Get Rid of Self Doubt Once and for All
Recently, I had the opportunity to sit with Jean Houston, a world renowned author, teacher and researcher who is considered to be a principled founder in the human potential movement. This woman has sat with head’s of states, was a contributor to presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton’s book, It takes a Village, has influenced policy and mediated peace in countries around the world. She has been glorified and criticized. Yet, she continues her work with a passion that borders on obsession.
I asked her if she ever experiences self-doubt. She gave me a piercing look as she leaned across the breakfast table and with a force that I felt to my toes, she said, “NO! There is no time for it. There is too much work to do and doubt is an indulgence that we cannot afford.”
I took that to heart as I take my work into the world and I share it with all of us.
His Holiness the Dali Lama once said that the western woman would transform the world. We are rising to the occasion as we step more and more into business and leadership positions. In the entrepreneur world alone, between 1997 and 2014 the number of women owned firms increased by 68% according to the 2014 state of women-owned Business Report.
Yet, we still share our doubts about our abilities, our worthiness and our confidence.
It is time we, as a gender, claim just how powerful, intelligent and competent we are.
Self-doubt is a cancer that erodes our ability to think clearly and creatively. It keeps us from acting boldly and decisively. It is the quality that causes us to second guess ourselves, hesitate with ideas and suggestions and in essence hold back from sharing our gifts and unique contributions with our world.
Now more than ever, the planet is crying for our creativity, our ability to consider multiple perspectives and our compassion.
Not to add to stereotypes, but if the conversations among my friends, my clients and myself are any indication, we continue to allow self doubt to stop us in our tracks.
Combating self-doubt is easier said than done. But there are some simple ways that we can replace self-doubt with self-confidence. First, we can monitor our internal conversations and choose only words of kindness and encouragement.
Let’s tell ourselves the same things our closest girlfriends tell us. Then, rather than listing our daily mistakes, let’s choose instead to list our daily successes.
We can choose to see only the best in the women around us, speak words of encouragement, celebration and praise and ask that they do the same for us.
And every time we look in the mirror I encourage all of us to thank that gorgeous woman looking back for getting up this day and living fully.
The world needs each one of us to see ourselves and to see one another as the brilliant, life giving women, who have the power to really make a difference in our work places, our homes, our neighborhoods and in ourselves. As we do, together we will truly create a world that works for everyone.