and aspirations. We can’t change our families, or the words that they say, but we can decide whether or not we listen to those words.

With every word supporting your self-doubt, our challenge becomes all the more greater in doing whatever it is that you want to do. 

Do yourself a favour, and make life a little easier than it is, find those who will have your back, and want you to go for it. It is hard for us introverts to go and find new friends, or even to look up old friends that we really do want in our lives, but your future is worth it.

Why waste the next 10, 20 or 30 years not going for it, not in the job that could change your life, not writing that book or speaking on that stage, when you have the potential to do so much more with your life.  

When you go for it, those around you start going for the things they didn’t think they could do (the things they haven’t even told you about).

It all starts with you.

Published by Simon | The School of Purpose

An optimistic introvert, helping introverts overcome self doubt, build confidence, and start living life on purpose.

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