I doubt myself a lot, especially when I am going on an expedition into unknown territory. And people say to me all the time, “Jenni, look at all the amazing things that you have achieved! How can you possibly have a problem with self doubt?”
The answer is because self doubt is easy, even when you know better. To doubt yourself is to be human. Even the most successful people in the world have moments of imposter syndrome.
So I decided to dig deep and explore this topic further. I have one really good, and recent example of what happens when I don’t doubt myself, and that is my last pregnancy and birth experience. If you aren’t already familiar with my story I wrote about it here. I had an incredible pregnancy working with a doctor who actually asked me if he could be my care provider and who advocated on my behalf with his colleagues and the local hospital staff. I then went on to have a completely unassisted (no doctor or nurse was in the room) and intervention free vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC), standing in the bathroom of my hospital room.
During my pregnancy I was extremely confident. Even though what I was planning was something that I had never done before. A hands off, completely intervention free VBAC. The pregnancy was complete with multiple complications and care providers doubting my ability to do what I set out to do. But I didn’t let any of that deter me. I had one single fleeting moment when I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes, that I doubted myself. But then I moved on from it with ease.
So now I am asking myself, how did I do it? How did I go for the better part of a year not doubting myself in a society that was constantly telling me anything but “you can do it”!?
These are the beliefs that I held onto:
I trusted the physiological process of birth.
I trusted in my body’s ability to birth.
I trusted in the gestation process and I chose the date of fruition.
I was confident in my ability to stay strong in my conviction.
I was incredibly stubborn about what I wanted and I did not change my goal.
These are the tools that I used:
I imagined my goal as if it had already happened.
I wrote out my birth story in past tense, read it aloud, recorded myself reading it and listened to the recording at night.
Any time I came across a challenge, I felt my feelings, remembered my truth and then found my way through it.
I surrounded myself with a community of people who constantly reminded me of who I am and what I am capable of.
Now, knowing all of this, how can it be applied to other things in life?
Make a clear goal that resonates with you.
Trust in your goal and the worthiness of it.
Trust in the gestation process and select a specific time you want to achieve it.
Trust in your ability to stay strong in your conviction.
Stay consistent and true to your goal.
When a challenge arises, feel your feelings, then remember your truth and find your way through it.
Surround yourself with supportive people who will be there to remind you of the amazing person that you are, capable of achieving what you want to achieve.
So next time you are doubting yourself, remember the truth about who you really are. You are capable of achieving anything that you want to achieve. In fact, you would not want to achieve it if you weren’t capable of achieving it. Find a supportive community that isn't going to doubt you.
If you are in need of a supportive community that gets what you are doing and isn’t going to undermine your confidence you can join us in:
Looking forward to seeing what you will achieve!