TBH – I’m writing this post after an hour of wrestling with self-doubt. As I sat on the couch thinking about this online magazine I’ve created, a stream of thoughts were running through my head:
Do I actually want to write about health/fitness/self love?
Do I have what it takes to make this magazine successful?
Am I ever going to have enough time to commit to writing and building this blog?
Did I make the wrong choice going after this?
Self-doubt is like a fog that rolls through on a daily basis for me. And if I’m being honest, it fucking sucks. I struggle with self-doubt in almost every area of my life, from work and relationships to fitness and family. Sometimes I cry (today), sometimes I crawl back into bed (today) and sometimes I use mantras (today!) to slowly take back my thoughts, my mind and my power.
What sucks even more is that it’s not just me—we all feel self-doubt, as we silently run scenarios and questions through our minds:
- Am I good enough?
- Did I do everything I can?
- Does my S.O. really love me?
- Am I pretty?
- Was I a shitty best friend?
- Did I work hard enough in that workout?
Self-doubt is pervasive in all of our lives and has a nasty habit of stealing our happiness. When we’re doubting ourselves, we’re not confident, strong and prepared for the next challenge. Instead, we’re drowning in problems that we created for ourselves—fighting that self-doubt tooth and nail. Or worse, letting it slow you down, spiraling inward.
You are the warrior of your own life and you call the shots.
I often feel self-doubt with my work. Will I get this all done today? Why doesn’t that editor like my writing? This is why I’ve adopted a few simple mantras that help me beat back the self-doubt with work and otherwise:
- I am powerful.
- This is within my control.
- I own my piece of the world.
- I define my success.
- I am not [name of person here]; we live completely different lives; there is no comparison.
Do any of these feel authentic to you? Change them to be more specific and valuable to you and then pull one out when you feel self-doubt creeping in. (See Your Turn for more on creating your own.) Use them when you’re doubting your body, your mind, your looks—whenever you need to remind yourself that you are the warrior of your own life and you call the shots.
My Favorite Mantra: This is Within My Control
This is almost always my go-go because when I remember that I’m the one making decisions, everything feels more in control. It’s easy to let other people dictate our decisions and our feelings. Ultimately, how we feel and how we react to those feelings is 100 percent within OUR control.
Eleanor Roosevelt said it best, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
When you remember that your feelings are dictated by you, suddenly everything stops spinning; suddenly you feel lighter, more care-free and empowered.
My Second Favorite Mantra: I Own My Piece of the World
I have a habit of wanting to be as good as everyone else (let’s be real, we all feel that sometimes). When I see a personal trainer doing a hard exercise, I think, “Ugh, why can’t I do that?” or when I see a health blogger’s post going viral, I think, “Will I ever be able to be successful with my blog?” When I’m deep in this self-doubt, I remind myself: I own my piece of the world.
What I mean is, I have something to give this world—my own thing, not someone else’s—which helps me “make room” for everyone else. When I remember that we all have our own unique self to offer, we all have our own piece of the pie, the self-doubt begins to melt away.
Why? Because there’s a lot of stress that comes with wanting to be like someone else, or feeling the need to achieve something that you weren’t meant to achieve. It reminds me of this quote:
Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.
You do you, they do them and we all win.
Your Turn: Create Your Own Self-Doubt Mantras
Instead of just using my mantras, create five of your own. Sit down with a pen and paper and let your mind wander to a place where it’s comfortable, free and happy. What thoughts and feelings come to mind when you do that? Turn to your paper and write down these feelings and thoughts, slowly extracting short mantras that will help you return to that carefree place.