One of my biggest struggles in life is self-doubt. Within the last year, I’ve become aware of how often I allow negative thoughts to consume me as a Mom and a blogger. Not only am I my own worst critic, but also too sensitive to comparison. I don’t have all the answers, but I want to share the ways I am working to overcome self-doubt.
Self-Doubt as a Mom
Every stage of childhood has its challenges and on the worst days, I doubt myself as a Mom. Ailey has a setback in potty training? I should pay more attention to her. Annabelle is mean to a new friend. Did I show her how to behave that way? My babies never sleep at night. I should have never co-slept. The second-guessing and “What if…” questions are in overdrive whenever something doesn’t go right.
To overcome parental self-doubt, I often repeat the following: You are doing the best you can. The perfect Mom does not exist. If your daughters are happy, healthy, and thriving then you are doing AMAZING.
Self-Doubt as a Blogger
With constantly changing algorithms and a crowded blog society, it’s hard to stand out in 2019. My self-doubt as a blogger stems from the pressure to rank oneself based on “likes” and “followers” instead of engagement and content quality. The best way to extinguish insecurities is to quit playing the comparison game with other bloggers.
“Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt.” William Shakespeare
Silence Negative Talk
How do you find contentment in life when you struggle with self-doubt? Celebrate joy often and never let a win, big or small, go unnoticed. I’m working to silence this little voice in my head who whispers You’re not good enough way too often. I’m not sure where it came from, but the negativity can be deafening.
One of the ways I’m trying to silence negative talk is by not saying anything to myself that I wouldn’t say to my best friend. Kind, gentle, encouraging words are so much kinder than criticism. I never believed in positive affirmations until I started secretly whispering them to myself.
I am enough, worthy of my dreams, and strong and confident.
Other tips for overcoming self-doubt:
- Identify and ease your doubts by saying, “I can’t do X, but I can do Y.”
- Stop listening (or ignore) the people who are trying to bring you down.
- Celebrate your successes (and recall them when the negative starts to creep in).
- Talk to someone about your feelings – sometimes it helps to put it all out there and realize how untrue it all can be.
Embrace your self-doubt and reclaim the power it has over you.
Caitlin Houston is a Connecticut based life and style blogger.