Do you hold yourself back from happiness, peace and freedom?
You’ve heard it. That little gremlin voice in your ear whispering messages of self-doubt. When you listen - they get louder and more frequent. Overpowering you so much that you find yourself withdrawing into fear.
Self-doubt takes over like this:
- We ask our friends or relatives for their opinion first..because we don’t trust ourselves.
- We’re afraid to make a mistake...we don’t want to be embarrassed.
- We’re indecisive...we don’t want to let others down.
- We feel stress and pressure...we're always tired.
When we live in self-doubt we stay right where we are. The risk is too great to try something new or go in a new direction. We focus on all we could lose instead of all we can gain.
Sitting on the Sidelines.
I was on my high school field hockey team but rarely played. I wanted to get in the game and play, but I was terrified. What if I made mistake? What if I wasn’t fast enough, aggressive enough? What if I embarrassed myself? Or worse, what if I disappointed my coach and teammates?
I wanted to shrink under the bench.
I’m sure my coach knew. My behaviors gave me away – I didn’t project confidence or a willingness to try. My fear overshadowed my eagerness to play alongside my teammates. Instead, I cheered from the sidelines.
Then I told myself I had nothing to lose.
It was the end of the season. I just wanted to play. I went to every practice and put in the work. I told myself I could do it. I got excited! Coach put me in the game. My position was Sweeper. My job was to protect the goalie and only go as far as the fifty-yard line.
This time was different.
The opponent was coming toward my goalie! I was scared but I went toward her anyway. I got the ball away! I started taking it back up the field. I got to the 50 yard line and looked to pass it on. No one was open! Panic! Then I heard my coach yelling to me – “Keep going, take it all the way Pam!” I took the ball down the field until I was at the other team’s net. I saw my teammate in position. I made a clean pass!
I believed in myself.
I don't remember if she made the goal that day. It really didn't matter. I was so proud of myself! The whole team cheered me on. They saw me differently that day. I saw myself differently. On the ride home with my mom, I asked, more to myself than her, “Why did I wait so long to try?”
It takes courage to trust yourself.
Self-doubt can cancel confidence out. Having confidence doesn’t mean you'll never make a mistake. It's when you don't second guess yourself. It’s when you release yourself from the tension, stress and fear over POSSIBLY making a mistake. You have faith in your decision and trust that no matter the outcome you'll be okay. You'll learn from the experience. Therein lies peace and freedom. Or, you can play it safe and live on the sidelines. It's your choice.
John Wayne says, “Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.”
Does self-doubt play out in your life?
Look for an opportunity where you need to make a decision or choice. Where do you feel pulled? Go in that direction. Silence the voice of self-doubt. Tell it to take a hike.
Believe in yourself. Listen to your intuition. Trust that you made the best choice with what you know. See where it leads you.
Life is better when you're in game!