After a few unsuccessful attempts to reduce the cold air it become obvious that we need a professional to deal with it. I called a company to the house and they sent a technician. The man looked at the window with an expert eye, made two moves on the window lever, and explained to me, “You didn’t push the lever down completely. The window wasn’t closed properly. No wonder there was cold air coming in constantly.”
At first I didn’t know what to say. I was extremely embarrassed by the whole thing. I apologized several times and then “tore myself apart” inside: “How can you be so stupid that you didn’t notice that yourself?”, “How embarrassing is that, please?”, “You should really be ashamed of yourself, now you’ve called the poor man all the way here and he’sdone that for nothing!”
Later, I talked to my husband and son and told them about the situation. “In the future, please can we do a better job of checking it ourselves before we order someone into the house? That was so embarrassing and unnecessary!”, I complained to them. Do you know how they reacted? My son just said, “What can we do about it – weird window – why can we push the lever down when the window isn’t closed at all?”
It wasn’t until I told my daughter about my experience that I received the sympathy I was lonigng for: “Mom, please how embarrassing is this, I totally understand that you were ashamed!”
Because, based on my experience, she is – in my family – a very female approach to mistakes and thus the perfect introduction to this article on self-doubt. In my practice (and as you can see also in my family) I experience self-doubt and self-criticism as a rather female issue. While the men in my environment usually reflect their behavior much less and hardly question themselves after “obvious” mistakes, the opposite is usually the case with women.
When a mishap happens to us, we are grandmasters at being especially hard on ourselves. We engage in a vicious inner dialogue, treating ourselves as we would never treat a family member nor a good friend
These mechanisms of self-doubt are even the content of scientific studies. For example, a recent study published in the Harvard Business Review found that. women up to age 40 show and experience less self-confidence than men of the same age. Particularly at the age of around 25, there is a clear difference here: men score 50% on the self-confidence scale in this phase of life, while women only score 30%. (Source: HERE)
At the same time, surveys show that, objectively speaking, these female self-doubts are completely misplaced. A recent Harvard study describes women as the better leaders in a crisis. Female leaders outperform men in 13 out of 19 leadership qualities (see: Harvard Business Revies) and “Women in Workplace” gives women a clear edge when it comes to caring for the well-being and mental strength of their employees*. (Source: HERE)
But why is self-doubt such a big issue for women in particular and, above all, where does it come from?
The causes of self-doubt are manifold. In any case, personal experiences and factors such as upbringing and role models play a major role in their formation. In total, seven major themes can be identified as triggers of self-doubt:
- Negative experiences, disappointments and rejections
- The comparison with others, which is often perceived as competition
- Perfectionism, too high expectations and a false view of the world that is conveyed to us, for example, by mass media
- A lack of self-confidence and the inability to celebrate successes
- Lack of trust and appreciation from others (family, caregivers).
- Prejudice of others and discrimination
Probably you will discover yourself in one or more of these areas. This is perfectly normal, because triggers lurk in all of these areas that can turn us from confident power women to frightened human beings in a matter of minutes.
A tip for you:
Self-doubt is an artist of camouflage and deception. They like to come across as beliefs or creep up as socially accepted values. No matter where you encounter them, there are usually three types of self-doubt we face:
- General self-doubt
They fall into the category of “I am not good enough” and always occur when our self-confidence is intimidated into hiding in a corner.
- Certain situations
Every time you have a staff meeting, or even have to give a report to a supervisor, do you start to question yourself and doubt yourself? Then you are dealing with self-doubt from the category “Here I am unsure”.
- New activities
Once is always the first time. The first lecture in front of an audience, the first interview on the radio – whenever we are confronted with new situations, we have to leave our comfort zone. Self-doubt is in high season here!
Before I present you my six tips against self-doubt, one thing in advance: The most important step to get your self-doubt under control is to perceive it and to acknowledge it. Realize that your self-doubt always contains a message: It wants you to take a closer look at a particular issue in your life and deal with it.
This brings us to my first tip on how you reduce self-doubt: Discover the good in it. This may sound strange at first, because self-doubt actually feels self-destructive. In truth, however, it always contains an important message: they want to protect you, and I personally feel that self-doubt is always an incentive to do my best. So when you acknowledge the doubter in you as a part that drives you, you already take away much of the terror of self-doubt.
At this point I would like to mention the personal meeting with my doubter -. HERE MORE
When you feel the dark shadow of self-doubt in your stomach, focus your attention on your abilities. You can prepare for this in times when you go through life full of self-confidence. For example, with a resource mind map in which you note down all your strengths and talents. You can then pull them out of your pocket at any time and show them to yourself.
“How you perceive the world always has something to do with the glasses you look through!”
Your thoughts will always believe what you tell them. Therefore, feed yourself with hope and faith in yourself. Because in the end, you have the decision every second whether you consider the glass half full or half empty. So when you are stuck in negative loops of self-doubt, consciously focus on the good and positive. As simple as this may seem, it’s just as effective!
You have to make a decision and basically know within seconds which option is right for you. Until the moment when your rational thinking turns on and you argue with values and beliefs. From my own experience I can say quite clearly: “Follow your intuition, it is always right!” So if something inside you says that something is wrong with a person or a situation, trust it. With this principle, you take the wind out of your self-doubt’s sails right from the start.
“If something doesn’t feel good, don’t do it!”
It may feel unfamiliar at first, but in order to grow and develop as a person, we need to leave our comfort zone from time to time. And rest assured: When you’re doing something new, it’s perfectly normal for fears and insecurities to arise. So as long as you don’t start doubting yourself and your abilities as a result, everything is fine. It gets even better: Once you have overcome the fear, everything you want to achieve is waiting on the other side. By the way – 60 to 70% of our fears have nothing to do with reality, but are pure mental cinema in your head.
Have you ever listened to your own inner dialogue? No? Then please open your ears very carefully in the future, because very often we are extremely hard on ourselves. We call each other names, make ourselves small – in a way we would never do to our fellow human beings. The magic word to interrupt this mechanism is: self-compassion. Treat yourself appreciatively, empathetically and lovingly and learn to reduce your self-doubt.
You want to walk new paths, master challenges and achieve your goals – then self-doubt can massively limit you in your everyday life. While men usually go their way confidently and hardly question mistakes, women tend to be very hard on ourselves when it comes to criticism. And this despite the fact that, according to recent studies, women are in no way inferior to their male colleagues in business. To dissolve self-doubt and get your inner critic on your side, you’ll find six self-tested tips and inspirations in this article.
Here is also a video tip: After a meeting I had only negative thoughts about myself and actions in my head – the solution? More HERE
Now it’s your turn: How do you deal with self-doubt, what do you struggle with in everyday life and how do you deal with your inner voice? I’m excited to share it with you – meet you in the comments!
And you? What does your way look like – with less self-doubt, more confidence in yourself and your ability and full of self-confidence? ?
I invite you to develop a strategy for your next steps in a personal get-to-know conversation with me!