Okay, the topic of confidence and doubting myself is back…
Throughout my teenage years, I struggled with bullying and I never really had much confidence, and throughout most of my time on the British Sailing team, I always struggled to beat that feeling of never being “good enough” and almost certainly needed endless validation and support.
After leaving the British Sailing team and embarking on my own campaign, I have since found that my confidence has really hit rock bottom, and almost daily the doubt and the lack of confidence in myself and my abilities creeps in.
I am always intrigued to know how other people have boosted their confidence, how they cope with the doubt, and in fact, they are some of my favourite questions to ask people.
How do you have faith in yourself and in your decisions in the toughest of times?, and how do you bounce back when you do feel that lack of confidence creep in?
Is anything ever good enough?…
My lack of confidence, and half of my mental battle comes from the feeling that I am always doing something wrong, and nothing is ever good enough. It’s still something that creeps into my thoughts now, I constantly have to remind myself that I am good enough, and that there is certainly no right way to do things in life, you have to do things in a way that feels right to you.
Who determines what is good enough?
Someone could stand in front of me and tell me that I am good enough- which funnily enough is a situation that I found myself in a few weeks ago, and I still wouldn’t believe them; in fact I even went home thinking the person in question was mad, and was totally overestimating me, or just trying to make me feel better.
I’m also 100% certain that there can’t be a right way to deal with this; what works for one person doesn’t necessarily work for us all, and I know that I constantly beat myself up about it, and that’s probably the most unhelpful thing I could do, but at the same time what helps me be confident is the support from those closest to me, that reassurance that I’m doing ok, that I am good enough.
What I have learnt though is that doubt is normal…
Whilst I do think now that having confidence in myself is important, I also think that self-doubt is completely ok and normal, and something we all encounter on a daily basis.
We once did this exercise where we had to answer a series of questions, and after that we found out about our personality type; now it turns out that my personality is incredibly blue, so that means I am inquisitive, I ask a lot of questions, and I need a lot of information before I can remove that grief and make most decisions.
I’ve learnt now that it’s really important to ask those questions that come from doubt and of course, that those questions are ok, and when self-doubt is holding me back, I try to limit the time it takes to make a decision to 30 seconds a question to help move forward and not get stuck in that doubt.
But trust me, It is normal; even the most confident people in the world I am sure experience a little bit of self-doubt every now and then.
Do you feel like you should do what everyone else is doing…
I know I do!
Maybe this is something that comes from my time at school or university, but I think it’s easy to see the choices that all your friends are making around you and just follow the crowd. It’s also so easy to look at other peoples successes and view those as your own failures, don’t get me wrong I love seeing people succeed, but at the same time, it quite often encourages those personal feelings of failure.
Having the confidence to follow your own path is so so important, but also more important perhaps is to appreciate that other people are on their own paths and to watch them succeed should be viewed as something powerful, not to use it judgement against yourself!
I like to remind myself that I did the best I could at the time!
Having confidence in my decisions something I find incredibly hard. Faced with things on a daily basis that force me to make decisions quickly where you don’t often have the time to mull it over I find a real challenge.
Isn’t hindsight the best decision-maker?
I have this one note on my wall of inspiration… It reads:
“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”
When I find myself looking back over some decisions I have made, and regretting them, I read that note and I remind myself that I did the best I could at the time, but I also get how difficult it is to give yourself some slack when you look back on some of the mistakes you made.
It is much easier said than done, but we all make the best choice in that moment and we have to stand by bad decisions and have a little bit of faith.
I will say this though, it does get easier and confidence is something that I am sure comes with time, and we are never really as alone as we might think with self-doubt. Surround yourself with people that believe in you, and if someone is standing in front of you telling you you are good enough, believe them!!
So here’s to having confidence in yourself, and believing in you!!