“Whenever you find yourself doubting how far you can go just remember how far you have come. Remember every thing you have faced, all the battles you have won and all the fears you have overcome.” Unknown
Self doubt is something that has been rising within me since I left my day job to become a Beautiful You Life Coach. Life Coaching has shifted me outside my comfort zone and into an exciting but slightly terrifying and completely unfamiliar world.
I am being challenged to think in previously unexplored ways, develop new skills and push myself to do things I never thought I could. Sounds pretty awesome doesn’t it? But along with all this awesomeness has come so many questions and doubts. Why would I think I can do this? Who are you fooling Shauna, you’ll never be as good a life coach as x, y z! How can you support yourself and your son doing this? Phew that’s some pretty heavy self doubt which if I’m honest has the potential to keep me up at night.
Self Doubt can be a good thing
Self doubt can be a good thing? I know that sounds a little crazy but stick with me. For me self doubt has made me question and challenge my thinking. Why can’t I be a successful life coach? Others have succeeded what makes me think I can’t succeed too? What does success even mean to me anyway? Is it just about making money or does it go deeper than that? Yep self doubt has got me asking myself all these pretty full on questions.
Self doubt has encouraged me to find ways to cope with my inner fears. I don’t want to be crippled by my doubts so I’ve been trying to find things that work to move me forward despite the fear. Some days I manage this better than others. Some days the fear and self doubt are stronger than my desire to achieve my dreams. On those days I need some strategies to help me.
My personal strategies to overcome self doubt
When that self doubt becomes overwhelming I have found a few different approaches help me stay on track.
Surrounding myself with the right people
Sometimes I wonder where my harsh inner voice comes from. Then one day recently it was reflected back at me. One of my family members on finding out I was a life coach said “how can you be a life coach Shauna. You can’t even get your own life together”. Sound familiar? Kind of what I say to myself isn’t it? I have come to realise that I need to talk to people who support me and believe that I can do this.
I want to give a particular shout out to my inspiring soul sister and fellow life coach Niki. On more than one occasion she has given me a pep talk and lifted me out of my self doubt when I’ve had a wobbly moment. What a gift from somebody I’ve not known very long who already believes in me when I don’t believe in myself.
Not getting stuck in the comparison trap (well trying really hard not to)
Since starting this journey towards life coaching I’ve found myself becoming a bit of a “fan girl”. Not of movie stars or famous singers but of some really amazing life coaches. The type of people I aspire to be . I think if I were to meet any of them face to face I would probably turn into a giggly school girl that is how much I admire them. While it is wonderful to have role models it can also trigger my self doubt. When I look at them I can’t imagine I could ever achieve the success they have. So here is what I try and remind myself in those moments of self-doubt “Don’t compare your beginning to another person’s middle”. They too had to start somewhere.
Have a plan and just do it
In those moment’s where self doubt arises I find having a plan helps. If I know what the next small step is and the next small step after that it means I don’t need to have it all figured out. When doubt overwhelms me I can just look to my plan and keep going with the next step.
Look to the past
There have been many examples in my past where doubt almost stopped me but I kept going and achieved my dreams. The one closest to my heart was the birth of my son. This may be the subject of a future post but the road to having my son was full of setbacks, challenges, loss and many years of heartache. There were so many times I doubted whether I was meant to be a mother but through it all I kept going. Today Mr5 is the greatest joy of my life and living proof for me that things have worked out when I push through my doubts.
Keep a journal and celebrate the small steps
Finally, keeping a journal has really helped me get clear on my self doubt and what my inner critic is telling me. Putting the words down on paper takes away a little bit of their power and allows me to distance myself from them enough to just keep going.
My journal chronicles how far I’ve come and celebrating every small step and every win keeps my vision bright.
Those are just some of the small ways I am practicing self care as I navigate the challenges of transitioning into my new life and overcoming self doubt.
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