A Personal Note on Self-Doubt
"You only have control over three things in your life—the thoughts you think, the images you visualize, and the actions you take."
I wanted to share a few thoughts with you on self-doubt. It’s something that I’ve been struggling with a lot lately, especially since adjusting to some transitions with moving to Atlanta.
It’s really common to go through seasons of self-doubt, especially when life transitions are taking place. You might find yourself questioning if you have a strong enough vision. You might doubt whether you’re even qualified to make a difference or accomplish what it is you’ve set out to do.
Since going through this myself in the last few weeks, I’ve really had to stop and reflect. Getting quiet with myself to recenter becomes the top priority during times of self-doubt.
Questions to Ask When Self-Doubting
1. “Am I following in the direction of peace and joy?"
Peace and joy are my personal guides. I am always seeking to move in the direction of things that are life-giving to me and others. The moment that I feel an ounce of worry, stress, or anxiety is the moment that I get very quiet with myself. Silence is an opportunity to reevaluate the path I'm on.
2. “Did I start on this journey towards my vision for everyone to like me or did I start it to make a real impact in this world?"
Comparisons are the killers of all dreams, goals, and determinations, but prioritizing your desire to be liked and accepted over your longterm vision can be just as detrimental. I honestly can't tell you how many times I've had to remind myself that I wasn't placed here to be loved by everyone. Universal approval is virtually impossible and to seek it would mean diminishing yourself in the process.
Those two questions help get me back on track while also encouraging me to trust the process. It can be very difficult to stay encouraged when you're not really seeing the fruits of your work.
Other Things to Remember
So I recently attended a leadership conference where the founder of social enterprise QualiHealth, Dr. Nthabiseng Legoete, spoke about the difficult work of pushing a vision forward. Here are a few encouraging takeaways:
1. Don't forget why you started.
2. Your challenges don't mean that your dream is not working. They are stepping stones.
3. Forgive yourself for the mistakes that you will inevitably make along the way.
4. Let go of your expectations for how you imagined things to turn out.
I’m not sure what you’re striving, but please know that while you may not be seeing the fruits of your work right now, everything happens in its own time. In a culture that encourages busyness and instant gratification, I think it's important that we remain patient and focused.