Can You Escape The Land Of Self-Doubt?

There’s a place I like to spend as much time as I possibly can. It’s the Land of Self-Confidence which, as its name suggests, is the place my mind inhabits when I’m looking, feeling and sounding at my best.

It’s the place where my hair looks amazing. My dress is fitting perfectly. My nails are freshly manicured. I’ve slept well. I’ve turned up on time without any hassle. I’m 100% prepared. I’m instantly clicking with people – we’re on the same wavelength from the off. I’m delivering great stuff that I can see they’re eager to engage with. I’m getting feedback that I’m the best thing since sliced bread. (Those are my words – I don’t think I’ve literally been told I’m better than Hovis.)

It’s all tickety-boo with a cherry on top.

But I know that in the blink of an eye, for the tiniest of reasons, I can instantly be transported to the Land of Self-Doubt – like a black hole you didn’t see coming, sucking you into its abyss.

This is the place where I’m constantly questioning myself. I’m wondering why on earth anyone would pay me good money for what I offer. I’m asking myself how I’ve got away with it for so long. I’m going over every negative thing I’ve ever heard about myself (paying no heed to the positive stuff that outweighs it by a country mile).

I feel fat, ugly and stupid.

Now here’s the thing…

No-one – and I mean NO-one – gets to spend 100% of their time in the Land of Self-Confidence. Every single person you know, and even those you don’t, have minutes, days, even months (often when depression sets in) when they worry they’re not good enough.

Accepting that’s gonna happen is the first step.

The second step is to have a plan of action for when you take those trips to the Land of Self-Doubt. To help you do that, here are three tips I’ve tried and tested over the years.

Tip 1: Know what The Land of Self-Confidence looks like

If you live in Glasgow and were driving to London for the first time, you wouldn’t set off without first knowing exactly where you were headed. You’d get the postcode for the exact address, ready for the sat nav, maybe see what the place looks like on Google Earth and even take a note of some of the roads in the vicinity.

What you wouldn’t do is set out without any knowledge other than ‘I’m heading south’ and expect to get to your destination. It’s the same when you’re trying to travel from the Land of Self-Doubt back to the Land of Self-Confidence – you need a clear idea of where you’re headed.

In this instance, your map is your personal brand which, for me, is defined and set out using the brand pyramid. That’s because your personal brand is the best version of who you are – the epitome of the you in the Land of Self-Confidence.

So when I lose sight of that terrain, I refer back to my map/brand (I keep a copy to hand, pasted into my diary) and it sets me back on the right path.

Tip 2: Allow yourself to wallow – but set a time limit

As I said, everybody visits the Land of Self-Doubt, so there’s something to be said for accepting the situation…but only temporarily.

Don’t try and force yourself out of your funk too quickly, but do set a time limit for when you’ll pick your chin up off the floor, dust yourself down and move on. I find 24 hours is a good maximum, but even then, often get bored of my moping and take action sooner.

Tip 3: Create a list of ‘Yeah but…’s

It’s been said about me – and I absolutely agree – that I can be very quick to judge something or someone (including myself). I’ll instantly have an opinion and it may not always be a positive one. But knowing that’s the case, I’ve taught myself to follow it up a split second later with a ‘Yeah but…’.

A ‘Yeah but…’ requires me to come up with an alternative view (or views) to my initial judgement, providing some much-needed extra perspective. I use it in all types of situations, but it comes in particularly handy when I’m in the Land of Self-Doubt.

So when I get a client cancelling a workshop and my quick-to-judge brain says, ‘That’s because they hate what you do’ (a classic Land of Self-Doubt landmark), my ‘Yeah but…’ kicks in and I think:

  • ‘Yeah but they’ve said it’s due to their not getting enough people signed up – not because of anything I’ve done.’
  • ‘Yeah but this is the first time they’ve cancelled, having had me deliver loads of workshops in the past.’
  • ‘Yeah but they’ve still got me booked to deliver another one the month after.’
  • ‘Yeah but my client only recently told me this workshop is one of the highest rated out of every piece of training that gets delivered.’
  • ‘Yeah but I had two more workshops booked in by completely new clients just this week.’

You get the gist.

Do that enough times and the ‘Yeah but…’s outweigh the initial reaction so much, you can’t help but talk yourself back to the Land of Self-Confidence.

What do you do to combat self-doubt? What tips can you share with other readers? I’d love to hear from you with a quick comment using the box below. Thank you!

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