Dealing with Self-Doubt

1:49 pm

I haven't been able to post very often this summer with school and recently returning from studying in The Gambia (details coming soon!), but I am now back in action.  I was hoping to return from my trip and post all about my experience in The Gambia -- which I will -- but I want to share my experience with something a little less exciting... self-doubt.

As a graduate student, I have had some of the most consecutive moments of feeling inadequate, underprepared, and like an imposter. With these feelings came poor work performance, anxiety, and, honestly, dread in doing things I once felt confident about. I was able to quickly recognize that these feelings weren't in my best interest, and started to speak up about it.

I consider myself to be somewhat of a confident person. Through my experiences performing athletically, in positions of leadership, or even public speaking, I have never felt incapable of achieving above and beyond my expectations. When I was blessed enough to receive the pep talk of the year from an unexpected source (shoutout to him!), I was reminded of four things that I want to share with anyone that reads this and may be experiencing self-doubt like myself.

  • Don't just fake it until you make it, flaunt it because you got it. There is a balance of faking confidence to propel you forward and actually being proud of yourself for where you currently are. For some reason I feel like everyone, including myself, often has poor self-awareness. We are our worst critics and sometimes fail to see our accomplishments and strengths because we are too busy trying to restructure ourselves to be better. It's all about perspective. Your expectations for yourself can leave little room for flaws and this could leave you unaware of or distracted from the things you have achieved up to this point.
  • Control what you can control and refuse to let the uncontrollable affect you. I am usually really good at this, but I have found myself in situations where I genuinely did not know that something I thought was controllable... was actually uncontrollable. You can drive yourself crazy trying to handle or carry the weight of something that you can do nothing about. An important factor is self-reflection and also getting the perspective of another person. Unless you talk through the things you are struggling with, the burden of finding a solution will always be yours alone. 
  • Don't take things personally! Growth requires discomfort. This right here is hard. You can't receive a lesson if you always become defensive. When you act defensively about things that you should not take personally, you miss the opportunity to be molded into a new and improved version of yourself.
  • God is faithful and no weapon formed against you shall prosper. If you find your confidence dwindling, place your confidence in the One that will never fail. He has never failed me yet. Some of my favorite verses remind me that even when we feel overwhelmed, God will always see us through.
 "Even when we are faithless, God remains faithful" - 2 Timothy 2:13

"God is not a man, that He should lie, or a son of man, that He should change His mind. Does He speak and not act? Does He promise and not fulfill?" - Number 29:13

"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. "- Isaiah 41:10

Self-doubt is natural, but it's in those moments when you doubt yourself that you are continuously able to prove yourself wrong.  Remind yourself who you are and what you have been through. This will then help you realize what you can and will achieve. 

What things do you use to overcome self-doubt? 



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