That evil inner voice? The butt-face that says you aren’t good enough, that you don’t deserve good things, that you can’t do it?
That little monster is Self-doubt. It hangs out a lot with its big sister, Anxiety. And you don’t have to have them over to play in your head anymore.
Just this week, we posted our podcast and a guy (editor/writer) on Twitter didn’t like it but posted a link to his own blog and said, “COUNTER POINT.”
His blog was all about not wanting to give out writing advice or talking about his own life/anxiety/whatever issues.
All of that is so fine and good for him for telling the world why he is the way his beautiful self is, but this little bit of me was like:
What? Counterpoint? Counterpoint to saying life is deeper than write what you know?
Counterpoint to what?
And why the hell did you post under my tweet your own link without even having the grace to like mine?
If my blog post (if you even read it) inspired you enough to ‘counterpoint’ why not like it?
And then I had a lot of work to do helping writers and writing my own stories and I let it go.
It was a bit of a win for me, honestly. Because all I want to do is be a better human and one step towards that? For me? It’s banishing Self-doubt.
It’s almost like the universe gave me a present right there.
But this isn’t just about me. It’s also about you and how you can do that too, right?
Here’s how to kick Self-Doubt and Anxiety out of your house.
- Tell them to get out. Seriously, once they start whispering their disparaging believes about your worth, tell them, “Get out. I hear you. I don’t need you. Bugger off. You’re ruining the party.”
- Remember good things. If Self-doubt is a bully who won’t leave, you sometimes have to call in the reinforcements. Those reinforcements are the good time, the good memories. The times you were proactive and kicked butt.
- Phone a friend or text or Facetime. Sometimes your own memories aren’t strong enough and you have to talk to someone about your self-doubt. Telling another person about your doubts sometimes helps you realize how dorky they are and how they are like the OOPS page on a Rotten Tomatoes movie listing. The congnative dissonance because obvious when you say things aloud.
- Make a Journal of Awesome. At one point in my life, I had to print out people’s positive emails and reviews so that I could remember that I had helped people, that my stories connected to people before. I even put in fan mail and fan art and blog posts about positive interactions. Yes, I really was that depressed. Self-doubt had set up home.
- Failing one time? It doesn’t make you a failure.
- Failing 1,000 times? Still doesn’t make you a failure. You’re only a failure if you decide to be.
- Remember you aren’t the center of the universe. I know! I know! You ARE the center of your own universe probably, but we all have to push away our inner narcissist and remember that most people aren’t noticing what you’re doing. Yes, there are trolls out there, but they most likely won’t find you. And if they do? They’re trolls and you’re awesome and you will deal with it. Don’t let your fear of ridicule keep you from living your dreams.
That one is a big one for me, really, which was why ‘counterpoint’ was a bit of a setback.
I’m still working on it and it’s the main reason I still blog, do podcasts, and YouTube. All those things force me out of my comfort zone and into past trauma places about my voice and weirdness. The more I do it? The stronger I get about it.
Oh! And the last one is so important that it’s getting pulled from the list.
What other people think about you doesn’t get to determine who you are.
That’s right. I have a sibling who thinks I’m lying about my DNA. His belief that I’m a liar? It doesn’t make me a liar. I have DNA tests to back me up. Yes, I’ve got the receipts.
But even if you don’t have the receipts, don’t let anyone else make you the villain or the victim of your own story. Only YOU get to decide that. No matter what other people do to you, think of you, say about you, only YOU get to determine if you love yourself and if you have worth.
Here’s the final secret: You do.
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“When the ceiling caves in on you, you no longer assume structural stability. You have to learn to live along fault lines.”— Suleika Jaouad (@suleikajaouad) author of memoir Between Two Kingdoms.