Self Doubt Demons and How to Kill Them
Do you suffer from self-doubt demons? I know I do, this is probably my biggest struggle in finding my path to happiness. Those evil little demons that creep into your thought process and make you doubt yourself. They eat away at your joy and squash ideas before they are even born. You know you shouldn’t listen to them, but they worm their way into your thoughts like a worm digs into an apple.So how do you kill them? Here are a few ways I found helpful in killing those little devils.
I discovered meditation while reading about the Buddhist religion, my mother in law is Buddhist and I wanted to know more about her religion and culture. I use one of the very basic meditation techniques, I described it in 5 Steps to a Stress Free Life but here are the basics.
Blank Your Mind. I mean think of nothing, absolutely nothing. This is really harder than it sounds so I started off just trying to do it for a few minutes. I imagine a big empty ball (Ya know, like what people compare your brain to sometimes) and I try to keep it empty. As thoughts try and wiggle their way in, I swat them out. That is my sacred serene space for just a few minutes and I will not let any thoughts in, good or bad.
You can use this technique to swat the demons out when they are trying to find a backdoor into your thoughts.
Acknowledge Your Self-Doubt
This one is probably the one that works the best for me. I acknowledge the little self-doubt demon, and then decide if he has any merits. For example, I wanted to start writing this blog, but those pesky self-doubt devils started creeping in. One was named “No one will read it”, one was named “You are a railroader, not a writer” and another was named “You know nothing about creating a website”
So one by one I acknowledged them and allowed them to plead their case. “Okay Mr. You are a railroader, not a writer, state your case” Then I really gave it some thought. Yes I am a railroader, but I have been a writer much longer than I have been a railroader. Case denied, Next. “Mr. No one will read it, please state your case”. True no one might read it, but if I help just one person with the writing on this board then it was worth it. It also gives me the opportunity to practice my writing, researching, marketing and so on. So CASE DENIED.
I think you get the idea, sometimes when you confront these little demons you realize how little merit the ideas they present have. Sure there are obstacles you might have to overcome with any idea that you have, but that does not make those obstacles insurmountable.
The worst part about self-doubt demons is that they often present red herring obstacles, obstacles that only exist in your mind. If you look at my three examples, only one presents a true obstacle. The last one, Mr. You know nothing about building a website, he might have a point, but that doesn’t mean it is a good point. Just because I don’t possess the knowledge in the idea stage, does not mean I can’t obtain it. I mean, you are reading my website right.
I have not had a ton of success with this one unless it is something like a gratitude journal (Those are awesome for your happiness), but these things do work for some people. Here is the idea, when the demons are attacking, you use positive language to squash them.
If one of your demons is telling you that you look horrible in that dress, stand in front of a mirror in said dress and tell the demon to F off by using positive language, out loud if at all possible.
“I look beautiful in this dress”
“This dress is the perfect compliment to my skin tone”
“This dress makes me look fabulous”
You get the idea.
If you are an audio learner, this method will probably work better for you than it does for me and I included it in this post because what works for me may not work for you and vise versa. If you are interested in learning more about positive affirmations, here is a good article from Mind tools to help you out.
When in doubt I usually go to the Lord. Obviously, if you are not religious this one will not work for you, but if you are, saying a prayer or reading relevant scripture can do wonders for killing the demons. They are demons, and God is great at helping us deal with any of our demons, self-doubt or otherwise.
Anytime you are dealing with self-doubt it is important to remember that they are lying little demons that really have no purpose in this life other than to drive you crazy. That said, if anyone uses any other techniques to quash these pesky little critters I would love to hear about them. Please leave them in the comments so we can all learn from each other.