Rising above self-doubt

I had begun writing my book when I was 13, and for the time being, it was merely a pastime for my enthusiasm. When my parents read the initial piece of what I had written, they were elated and asserted that I should complete it, and maybe then they could get it published. However, my immediate thought after those lines was my considerate lack of writing skills, the improbability of it being good enough to publish, and the certainty of me being ridiculed. Thus, the dawn of self-doubt.

For those wondering, I did finish the book and got it published on https://www.amazon.in/SHINING-STAR-JOURNEY-ANOTHER-REALM-ebook/dp/B081LDVDZ9/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=anagha+bhavsar&qid=1618407392&sr=8-1.

But the preeminent part of my journey was self-doubt. It did bring a lot of irregularity and willingness to quit (hence the two and a half years to finish it), but it also did push me to improve my work for fear of being mocked(leading to the innumerable drafts).

However, self-doubt is noticeably more popular for its cons since we let it enthral us. It eventually stops us from reaching our potentials or achieving our goals and leads to procrastination, lethargy, and panic. It restrains us from taking that one step because of our elusive self-confidence and definite self-doubt.

Constant self-doubt can arise due to various reasons:

  • Previous mistake: the fear of repeating a mistake that had in the past led to embarrassment can lead to over cautiousness in the present and hence self-doubt.
  • Results: When the stakes are too high, and the focus is on the results much more than the efforts, you let your thoughts wander off to the most implausible possibilities.
  • Comparison: If you are in an environment of overachievers, then the stride to being equal to them when your work is compared often leads you to doubt your abilities.

For some people, self-doubt corresponds to a reaction rather than an action. But when and how does it become as harmful to come to you involuntarily. During a self-doubt moment, the part of your brain called the amygdala starts sending stress signals to the hypothalamus, which stimulates your autonomic nervous system. The part of the brain responsible for fabricating habits is called the basal ganglia, which gets activated when it senses these signals repetitively.

Thus, discerning it as a habit. If you let yourself take a step back each time after a self-doubt moment, that is what your brain will perceive is to be done every other time.

Ways to overcome self-doubt:

  • Communicating: Discuss your pros and cons with someone. In our head, we tend to lay down cons that are not plausible; enunciating them out to someone may help you think much more clearly and understand the cons’ actual extent.
  • Relaxing: It is easy to start panicking over conundrums, making the wrong decisions, and doubting yourself. It is crucial to think with a calm mind rather than one on constant defence.
  • Possibilities: Do remember that the ramifications you are scared of are a possibility and not a certainty.
  • Optimism: Focus on the bright side and rewards rather than the consequences.
  • Point of view: Try imagining someone else in your shoes; we tend to inspire others to take action much more than we do to ourselves.
  • Achievements: Remind yourself of all you have achieved.
  • Social phobia: Stop focussing on other’s opinions and don’t fear judgment.
  • Transient: Think of the cons as temporary drawbacks.
  • Upgrade: Work on improving your abilities to gain more confidence in them.

As one must be their own critique for their improvisation, one must also be their own cheerleader for their felicitation.

The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt. — Sylvia Plath

Our doubts are traitors and make us lose the good we often might win, by fearing to attempt. — William Shakespeare

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