Although we all struggle with self-doubt as human beings (with the exception of psychopaths of course), those of us who are entrepreneurs and creatives struggle with it doubly-so, simply because we are constantly having to push outside the boundaries of what we’ve previously allowed ourselves to be, and every time we do so, self-doubt creeps in like “who dis?!” 👻😳👹🤡.
I’ve been wrestling with this mightily myself, as of late, as I’m pushing myself further and further into new territory — and it’s honestly fucking terrifying. At every turn, I feel a little as though I’ll soon be dragged to the town square and burned at the stake.
Every time I have a moment of confidence, and am feeling pretty good about that thing I do and how I do it… every time I put myself out there, that critic voice in my head, (the one that I used to not-so-affectionately call ‘the evil cheerleader’) pipes up with her predictable: “Welp, that’s it! You’ve done it now! Now everybody DEFINITELY hates you and thinks you’re a vapid, horrible, idiotic, heartless, self-righteous, over-dramatic, insufferable piece of shit.”
We need more NON-evil cheerleaders in our lives. 🎉
I’m just gonna go right ahead and put that out there — I am giving us all permission to have people in our lives and tribes who actively cheer us on. It may not be the circle you have now, but it’s a way of opening the door to finding your circle, and the people who truly love and support you. YOUR PEOPLE!
And while having a circle of people who understand you, your heart, and your vision is not only needed, but vital, to helping bolster you in times of self-doubt, it will not be enough. Because self-doubt is just another name for self-worth, and self-worth is an inside job.
As a recovering brute-force-independent however, I am going to reiterate and repeat that for you other brute-force independents: it is not only okay, and not only allowed, but NECESSARY to have supportive people around you, and for god sakes LET THEM IN sweet pea. ❤️
I used to believe I had to do this all on my own, and would never truly be healed until I did, and that I didn’t, and shouldn’t, need any help or support, and should never need to lean on someone for this, ever… and that was my intimacy blocks talking. 👻 It was not true mental health like I thought it was. Connection is vital, having those you trust who cheer you on is vital, and knowing when to trust yourself above all else is vital too.
Self-doubt is always about one question, and that question is: “What am I really worth?”
That question can often show up wearing the disguise of other questions like “What’s really possible for me? Can I really do that?? Can I really have that? Is that just a crazy dream? Am I just a totally naive dreamer? What is really possible here? How can I possibly hope for that?! How can I possibly ask for that?! How could I possibly GET that?! What does that say about me to want that?!”
If you think that your perceived limitations about what is possible for you are about real-world stuff and practicalities, or are about you wanting too much or being selfish and greedy, and not about self-worth, then I’d like you to test that theory by doing the following:
1. Think of a person you look up to and admire. Someone you think is really smart or talented or brilliant or cool or funny or whatever it is you look up to about them. Got em?
2. Now ask yourself if you think THEM receiving those things you want would be totally insane and impossible? Ask yourself if you think THEM receiving those things would mean they were a crazy selfish slimeball?
No?? Would it be okay for them?
Then it’s not about the practicalities or perceived limitations then is it. Nor is it about the selfishness or greed or perceived insanity. It’s about what you believe you are worth.
I realized this (once again) this morning as I thought of someone who I think is so smart and brilliant and I thought “well, of course, SHE could totally have that no problem! I wouldn’t think twice about it, it would be a no brainier that not only could she have it, but she would totally be worth it!” — but for ME to have it would somehow mean I’m a rotten swine.
On some level most of us still carry these beliefs:
• others are allowed things I am not allowed.
• others are allowed to dream things I am not allowed to dream.
• how dare I, and who the hell do I think I am?
• self-doubt, guilt and shame will keep me from being too big for my britches.
• therefor, self-doubt and shame keep me SAFE.
For me, the antidote for all of the above beliefs, and the way to release self-doubt lies in our ability to continue to INVITE self-worth.
It begins by seeing that we are first NOT ALONE in our self-doubt and that it never goes away no matter what perceived level or peak you reach, and if you don’t believe me listen to Armchair Expert Podcast with Dax Shepard (LOVE it!!), read Maya Angelou’s quote on feeling like a fraud (double love it!!), or hit the search engines on celebrities and imposter syndrome.
From there, you can let go of thinking it will ever go away, and more importantly that it NEEDS TO GO AWAY before you can realize the things of your dreams, because the honest to god truth is, it doesn’t!
It doesn’t need to go away for you to move ahead, but you DO need to dance with it. Meaning you need to recognize what’s happening and just keep showing up anyway. Just keep questioning and challenging those old messages and old wounds, and keep moving in the direction of valuing yourself one little step at a time.
Listen to me now, I really want you to hear this…
You don’t need to become anything else, anyone else, you don’t need to be any better, smarter, thinner, more talented, gifted, certified, hard-working, ass-busting, perfectly coiffed, styled, represented, or anything else to be worthy of your dreams.
All you have to be is committed.
Committed to staying in that dance and showing up for the next step in front of you.
And you will discover more of your gold every day.
In every way.