How To Overcome Self Doubt: Self Doubt Vs Perfection
It can be tempting to use the concept of “perfection” as a self-imposed barrier to taking action. You want to do something. It could be anything from writing a blog post to writing a book. Yet you somehow cannot get to the actual execution of these ideas. Why? Because you are waiting to reach the pinnacle of what you believe to be perfection. It may be that you don’t believe it’s the “perfect” time, or you don’t think your article is “perfect”. You could be unsure about advertising your blog because the website isn’t as “perfect” as you would wish for it to be.
Let me whisper a little something in your ear, and I mean this with lots of kindness: there is absolutely no such thing as perfection.
That’s it. No frills.
Unfortunately, there is a common Myth of Perfection that can easily tangle many of us in its web of deception. We are socialized to believe that success and merit can only look one particular way. If it does not resemble that, then you need to hold a permanent seat at the drawing board until you “get it right”.
You’re stuck at this drawing board mulling over your desired outcome. You shy away from being proactive because you are terrified that no matter what you try, it will never resemble this Myth Of Perfection.
What tends to happen is that you miss multiple opportunities to showcase your greatness, mainly because you cannot acknowledge that your own greatness already exists. It’s there, but the blinders are on. It IS good enough.
Anything that you’re working on or thinking about, dreaming about and planning, is more than good enough. Self-acknowledgement of greatness is necessary and important. Our greatness will not, and should not, look like anyone else’s, but you are here now, with magnificent abilities.
Tackling The Myth Of Perfection
Honestly, it’s been something I’ve battled with for most of my life. No amount of great report cards or awards could make me realize that I was good enough. Nothing could convince me, for a really long time, that I was intelligent, creative, and many other facets of my excellence that I now acknowledge.
Over the past couple of years, I’ve been constantly engaging in some form of self-reflection. Whether purposely or not, I have developed the habit of digging deeper into the things that I think, the things I say, and the things that I do. I believe that everything has a root, and sometimes that root may be a sore spot.
Falling into the trap of the Myth of Perfection is rooted, for many of us, in long-held notions of not being capable of being great at anything. Going further, this long-held notion may be due to being told that your worth was much less than it actually is. At some point, you start believing that this is your reality, leading to questioning and hesitation.
3 Simple Ways How To Overcome Self Doubt
Below are three simple ways how to overcome self doubt:
- Tell Yourself That You Do Know Enough
Part-perfectionism and part-self doubt leaves many of us stalling to launch our projects. We have great business ideas, and we have done all of the possible background work that could be required to lay a great foundation. Yet we just cannot do it. We drown our minds with thoughts of What-If and Suppose. Doubting the merit of the groundwork that we’ve done up until this point. Maybe, we need to do more research into this topic, this industry, this market, before we can even consider sending this project of ours out into the world. The self-deprecation begins to hit us with the “Who do you think you are?” and the “Why do you think you can do this?” questions.
When you find yourself thinking that you do not know enough, even after weeks and/or months of research and other groundwork, give yourself a (figurative) shake. There is always something left to learn. The beauty of launching or releasing your work is to finally view it from the perspective of an outsider. Learning comes from the experiences you have with the process of moving from idea to execution. Allow yourself to bring your thoughts to fruition.
- Change Your Perspective Of Support
Even if we don’t want to admit it, we feed off of community and collaboration. We get our first taste of this with the family that we are born into. Then with the people we choose to surround ourselves with as we go through life. Along the way, we develop a blanket of security. This is dependent on how much support we believe we are gaining from loved ones and others. When the perceived support looks nothing like what we expect, it can be discouraging. Often, we focus on a few select people who we place on a pedestal because of what we expect of them.
Your support system may not look the way that you envision it to. Making it the main focus of thought, will debilitate your efforts to attaining our goals. Do not allow the lack of support that you perceive to be a defining factor in your pursuits. You will receive the right support eventually, as long as you are taking care of yourself and remaining focused on your goals.
Not having the support that you would like may hurt, and it’s more than okay to acknowledge when you are feeling emotionally bruised. With some simple strategies, you can come to terms with this perspective.
- Seek Validation From Within
It‘s natural to desire external validation for your talents and abilities. For some, it may seem that the only way for them to acknowledge their own self-worth is to have others acknowledge it first. It may be in the form of an encouraging word or a review of your project. You may hinge your concept of success on the number of likes and shares that your post may receive on social media. The number of positive comments it attracts is important. Not meeting these expectations could feel like an indication that your work isn’t as good as you first thought.
This, inevitably, leads to doubting your own validity, on the basis of others not acknowledging it. You may even go even further and think of all the times throughout your life that you have tried to do well at something. Never receiving any encouragement from family, friends or peers is disheartening. When this happens, it’s easy to be pulled down into the rabbit hole of anxiety and negative self-talk.
As difficult as it may be to accept initially, you have to do the extra bit of mental work that it takes to bring yourself to a place of validating yourself. Find satisfaction within yourself about the work that you do. Once you have gone through that process, anything else received from external parties will just be extras.
Originally published on the Huffington Post
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