THE BLOG

5 Steps to Managing Self-Doubt

04/27/2015 08:12 am ET | Updated Jun 27, 2015
Getty Images

2015-04-22-1429733456-8112881-Fotolia_65200363_Subscription_Monthly_M.jpg

Credit: Fotolia

There I was, sitting in my yoga room, in front of my alter meditating (well, trying to) and all that was coming up was "failure." Not the word so much but the feeling of having failed when in reality I had just begun.

That morning I launched my first online course, a project I had been working on for almost two years. I felt great about it and excited to put it out into the world but a funny thing happened once the first email went out with my big announcement. I didn't just get nervous or anxious, I actually felt like it was the end of the launch and no one signed up. This was only after an hour of the email being out. Most people hadn't even read it yet and I had myself completely pegged as having a product no one wanted.

I saw this immediately and identified it. I realized it was ridiculous but still it persisted. It lasted for exactly three days and then it went away. Once again I started feeling excited and confident about putting the project out. What happened you ask? I used my tools. Over the last 12 years of teaching yoga and facilitating trainings, I have been able to hone my tools of consciousness. It is these tools I wish to share with you today. Some are simple, some need to be practiced and some you are most likely already doing.

1. Breathe.

2015-04-22-1429732321-8272438-na2014079_084_f.jpg

Credit Nick Antony

Yes, this is number one. Good news, you are already doing this. However most of the time you are not breathing to your fullest potential. So when you start to get in a tailspin where you begin to doubt and even criticize yourself, start to breath more deeply. Let your body and your cells fill with nourishment. This will begin to calm you down and when you are calm you are more likely to put things into a clearer perspective.

2. Identify which form your self-doubt takes.

2015-04-22-1429733413-704970-Fotolia_54183536_Subscription_Monthly_M.jpg

Credit: Fotolia

For me, self-doubt is more of a feeling, for others it's their own words (like repeating the phrase "I'm so stupid" without thinking of the affect it has on you) and for some it is the voice of someone else, like a parent or a teacher that may have criticized you. When you can identify the form that your doubt most often takes, you can catch it when it comes. So often we are operating unconsciously and are unaware that our mind is running the show. Once you see the self-doubt, you can watch it instead of allowing it to take control.

3. Don't try to battle your self-doubt. Accept it.

2015-04-22-1429733355-8324194-Fotolia_81122246_Subscription_Monthly_M.jpg

Credit: Fotolia

No matter how confident a person is, no matter how many Oscars or Olympic medals or rave reviews they have, they are still subject to questioning their abilities from time to time. As long as we are identifying with our egos, we are all subject to this doubt. The ego is the part of mind that judges, compares, complains, needs to be right and loves conflict. It's not bad but when the ego is left in control, there in lies the problem. We are meant to run the show, not the other way around. As soon as we begin to see we are operating from our ego, we begin to shift that power.

So when you are in the throws of a particularly nasty battle and self-doubt is winning, take off the gloves and turn your palms up. If you keep punching it will only get stronger, you will continue to feed it. Take a step back, take another breath and let it be. Acceptance is the name is the name of the game.

4. Voice it.

2015-04-22-1429733144-7788983-Fotolia_75677684_Subscription_Monthly_M.jpg

Credit: Fotolia

It can be easier to hold stuff in instead of putting it out truthfully. Especially when it comes to feeling bad about ourselves. Or when we do express ourselves, it's more about seeking validation to the person we are spilling our guts to. This rarely works. Instead we need simple and clear declaration to someone that can just listen. This is a powerful way to release what you are feeling by empowering yourself with truth. Just be sure not to over talk it. Make it clean and swift. Then move on.

5. Do something that empowers you.

2015-04-22-1429733249-2884779-Fotolia_53501567_Subscription_Monthly_M1.jpg

Credit: Fotolia

The night my self doubt shifted I taught a particularly powerful yoga class. We did a meditation that grounded us in our hearts and it helped me as much as my students. For me, teaching is one of my power spots. When I teach I am completely tapped in and I feel amazing. In order to move forward it helps when we can stand in our own power. When we are overly worried about a problem so much that it starts to consume us, we are giving our power away. That is why when we panic and try to figure out a solution, the problem often gets stronger. Instead flip the script and find your power. Whatever makes you feel alive, accomplished, happy and badass. Do it with as much focus, love and determination as you can. Self-doubt will not know what hit it and will promptly take a backseat. Always remember, you are the driver.

Want to learn more about the online course I just launched? It's called Rock Your Purpose and can help you transform your deepest gifts into your greatest contributions. Check it out here:
http://www.livingbeyondasana.com/rock-your-purpose/