I used to doubt myself all the time. (Yes, me. I am my own first client which is why I am so passionate about this work!) It seemed like an endless battle with me and myself; constantly questioning myself and my capabilities. And although I had a great job and married a great man, I still had this gnawing feeling that I wasn’t fulfilling my potential; that there was something else, something more I could and should be doing. The problem was I did not know exactly what it was, and to add to that I did not feel confident that I was capable of fulfilling this ‘potential.’ I often asked my husband what he thought I should do. No matter how hard he or I tried to make me feel better, nothing worked. I eventually gave up on trying to solve my self-doubt problem and resigned to the belief that questioning and doubting myself was simply a part of who I was and I would have to accept that aspect of myself.
But that all changed a number of years ago when I learned a few key tools that I incorporated into my life. I learned these tools as I was studying to become a Certified Coach [you can read more about my professional journey here.] I will briefly outline two of those tools for you here.
Tool #1: Define Yourself by WHO you are (and NOT by ‘What’ you are.)
I used to define myself or my self-worth by the things I was doing. If I did those ‘right’ things, or the things that others expected of me, then I was ‘good.’ The problem with that is that we start to question ourselves, our self-worth, and who we are when we rely on defining ourselves by what we do. Because what if we were to choose to not do those things? Does that then mean that we are not ‘good’ or ‘not good enough?’ Defining ourselves this way leaves our self-esteem teetering on shaky, unreliable ground; leaving us to continue to question and doubt ourselves much of the time.
In order to get to the point where we stop questioning or doubting ourselves we must first learn how to define ourselves by WHO we are – our qualities and our values; these are things that we were born with and the things that we believe. It takes practice to readjust our way of relating to and defining who we are based on our qualities. [To learn more about how to get to know and love the real you, download my Ebook.]
Tool #2: Ask Open-ended questions (instead of ‘Why?’/Judging questions.)
‘Why am I not like everybody else?’ ”Why doesn’t it work for me?’ ‘Why can’t I do this?!’
‘Why?’ questions, for the most part, are very judgmental and generally keep us either stuck in our tracks or going around in circles and never really getting anywhere. When we ask ourselves why questions (or when others ask us ‘why’ questions) we often feel that we must be doing something wrong.
Open-ended and questions that are solution-focused are much less-judgmental. They get us out of the habit of comparing ourselves to others or to what we think we should be doing or judging ourselves based on our past. [To read more about how to let go of your past and start creating your future, click here.] Open-ended questions like, ‘How do I feel about the choice that I made?’; ‘What would I do differently next time?’ and ‘What will I commit to?’, help us focus on moving forward and taking steps to accomplish our goals.
Questions like this are more likely to help you quiet that inner gremlin of yours that keeps you doubting yourself. Asking open-ended questions instead of ‘why?’ is another way of telling that little gremlin that you simply don’t have time for him/her (or it, depending on ‘who’ your gremlin is) right now. You have other more important things to focus on, like, you know, creating a satisfying life and future for yourself.
If you have any questions, please feel free to email me or comment here, anytime.
Have a great week!
In support and admiration,