The Cycle of Self Doubt and Personal Fears in All of Us

When I was in my teens I was a nervous person, unsure of what my talents were, lacking in confidence. I don’t think that made me unusual but it did make for stressful high school years.

Now in my forties I thought those awkward days were behind me. I somehow envisioned that at this stage all those life experiences I had gone through, like school and finding a career and building a family, would give me more confidence and security in who I am. But I still breakout into heart palpitations when invited to a social event. I don’t take risks or chances in my professional life. I don’t give my opinion in discussions or offer to participate in round tables or presentations. I mean, who am I to share my knowledge and expertise or rather, what knowledge and expertise can I share that hasn’t already been covered.

Why am I scared?

What sort of example am I sending to my kids when I won’t take the chances I’m encouraging them to take?

But some recent reading has me doing a little thinking, specially Erica‘s recent Yummy Mummy Club post  A Weekend for Self Esteem with a Twist and Michelle‘s Mom Esteem journey on EverythingMom. These two woman are amazing. I have had the privilege of meeting and working with both of them. They are the two strongest, influential, outgoing and supportive woman I know and are great role models for women like me. So I was amazed to read their posts, admitting to everyone that they too have inner fears and self-doubt.

A revelation: I’m not the only one with doubts and insecurities. Actually that’s not really a revelation; I sort of guessed I’m not the only one feeling this way. What really stuck with me reading these posts is that even those people who you think have it all under control and figured out, those people sometimes feel the same insecurities I feel. Maybe not around the same issues but they feel them none the less. Perhaps I’m going about this doubt issue the wrong way. I will never be the outgoing, extrovert that I would like to be, but that doesn’t mean I have to beat myself up over it. It’s okay to have these doubts and fears, everyone does. The trick is not letting them take over your life, limit your experiences and potential. Admit to your fear and deal with it, work around it, face it.

These insecurities, these doubts, like it or not, are apart of my character; they make me who I am. I need to stop wanting to change that. Instead I need to accept that’s apart of me, accept that there are things I won’t be comfortable doing but at the same time try things that I’m uncomfortable doing. Sometimes this discomfort and insecurity is simply based on the unknown and if I don’t try then these areas will always be unknown, they will always be uncomfortable. As I have discovered from reading Erica and Michelle, taking risks is scary as hell but usually the end result is rewarding.

So I won’t be the belle of the ball but at least when I’m in a room with other women I can be sure I’m not the only one with heart palpitations.

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7 responses to this post.

  1. This is so, so wonderful. When I felt scared as hell writing, my coach would encourage me to remember that what I was doing was in bigger service than that of my fear.

    Encouraging others to burst out of the small perspective in which they see themselves is what MomEsteem is about for me.

    Love you so much!
    xoxo

    Reply

  2. Carrie Anne

    You crack me up! For someone introverted, you fearlessly show up at events, create strong relationships online and IRL and have been hired by one of Canada’s best sites as their editorial voice. Give yourself the credit your deserve. You need to be showing other moms how its done. Cuz you got it going on sistah! 🙂

    Reply

  3. I’m scared all the time – I get nervous, I have heart palpitations, sweat, turn red and a whole slew of other attractive ailments when I’m asked to speak in front of a group. Even if it’s only a few people. I feel my writing is never good enough and that I suck as a parent. I’m my own harshest critic – I think we all are.

    So whenever you’re in a room with me, you’ll know you’re not the only one there freaking out 🙂

    Reply

  4. Carrie Anne, I wish we would have been able to connect at Blissdom last week. There are so many things I read about you that I feel so strongly about as well, and this is one of those things! Self-esteem. Ugh. It beats me up and yet somehow pushes me to expand and expose and explore.

    It’s funny, I even felt at BlissdomCanada (where they tried to make sure newbies like myself were welcomed by the rest of the usual suspects) that there were times when I felt truly inspired and empowered by the women in the room and at other times during the conference felt like a real outsider. Sigh.

    In any event, my rule of thumb is to focus on the things and people I love, to try new things regularly, and to never feel regret for not doing something. It’s not always perfect, but it helps me feel like I’m embracing life and my place in it to my best abilities most days. On those others, I drink wine. 🙂

    Great post and I really do hope we can meet up in person someday soon!

    -Cynthia

    Reply

  5. I know that feeling. I get it at every event. Every tweet up. When I was supposed to be networking for work, or for a charity it gave me great bouts of anxiety. But I did it. I pushed through somehow.

    But it’s hard to quell that insecure voice. The one that on the drive home from the tweet up says ‘why did you say that? that sounded so stupid. no one will talk to you again.’ ha.

    It sounds like you do an amazing job – and the fact that you put yourself out there is incredible.

    Reply

  6. You go CarrieAnne! I think it’s hard to toot your horn, but sometimes dangit, ya gotta do it!!

    Especially when you deserve it. 🙂

    Reply

  7. Found this post from @SharonDV’s twitter post. What a nice post. I can surely relate to the self doubt and fears.

    Have a nice weekend.

    Reply

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