Self-doubt is a little gremlin that keeps showing up in my life and can sometimes feel like a stubborn block tied to my leg, holding me back from moving forward. It often shows up after the high and excitment of a new creation or endevour, when things have not gone as expected. I know that dealing with self-doubt is a constant battle for many creative people, no matter how experienced and successful they are.
Creating your own path means constantly dancing between confidence and doubt. It’s a blend of living in freedom & liberation and terrified “stuck-ness”.
Whenever I am experiencing uncomfortable emotions, and self-doubt is definitely a big one for me, I try to be with it, look at it closely, ask different questions and express it. Communicating with the emotion and giving it a tangible form, enables expansion, learning, releasing, healing and growing.
Recently, after lots of celebrations and partying, going to bed late everyday, eating too much unhealthy food that deepleted my energy, I experienced one of those really dark days, where I felt horribly teary, cranky, empty, unworthy, and wanted to give up everything. My body was out of balance and so were my thoughts. I basically questioned everything that I am and I do, and I was almost ashamed about my own thoughts, because they were just so out of alignment with what I preach.
A chit chat of negative self talk was racing through my mind:
“why not just give up everything “, “what am I doing here “, “forget it “ , ” what is the point of all this ” , “I will never get there“,” „no-one will like what I create“, no-one is interested in my work anyway”, “I can’t do this”, “I have no talent”, “I am not this, I am not that ….. bla bla bla”
So after a full day of letting myself over to these thoughts of self-pitty and self-doubt, I got my journal out and started to communicate with my emotions.
I asked different questions:
How does the feeling/the emotion look like?
How does it act like?
What does it do to me?
What is really coming up for me?
What is the learning in this?
What was my initial intention?
How do I want to feel instead?
What guidance does my intuition offer here, so I can move forward?
E.g. “It’s a dark, black, heavy, fury monster that eats up all the initial lightness, joy and excitment of my dreams and ideas. It insidiously crawls over me and pulls me down into a dark, tight tunnel where I can’t breathe properly and where I can not see any light. While I wander through that dark tunnel of my thoughts the monster questions all my abilities. …
While I was journaling and expressing the whole story of that feeling, I could see clearly what was going on inside of me and what was really coming up for me. I could understand why I was so triggered and what my position was in this story. I could then shift and transform my position into an empowered role of me leading over my emotions, and not the other way around, while healing the parts inside myself, that were asking for special care.
You can try this process with any emotion that comes up and you would like to transform.
“It’s impossible.” said pride.
“It’s risky.” said experience.
“It’s pointless.” said reason.
“Give it a try.” whispered the heart.
To push through these feelings and limiting beliefs, to keep trusting, doing, refining and believing without getting lost in the comparing of other people’s achievements is not easy, I know. To stay motivated until the vision has manifested requires a lot of inner strenght, patience, time and practise of self-love.
Knowing that self-doubt is an integral part in the creative process can be a helpful reminder. When we we find ourselves alone in this state of being discouraged and ready to give up everything, we have two choices. We can either just do nothing, give in to all the heaviness and disappointment, and fall into the downward spiral. Aternatively, we can use this feeling as a new starting point, commit to a deeper learnin and growing to go to the next level in our life. It’s our choice in which direction we want to go.
Below are some of my favorite tips that I have found to be most effective in times of self-pitty and self-doubt, to get back on track to trusting again :
1. Journal: As explained before, get your thoughts and feelings out on paper and let them speak to you. By writing or sketching your story, you will get to the core of the emotion and receive clarity and answers how you can shift and transform the situation. In the end an emotion is just an energy, E-MOTION = ENERGY IN MOTION. You are in charge of the path of this motion.
2.Meditate: Meditation helps you silencing your mind-chatter, and negative self talks, connecting you to your intuition and inner guidance. Close you eyes, breath deeply, drop into your heart space and repeat a healing mantra a few times .E.g. „ I breath in love and peace and I breath out all my self-doubt and release all my limiting beliefs.” You can then ask your inner voice to give you guidance on what you really want and what to do next.
3.Ground and connect with nature: Get outdoors and spend time in nature. Being in nature will immediately raise your vibration and connect you to your own nature. Being in nature, helps you ground, get out of your head and into your heart, which will lead to making you feel inspired again.
4. Reprogram your limiting belief system: Make a list of all your limiting beliefs, that keep showing up and tell you why you can’t have what you desire. On another sheet of paper write out the opposite of these limiting beliefs. Stick the list to a place in front of you, so you can read it over and over, to reprogram your subconscious mind.
5. Nourture yourself with exquisite self-care: If you feel out of balance it’s easy to fall into negativity and self-doubt. Through exquisite self-care, your mind will relax and you will be more open to receiving. Your batteries will fill up, your ideas will flow and you will feel inspired again. (Eat healthy, stay hydrated, exercise and move your body a lot, go to bed early, take a hot bath, get a massage, go to the spa…)
6. Connect and spend time with like-minded people: Sometimes getting reassurance or help from others who have gone through the same, can make a big difference. To know that you are not the only one who gets these feelings and has these experiences can shift your self-doubting attitude instantly.
7.Get support from a private coach: Working with a private coach will transform your blocks, speed up your learning curve to work through resistance. You will be able to step into your vision much faster than you would, if you did it all by yourself. You get all the personal attention and care to connect, see and share your inner brilliance.
Here are some more favorite quotes to inspire in times of self-doubt:
“The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.” ― Sylvia Plath
“If you hear a voice within you say you cannot paint,
then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.” ― Vincent van Gogh
“Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will.”― Suzy Kassem
Whenever you find yourself doubting how far you can go, just remember how far you have come. Remember everything you have faced, all the battles you have won, and all the fears you have overcome.
“She was unstoppable. Not because she did not have failures or doubts, bit because she continued on despite them.”― Beau Taplin
Doubt yourself and you doubt everything you see. Judge yourself and you see judges everywhere. But if you listen to the sound of your own voice, you can rise above doubt and judgment. And you can see forever.— Nancy Lopez
So in other words. KEEP DOING, KEEP PLAYING, KEEP CREATING!
Have a wonderful week,
with lots of love, beauty, creativity & magic,