it’s amazing how quickly doubt can settle in. it’s like a question mark at the end of a statement, an uncertainty about what you thought you once knew. a tilt of the head or the raise of an eyebrow. it’s a whisper that makes you wonder if you really knew after all. and it can be a series of dominos that start to fall down if you let it.
while i’ve never really had a low self-esteem, i continue to observe situations in which my self-confidence begins to waver. in my ability to complete tasks, accomplish goals, and make decisions. i can feel when it starts to come and i can see what happens when i start to start to listen- when i start to believe it. the stumbling over words, the second guessing, and insecurities. the questions i start to ask of myself; can i pass this test? can i accomplish this goal? am i capable of more? is this good enough? what if i fail?
and i see the self doubt help me to fall. it opens up the door for excuses to slip in, it welcomes discomfort and feelings of uneasiness. it’s that little whisper that tries to tell you that you’ll never make it, so that you give up before you ever do. and part of self-doubt comes from a comparison of yourself to others, of feeling like you don’t measure up to another person’s strengths. self-doubt convinces you that you won’t get to where the other person has already gotten. and maybe it’s that little voice that tells you that what you do, who you are, or what you’re working towards is not enough. and when you start comparing yourself to other people you might start to notice that you begin putting them down, that you begin basing your accomplishments off of other people’s lack of success. comparing yourself to others seems to imply that someone is going to be better and someone is going to be worse. but really, we are just different. that’s all.
and so what do you do when you feel like you are not enough? that you cannot succeed? that someone is better.stronger.smarter.nicer. more talented. capable. than yourself?
and in persevering, you acquire the right perspective. you change your thinking from the “i’ll never get there” to an “i’m on my way.” and through this perspective shift, you remember what you do have, what you are capable of, and where you are going. part of this perspective is about remembering that you have enough. you do enough. and that you are enough. perspective is about a willingness to see the situation from a different point of view; it’s about changing your attitude and strengthening your resolve. i’ve also learned that perspective is about gratitude, about feeling grateful for your individual abilities and experiences and for honoring how other people got to where they are at. and perspective is a reminder that there are other ways to look at the situation. other feelings to feel, other beliefs to believe. other movements to make.
and when you hear that self-doubt; perseverance is about trying to understand where it is coming from and what is it saying. and to persevere, you plan. you develop a plan to overcome it. and while you may have great intentions to persevere, it may be hard to do so when you haven’t considered how you will. write down the steps. list out your personal challenges. address the ways you will get over road blocks, detours, and bumps in the road. and if your self-doubt is telling tell you that you’ll never reach your physical goals, you write out your health plan. you list out all of the assignments to complete before you graduate from college. you record all of the bills left to pay before you are debt free. you plan, and you plan, and you plan. and then you pursue with consistent dedication. and to persevere, you must decide to work harder than your self-doubt is telling you not to.
in times of self-doubt and in times of perseverance, you surround yourself with people who believe in you and who believe in themselves. surround yourself with people who challenge you to grow, who push you to succeed, and who hope that you’ll get there. you’ve probably heard that you become similar to the five people you spend the most time with– spend time with people that you want to be like. spend time people that believe in your plans. spend time with people who’ve chosen to persevere despite their own personal insecurities, challenges, and set backs.