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An Ode to Our Rational Self-Critic
It is easier for us to sit comfortably in denial with our delusions and hope that someone – or something – will intervene with our problems. More often than not, we’d rather complain about our worries than tune in to what it is trying to tell us. We are given common sense and intuition, but we don’t like how it makes us feel; so we continue to live in a world of self-deception.
Doubts don’t kill dreams, self-delusional thoughts and false hopes do. Many of us are willing to re-wire our senses, short-circuit our instincts, and turn a deaf ear to our intelligence as we accept the seductive comfort of self-delusion.
Babbling Monsters and Negative Mind Chatter
Our half-beliefs and uncertain thoughts are trying to tell us something very important and it is our responsibility to listen up. These painful and doubtful feelings that we really want to ignore, are urging us to tune into the negative mind chatter.
While most of us tend to drown out the worry, anxiety and concern, let’s find out what happens when instead of tuning out self doubt, we give it a respectful ear.
What is your self doubt trying to tell you?
These symptoms of self doubt are your ruminating thoughts and painful feelings of . . .
Guilt. The regret we feel. Perhaps we should have made the call earlier, finished the work with more enthusiasm, given more effort, stayed just a little longer, paid more attention, etc . . .
Questions to ask yourself: Do you have your priorities straight? Are you doing what is most important to you and to those you love? Are you focused on what is best for all? What tasks are you ignoring? What work are you overlooking? What should you take care of NOW?
Disappointment. You’re defeated, let down and about to throw in the towel.
Questions to ask yourself: How have you let others down? Are you treating others and yourself in a caring and thoughtful way? What have you neglected to do? Who have you ignored? What important projects have you disregarded?
Irrelevancy. Your work doesn’t matter and neither do you. You have nothing to contribute and don’t understand how quickly everything is changing.
Questions to ask yourself: Are you continuing to keep up with your skills? Have you worked on your discipline and will to devote your days to learning and growing? Will your work actually result in a positive impact? Will it enhance the lives of others? If not, what might you do instead?
Inadequacy. When you feel like you’re just not doing enough and your work doesn’t compare to the achievement of others.
Questions to ask yourself: Are you practicing what you preach? Are you as loving, patient, and compassionate as you could be? Could you try a bit harder? Can you push your ego to the side for just a bit and discover how you can recover?
Undeserving. Your life doesn’t feel like it should. Something is missing. You are lonely and you wish for more and you are worried you are unworthy.
Questions to ask yourself: What are you not doing enough of? How can you bring more value to your work? How can you contribute more? Where are you actually needed? How can you get there?
We Have Real Work To Do
Worry and self doubt reminds us that we have real work to do. It nags at us and it reminds us, we need to improve. It harasses us to rectify the problems in our lives so we can move forward with our heads up high.
It commands us to get up and get going. It quietly whispers and anxiously cries out to us in the middle of the night. Our worries are telling us we are NOT finished. We can and we should become more…thoughtful…honest…intelligent…loving…patient…wise…compassionate…empathetic…
When we don’t ask questions and investigate our feelings associated with anxiety, worry, and self doubt, we end up uncertain. Sometimes, we are frozen with fear, which in turn manifests into more worry and anxiety.
It is when we question our ruminating and alarming emotions of pain that we can deeply improve. We must listen, question, and then bravely take appropriate action. These feelings don’t have to overwhelm us. We don’t have to drown them in alcohol, drugs, or even yoga and meditation. We must bravely face our self doubt and worry each day.
Facing the Absolute Truth About Ourselves: Why Worrying and Self Doubt is Actually Wonderful
It’s okay to question your talent, your skills, your ability to progress and succeed in all aspects of your life. For when you do, you face the truth about yourself – and the truth will set you free.
When you turn worry into wonder, you become free to improve your skills and progress forward by adapting a persistence cycle of learning, experimenting, and self-revision. You become open to conquering your deepest fears.
You will be less self-destructive and complacent. You will GROW.
Question Your Imagined Self-Importance
It begins by putting an end to your self-delusion. You must STOP seeing only what you want to see. This is a step in the best direction. With self-discipline, you bust through your attentional bias and break through your tendency to hold on to your old recurring thoughts. You cut through your current beliefs.
The positive benefits of questioning to our doubts are remarkable. Here is what begins to happen when you listen to your worry and self doubt:
1) You Work Harder and Achieve More
Those who question their talent and skill level actually work harder and achieve more. Never to rest on their laurels, they take that self doubt and translate it into to a stronger work ethic and more disciplined action. For they know that mediocrity will NEVER do. They are capable of something so much better.
You see, when you make room for any number of possibilities, you become much more realistic about your life. You are in touch with reality – and reality is your friend.
2) You Take Absolutely Nothing for Granted.
You become less resentful, less bitter. You know things can be better, and you know what you have to do to make them that way. You know you can’t stay dormant. You are grateful for all that you already have. You find it easier to uncover the real problems.
3) You Attract and Allow Compassion and Love
You become more sensitive, self-compassionate, and empathetic towards yourself and others. Your friends, family, and people you’ve never met before are drawn to your humility. You open a door to your heart for them to enter.
4) You Begin to See Just Where You Are Compromising
You re-define what it means to be successful for you. You realize where you surrendered and compromised too much. You raise your standards and ask for more. You take back some control. You begin to own your life.
You know what you need to remove in your life in order to move forward. You begin to let things go that no longer serve you well. You realize that you have been lazy and accepting less than you actually need.
You know now, when the preferable is not available, the available becomes preferable. No more of that for you.
5) You Become Really Comfortable with the Unknown
Fear of the new and the changing world doesn’t bother you anymore. You give up some control and at the same time, you prepare more for the future. You begin to sail through uncharted territories as you experiment and learn more about what lies ahead. You adjust, adapt, and with a curious mind, you commit to change.
6) You Don’t Believe Your Own BS
Deep down you will always be learning. You know that a simple pep talk is mere bullsh*t. A nonsensical quote about following your “passion” makes you laugh. You begin to understand where you really need to improve. You find ways to get the work done.
For we realize, we don’t want to think about our weaknesses. We don’t want to talk about them, and we certainly don’t want anyone else to point them out. But we can’t improve until we do.
7) You Stay Committed to the Cause
You go back to the drawing board, admit your mistakes and stay committed. You realize you know no half measures. You are all in. You respect yourself for this honest engagement and others look up to you for it.
8) You Stop Making Excuses and Become More Successful
You stop thinking of setbacks and you start showing up. You make work greater than you thought you ever could, because you listened to the rational self-critic, the one who knew that the old you weren’t up to snuff.
You don’t avoid things and begin to welcome challenges. You stop focusing on what you can’t do and start getting into solution about what you CAN do. You raise your standards. You demand more from yourself. You get more out of life.
Screw self-praise and pep-talks. In the words of Robert Hughes:
“Confidence is the prize given to the mediocre.”
Embrace the feelings that keep you humble and on your toes. You will always wrestle with them.
Listen to your worry and self doubt. Anxiety and worry should push us to power on, to move forward, and to hone our skills, better our behavior, and become an improved version of our former selves. Self doubt should NOT break us down.
Worry and anxiety must prompt us to take inventory. List what must be done and then take deliberate action. Self doubt will dissipate and melt away with each attempt you make, every measure you take, every routine you practice, and each habit you build.
For the stronger you will feel, the more confident you become. Taking action to improve your behavior will soothe away the worry and concern.