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How I Learned to Deal With My Self Doubt & Make The Best Out of It

by Fatin Hafizah |

It’s easy to take pity on yourself and just give up. Trust me, I’ve been there. Unfortunately, it is not a nice place to be in. Self-doubting is a poisonous act one can do to themself. Why?

Because in this situation, you are not battling with other people but yourself. The only one that can bring you down is you. So, stop getting in your own way and do what you have to do to get back on track.

In this article, I will tell you six habits that I have practiced to conquer my self-doubt.

1. Redirect your train of thoughts

More often than not, your mind is your biggest enemy. It all starts there. So, whenever your train of thought is leading to a negative direction, pull the brake and stop it. Tell yourself that you are not going there anymore and redirect your focus before the negativity consumes you.

For example, whenever I find myself self-doubting, I would stop whatever I’m doing and tell myself that this too shall pass. The self-loathing and whatever situation I were put in at that moment, everything will pass. Nothing lasts forever, so why linger on things that are not permanent?

2. Practice, practice, practice

This advice was given to me by my public speaking lecturer back when I was still doing my foundation studies. She said the key to conquering her stage fright was to practice. Say, you have a presentation coming up and all the self-doubts thoughts suddenly comes creeping in, know that it is time for you to take control of the situation by practicing and sharpening your skills.

The more you practice, the more familiar you get with the whole situation, hence making it less scary. If you are afraid of driving like me, get behind the wheels and start to drive. Just remember to take it step-by-step. There is no need to rush things. As long as you put in the work, the doubts you once had will slowly go away because your mind is slowly getting used to it.

3. Not everything is about you

Not everything is about you and I say this with so much love. Sometimes, we are so caught up with people’s perception, we start to think about every move we’re about to make therefore obstructing us from seizing the opportunities life has thrown us.

The truth is, other people are busy thinking about themselves too! Just like you are worrying about what other people might think about you, other people are worrying about what you might think about them.

So, don’t think too much about everyone else and what they might think of you, and just do whatever it is you are meant to be doing.

4. Stop comparing

Now, this is a thing where everyone is guilty of. In the world of Instagram, comparing ourselves with another person is just one click away.

When you find yourself in that dark realm, remind yourself that everyone is blessed with different things at different times. There is no need to match your pace with other people’s pace. Success is subjective. Some people graduate at 23, some at 40. Either way, they graduated. Some people found the love of their life at 16, some at 30, some later in life but at the end of the day, they are loved.

There is no winning in always comparing yourself to other people so you might just as well let this toxic habit go.

5. Find your little pick-me-ups

This might be corny but whenever I don’t feel good about myself or uninspired, the number one thing that will instantly cheer me up and boost my confidence is watching Sex and the City. Something about this series or even the movie makes me feel a lot better.

So, be it a song, a book, or a movie, find your own little pick-me-ups. Whatever makes you feel good, recognise it and hold on to it. You would be surprised as to how much it can actually help you. Who better than yourself, to take initiative to take care and pamper yourself, right?

6. Better “Oh Wells” than “What Ifs”

Along with “this too shall pass”, I have been repeating this “mantra” for several years now.

I don’t remember what happened exactly that made me think of this quote. Maybe it’s the cumulative events or missed opportunities that I have collected for several years. With that said, saying “Oh well” whenever I fail or encounter little setbacks, this saying has helped me a lot in clearing my self-doubt issues.

I once went to a job interview and everyone in the room (including myself) know that I was not up to my game but instead of beating myself up, I simply said “Oh well, at least I did it and that’s over.” Then, I walked off and go on about my day.

I didn’t get the job (obviously), but did I die? No. Instead, I gained a whole new experience and now I know what to do and what not to do. I will take that as a win.

Life is simply much better when you can say “been there, done that” that instead of constantly living in a state of wonder. I know it sounds romantic but trust me, the other side of wondering is much livelier.

So, whatever you do, always be in control of how you think. It’s okay to feel lost or demotivated once in a while but what is not okay is staying in those thoughts. Be brave enough to dust yourself off and start again. Don’t let your own thoughts be your own enemy.

Whenever you feel like you’re at the lowest point in your life, just remember that when you’re at the bottom, there is no where else to go but up. So, don’t let one setback ruin your whole perspective. After all, we are all humans and its okay to have drawbacks, as long as we are able to find it within us to keep working on ourselves.

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