Do you remember the 1989 movie War of the Roses with Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner? Now, imagine those two characters in one person. One of the Roses’s is you, and the other is your self-doubt of you.
Self-doubt is the ongoing fight we are having against ourselves. It’s our mind figuring out that we’re divorcing the lies we’ve been told and have been telling ourselves about our own capabilities. The mind realizes that the relationship between our true self and those false beliefs we have carried about ourselves, is now over; and once this occurs, panic begins to set in.
Self-Doubt is the killer of anyone’s creativity and imagination. It does not discriminate. The best way to free ourselves of self-doubt is to improve the relationship we have with ourselves, first.
It’s sort of like divorcing the old way of thinking, but being cordial to the relationship. You know there’s no more ties to that way of thinking, but you also know that two of you are sort of connected, so to speak.
So, what causes self-doubt in the first place? How does one get past this inward war of the roses?
Today, I wanted to share a bit of my story with you to prove that it is reversible, but first let’s discuss the causes.
What is this war about?
The fear of failure – and what other people will think of those failures – based on past experiences and responses, have sculpted our self-doubts and may have us thinking that what we want to do is impossible for us to pull off on our own.
It’s a form of insecurity that we form when we look outside of ourselves for acceptance and validation.
My good friend Solvita Bennett over at Positive Calm wrote recently, “…we have power over our habits of thinking and so we also have power over insecurities.”
It’s that power that’s in need of being tapped into to end the battle once and for all.
Being Young and Different
Growing up I’ve always known I was a bit different from my brothers, male cousins, uncles, and other male figures in my environment. I just wasn’t aware of the fact that anything was wrong with me being different.
One of my favorite pastimes I can recall was playing with my cousin who is a year younger than I am. She always seemed to have the best toys when we were coming up, and with her being my only playmate at the time, I had to make do with whatever toys she had to offer me. My favorite would be her dolls and paper doll collection.
Being that I already stood out with my non-boyish mannerism and had no idea what being gay was at the time, I would learn early on, that in order for me to avoid being called a sissy or a punk; I needed to hide anything that came natural for me to do, just to avoid being seen in a negative light.
This performance would become a part of me, because I would learn that whatever a sissy or punk was, in most people’s sight it was pretty bad. So, I figured I’d watch other little boys to see what they were doing that was so right that I wasn’t doing, and attempted to imitate whatever I could manage to apply to my life.
I thought I was doing a pretty good job at it too.
Apparently, I was sadly mistaken. All I was doing was laying the building blocks of the self-doubt that would mature as I matured.
Each time we were told not to “do” or “be something” that came natural for us to do; another block was being laid to ensure our self-doubt was nice and strong.
And you know what? It worked! It actually worked perfectly, if you ask me.
By the time I graduated from high school, I was so completely confused about who I was and what I truly felt; that I found myself seeking my identity, acceptance, and validation from other people. Everything I wanted, desired, or needed, had to be validated by someone other than myself.
I started becoming better with my self-doubt when Rob White of Mind Adventure and ROAR bought a truth to my attention.
The war of self-doubt never truly ends, and everyone has a different story on how theirs was started. To be better able to understand how to control the feelings of self-doubt, a person has to know when self-doubt is speaking. This happens whenever individuals get better at being themselves. When we know who we are and who we are not, we can tell our self-doubt to have a seat in the far corner of our minds and hush up. After all, it is “self” doubt, which lets me know that my “self” has the last say in the matter.
Below are a few other steps that an individual can take to end the war of their own roses.
- Better communication (mentally and verbally) with one’s self talk.
- Become mindful of the thoughts you’re playing back to yourself.
- Forgive yourself quickly and move on.
- Learn to celebrate yourself. (If you haven’t gotten your copy of my new eBook… it will go deeper into this topic)
- Accept yourself as a friend, and not as your worst enemy.
- Face and conquer whatever you doubt.
- Learn to listen to your intuition.
- Accept and validate yourself, and STOP seeking it from others.
Ending the war of self-doubt is a personal journey we all must take. We start ending the battle by accepting who we’ve been created to be; and we eliminate letting others tell us who that is to them. Find your own voice, listen to your own truths, and build a better relationship with yourself.
Did you find this article helpful? How do you cope with self-doubt?
If you’re in need of further assistance with this topic, I’m now offering my Services to you. Feel free to Contact me.