Those Four Poisonous Words
Updated: Sep 19, 2019
This evening, I was asked to develop website content for a start-up. I know the owner well, and excitedly accepted. As I hung up the phone, though, the persistent chorus of self-doubt cleared its throat and began its sinister song.
"I'm not good enough."
Not always loud, but nearly relentless. Insidious in its perpetuation of this one, self-imposed, powerful stumbling block.
In whatever facet of life I'm currently operating, be it motherhood, content creator, runner, lifter, daughter, friend, human being, these four words carry such unparalleled weight. I'm not good enough for that race. I'm not good enough to say I'm a good mom. I'm not good enough to write that piece. I'm not good enough to fight for this project.
I'm not good enough to really be a ____.
That one's a kick in the seat, isn't it.
The poisonous nature of self-doubt really becomes apparent when you convince yourself you're not good enough to be who and what you really want to be.
The poisonous nature of self-doubt really becomes apparent in that statement. That denial of affirmation - no matter how accurate it may be - because you doubt yourself. Your boss says you nailed it. Your team welcomes your feedback. Your kid loves you. You ran the race. But, you're not really a runner, or a marketer, or a writer, or a good enough mom, simply because the chorus of self-doubt has decided you're not.
The irony of course is that only you can hear the chorus and so only you can listen to it and choose to either a) lose your way in its siren-like call or b) shrug your shoulders, turn down the volume and remind yourself that you are absolutely capable. Definitely easier said than done, this latter choice takes practice. Exercising that mind-muscle of consciously choosing to stay focused, stay driven, stay committed. Use the self-doubt to fuel your fire! Know that feeling you get when someone brushes you off? "Ha! I'll show them."
Yeah, well, you can show yourself, too.
When the chorus of "I'm not good enough" kicks off its first notes, stand-up, tell them to hold tight, and go prove those naysayers wrong. Reconnect with what feeds your passion. Revisit a project that just set your spirit soaring. Go through notes from a presentation that moved you. Run around outside with your kids for 5 minutes.
Then, re-focus. Rewrite your chorus.
If your mind is strong enough to convince you with its self-doubt, you better believe its strong enough to prove your self-worth.