“Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will.” Suzy Kassem
I love the Sunday Morning show with Jane Pauley. For me it’s just the right blend of news and inspiration. And stories. I am always fascinated with the stories. This week as I curled up with my morning cup of coffee I became engrossed with the interview with Robin Wright. You might remember her from The Princess Bride (Princess Buttercup), Forrest Gump (Jenny), Wonder Woman (General Antiope), and House of Cards (Claire Underwood). These are only a few of the roles she has played throughout her 36 year career. The thing that struck me, as it does every time, is what she said about doubting herself. How could this woman who has garnered some of the most amazing roles wrestled with self-doubt?
Almost without fail, every time I see or hear an interview with someone who has attained a high level of success in their career, they reveal the self-doubt that they battled along the way! It got me to thinking about self-doubt and the human experience- mine and presumably everyone else’s. Could it just be that self-doubt is needed? At least to some degree? When we doubt ourselves it’s that little question mark...Can I? Should I? Could it be? How? And what comes next is the nudge, the urge, the wonder. That little inclination that says- maybe. After that, depending on lots of inside and outside factors we do the dance of thinking we can and doubting ourselves.
Seriously, just think about it. How many times in your life have you done this? How many of your ideas, desires, dreams, big and small, have come to fruition? No, I’m serious. Think about it for a minute. A lot, right?! But each time we begin, we go through that process again, we start all over and doubt.
"I have self-doubt. I have insecurity. I have fear of failure. I have nights when I show up at the arena and I’m like, ‘My back hurts, my feet hurt, my knees hurt. I don’t have it. I just want to chill.’ We all have self-doubt. You don’t deny it, but you also don’t capitulate to it. You embrace it."
– Kobe Bryant
Yesterday being not only Sunday, but Super Bowl Sunday, I also thought about the teams and everyone who would be performing during the game. Amanda Gorman was to recite poetry. Sarah Thomas was the first ever female to officiate during a Super Bowl game and two women, Lori Locust, and Maral Javadifar were the first female coaches in a Super Bowl game.
H.E.R. sang America the Beautiful and The Weekend was the half-time performer. And of course, the teams and all of the players who would be playing the game. How many of them doubted their performance on this special day? Even if you don’t follow the sport, or watch the game, football, and the Super Bowl specifically, culminate in the best of the best athletes competing against each other. Doubt most certainly came into play for most, if not all of the above mentioned.
Some of the greatest of the greats have talked about their self-doubt. Without fail, each time I hear these stories I am stunned. How could this or that person have doubted themselves? They have climbed to the top of their field, or career! But, again, and again, I have heard story after story. Which just makes me believe that in some way we need doubt. Just a little. The problem becomes when we let doubt take over, like weeds in the summertime that threaten to take over every blade of grass in your yard if given the chance.
When it comes to your own health and self-care you may feel the same. Each time you vow to eat healthier, meditate, get more exercise, or go to bed at a decent time and fail you may think that you’ll never be able to make the kind improvements that you sometimes dream of. Self-doubt creeps in, making you question why you even bother. But, even as it does, there is this other voice that urges you on. Of course, we must stoke the latter. But that is not all. We must get quiet and listen to which direction to shift in achieving our goals. Maybe this is where self-doubt comes in. Do we REALLY want to do the thing we think we want to do?
In watching the game last night there was a point when Patrick Mahomes threw the ball and Tyreek Hill caught it, trying his best to outmaneuver the defense of Tampa Bay only to face a different player from the Buccaneers with each step he took. His feet moved aptly and skillfully as he moved to the left and to the right. But even as agile as he was, he was not to get far before he was stopped.
So how do you outmaneuver self-doubt when it threatens to take you down?
Acceptance- For starters, accept it. Self-doubt is part of life. We ALL face doubts about ourselves and our abilities. These doubts can serve us in helping to determine how much we really want a thing.
Be realistic- We often underestimate how much work or time it will take to accomplish a goal. This can often perpetuate self-doubt. Take small steps and find the joy in the process.
Put yourself in the right environment- This can be a BIG one. There are so many distractions in life that it’s easy to get swept off track. Know your personality and the things you need to make yourself more successful. (For help in this area join our February Self-Love Challenge!)
Pivot, but keep going- Be curious and experiment. Be open to new ways of doing things and new ideas. Think of the process as more of an experiment and allow room to try, fail, learn, shift and grow.
When you finally accomplish the goal, celebrate and remember the process! Because each time you step out on a new adventure you will start the process again. But you will have more wisdom to draw on along the way.
This is why we must KEEP ON working on our self-care! Self-care is what sharpens our minds and our bodies, helping us to shed the bullshit we are sure to encounter on our path to success. This is why we continually offer events and support to be self-centered!
The next opportunity to show yourself some love is next Sunday, February 21st for our ConnectEd Workshop: Self-Love Session. I bet you have thought about all of the people that you want to shower with love for Valentine’s Day! Well, don’t forget to shower the most important person in your life with love- YOU!
Join us online to listen, laugh, learn and grow. It will be a good time- NO DOUBT!
With Love and Gratitude,
Kinda and Rachel