Midlife myth no 4

I truly believed, somewhat naively, that when I hit mid-life, I would always back myself.

Self-doubt would be a stranger to me and well planted in my past.

That the tortuous and constant berating of oneself would have taken a permanent vacation leaving me to thrive on my own.

I would step confidently into the world with nothing but words of self-love circling my now unoccupied head.

Well, that is not the case.

It may be for you, and I take my hat off to you if that is your truth, however, if self-doubt still sits in the armoury of self-defeat, then read on.

After suffering from depression (and depression is suffering), I took steps to climb my way out.

I wanted to not only ascend out of the mire but also equip myself with what was required to prevent further suffering.

And self-doubt was one of the things I worked on and continue to do so.

I read book after book gathering information in the hope that I would discover the secret to turning things around.

And while the information was useful,  it needed to be accompanied by action.

I often say to clients there is a difference between knowledge and knowing.

Gathering knowledge is an integral part of reinventing, however, there is a big leap between having knowledge and consistently putting it into action – knowing.

I find it comforting to read stories from the great and the good, hearing of the suffering they imbued upon themselves through the betrayal of their own self-doubt.

I believe it was Shakespeare that said our doubts are our traitors and it would appear that way.

Because our doubts do betray us, disabling what resemblance of conviction we have to forward movement.

I am sure many of you have stood at the junction between opportunity and gripping fear.

Uncomfortable in the knowledge if you move towards opportunity you may be exposed to be the inadequate person you genuinely believe you are.

What are you to do when self-doubt is picking at what little sureness you have?

I don’t know all the answers – I certainly don’t have the solution that will push the nagging voice behind the locked door, never to be heard from again. If that were the case, then this piece of writing would not exist.

1) I do know that building ones’ resilience helps. Exposing oneself to things that bring discomfort.

2) Understanding that it is a rare beast who does not experience this, so you are not alone. It is still you own journey and I am a big believer in taking the road less travelled, however it is good to have some well-trodden pathways to learn from.

3) Defying your traitor never allowing it to take control no matter how much you quake in your boots. Action helps as self-doubt struggles to keep up with action.

4) Knowing that without taking control and stepping out into the ether of the unknown, the uncharted and the unnamed, life will become one of regrets and lost opportunities.

Step into the light and tell it to take its creepy little paws off you.

Step forward with your heart racing and your guts churning knowing that it cannot control you and will not if you do not admit defeat.

Just step forward.