Crippling self doubt has not just plagued me, I have repeatedly indulged in it. It is a place of self-deprecatory comfort. I take solace in believing that I’ll fail. Why? Because it’s easier to believe I won’t succeed, and follow through with failure. Truly believing that I’m bound for success requires a multitude of different factors from me:
- A “rewiring” of the way my belief system has worked most of my life.
- Reaffirming this belief on a daily basis.
- Holding myself accountable to execute on the plans I’ve made.
- Honest non-judgmental self-assessment on a regular basis.
- Accepting that I’m already enough on an ongoing basis.
- Taking a leap of faith.
Believing in yourself is one of the biggest leaps of faith I think a human can take early on in life. Actually, at any point in life. I think the more you fail, or have perceived failures, the harder this leap becomes.
For a few years before I got sober, I delved deep into what I perceived was the life of a “failure”. I chose to guarantee that I would perpetually fail. In a big fat huge kind of way. I was lying to myself, my friends, my family, and digging a hole I didn’t foresee myself crawling out of again. It seemed easier to me than setting myself up for success.
I think repeatedly indulging in self-doubt and self-sabotage results in it’s own form of trauma. The worst part of it is, once you come out on the other side, you have to accept the fact that you were the perpetrator and the victim. It creates a really strange divorce of self. It’s like looking back on someone else’s life.
I could probably go even deeper, and say if as a kid you are surrounded by failure (perceived or real) then this makes the leap like a gigantic impossible canyon crossing. Even when you do start embracing success the voice of doubt and fear never truly goes away.
At least it hasn’t for me. That voice is a coward, and like a coward it only tries to strike when I’m at my weakest points. Crippling self doubt comes back reaching out for me like some dark demon from a black pit or shadow world. Sometimes in my mind, I’ve pictured it like a ghost that is slowly dying in stages. The stronger my self-confidence becomes the weaker, angrier, and more petty it gets. I find strength in knowing this is true. And, I feel hopeful that eventually this vice of indulging in crippling self doubt will be entirely relegated to my past.