“We all have self-doubt. You don’t deny it, but you also don’t capitulate to it. You embrace it.”
– Kobe Bryant
Last weekend I had the absolute pleasure of meeting Kirstie Clements – the ex editor-in-chief of Vogue magazine, and accomplished author of three books. Clements gave a wonderful talk, and I was left very inspired by her words. Speaking about many valuable topics that were relevant to where most of the event attendees were in their lives, there was a lot that we could all take from our interactions with her. One of the most poignant topics was that of self doubt.
I have experienced (and still am experiencing) self doubt in many aspects of my life – in my relationships, my career, even my ability to put on a dinner party for a group of people. Being constantly bombarded with other people’s successes (especially so with the advent of social media), it becomes easier and easier to judge and criticise yourself for not having accomplished, or not being able to accomplish, the same things in your life. I constantly find myself judging my self worth on the opinions that others have of me. I have let relationships, and more specifically the breakdown of relationships, dictate the way I feel about myself. I compare the successes of my 22 year old brother to what I had achieved at that age and feel like a no-hoper. I look at myself in the mirror and question my outfit, certain parts of my body and my overall appearance. I have amazing opportunities arise and I wonder ‘why in the world me’? Am I going to be able to do this? I can’t give them what they want!
My point being, I am so quick to judge and self deprecate because I have found it much easier to blame myself for the less than perfect situations in my life, to see the not-so-amazing traits in my personality and appearance, or to not believe in myself to save myself from attempting and ultimately failing. The pressure that we can put on ourselves to be the best we possibly can be, and then the pain we endure when we don’t adequately meet the set expectations, is ludicrous. Of course we aren’t all perfect, and if we were, the world would be one boring Utopia. One of the things that Kirstie mentioned in relation to self doubt really resonated with me, and that was to quit judging and questioning yourself, because there are already plenty of people who are going to do so. While it isn’t a sentence full of fluff and glitter and fuzzy-make-feel-good, it is one that is entirely true. In life, people are always going to form their own opinions of you, question the way you do things and not necessarily agree with things you have chosen to do, regardless of what you think of yourself. If other people are going to do this for you, then why put the pressure on yourself?
Limiting or upsetting yourself because of internalised pressures and preconceived ideas only limits the amazing things you could possibly achieve and the incredible people you could meet. Rather than being scared of failure, or what people might think, leave all of the self doubt behind, grab the bull by the horns and just go for it. Forget the times you may have been told you couldn’t do it, the times where you felt like you just weren’t good enough and all of the comparisons you have made to other people. Ultimately, you are only hurting yourself! I guess it is all a part of growing up, learning and experiencing!
If you are someone who has also struggled with self doubt, I would love to hear what you have to say about it!