It took me a very long time to decide what I wanted this post to be about. If I still wrote free-hand, there’d be a trash can filled with crumpled up pages at my feet. What I settled on in the end is a topic I’d be able to write about day and night for the rest of my life – self-doubt. Apt, right?
There’s a standard response to anyone’s admission of self-doubt. It goes something along the lines of ‘Don’t doubt yourself! Have confidence!’
Easier said than done. Self-doubt is a (horrible) part of life. It’s insidious and if getting rid of it was as easy as receiving a compliment by a well-meaning, wonderful friend or family member – I’d never have to deal with it again.
I have several strategies for attempting to get rid of self-doubt and I thought I’d share them with you today. If they benefit even one other person, I’ll be ecstatic. Now, keep in mind that what’s written below is not fool-proof. No strategy is flawless and none of them work perfectly for everyone all the time. If none of this helps you even a tiny bit, I am so sorry and I pray that In Shaa Allah you will find an effective coping strategy soon.
Firstly, accept that self-doubt is a thing that happens. I’ve often found that in the midst of doubting myself, I become aware of my own self-doubt and start berating myself for it which then leads to me feeling worse about myself which can turn into a downward spiral. I’ve gotten into the habit of trying to forgive myself for my doubts. I try (and sometimes fail) to be kind towards myself which, while it doesn’t remove my feelings of doubt, does mean that I don’t make myself feel worse about them.
Secondly, I try to behave as though one of my friends has come to me and is telling me about their own doubts. I love my friends and I am generally much kinder to them in times of need than I am to my own self. When I try to respond to my insecurities the way I would respond to a friend’s, I am kinder and softer.
Finally, I distract myself. I have always found a sense of peace from praying so generally I will try to distract myself using some form of prayer. On those occasions when I cannot calm myself by praying, I will try to lose myself in writing or baking, sometimes even cleaning. These are things that give me a sense of accomplishment because I do know how to handle them. Accomplishing some kind of task helps me to remember what I am capable of and helps me have faith in myself once again.
Once again, I hope that some of this has helped and if not, I hope you find something that does soon, In Shaa Allah.