In this weeks A-Z of alcohol misuse is the letter Q, for Questioning. One of the things that I realised in my self-development journey, is how much I doubt myself. Do you spend too much time questionning yourself?
Being the daughter of an alcoholic, I found that I increasingly lost my confidence as a child. The things I did seemed to be wrong and it was hard to understand what was right.
When I thought I did a good job cleaning my bike, I struggled to know how to meet my Dad’s high expectations. I spent time overthinking, questionning myself because I was confused about what was good enough.
What do I mean by “Questioning yourself”?
I suppose this all revolves around self-doubt, lack of confidence in yourself. Questioning your thoughts, decisions and behaviours. Worrying that what you have said, done or felt is wrong. Second guessing yourself and not trusting yourself.
Often this can come from influences in your life which has made this come about, not always. Maybe you value other people’s opinion over your own. Your default maybe that you are always in the wrong and others are right.
There can also be a lot of “what if’s”.
How does questioning yourself impact your life?
It can stop you taking action, being spontaneous and create fear in you. You maybe familiar with procrastination, because of the self-doubt you end up being in a place of inaction. So you can’t move forward and do the things you want, or in the way you want because you’re forever questioning yourself.
Maybe you are concerned with the outcome, will it be as you hope it to be? Do you feel you don’t know enough, aren’t good enough?
Are you scared of making a mistake? This can connect very closely with perfectionism. If you fear getting it wrong, it’s understandable that you don’t make a decision because you fear the consequence. The consequence can also be that you get it right (whatever that is).
To give some examples:
Are you due to make a decision about leaving a partner but are questioning your decision, what if it isn’t right? What if your making a mistake? You’ll be alone and regret your decision.
Maybe you are going to apply for a job but questioning whether you know enough to do the job, are you a feeling a fraud and that you can’t do it?
None of these things may be true but they can play around in your head and keep your stuck. If you’re sure about your abilities, your experiences and how you feel then the questioning will subside.
What can you do about your self-doubt?
First of all, with anything I don’t believe it is always in every aspect of your life. As I was once told, everything within a context. You may not question yourself at work or with your faith, but you find the you’re questioning yourself in relationships.
Reflection on your interactions and life, when do you question yourself the most, with whom?
Where do you feel your self-doubt in your body, is it in your stomach (I’m guessing you won’t know this, so it’s an opportunity to pay attention and see what goes on)
Who in your life questionned you, made you doubt yourself? Did they make you think your feelings and thoughts weren’t valid or right?
Consider possibilities. Is it possible that what you heard/were told in the past which caused you to question yourself could be untrue?
Pay attention to those internal gut instincts, the ones you may have ignored. Telling you “do this or that”, when you FEEL it’s the right thing. Not what you think, but the feeling, that instinct.
Get to know yourself more, accept your strengths for what they are, there is nothing wrong with saying you’re good at something. (I bet you’re quick enough to say when you aren’t!) It doesn’t have to be in a boastful way.
As with everything it’s a process and takes time, there is no rush. If you start doing something today, you’re already a step ahead of doing nothing.
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Remember you aren’t alone and you can always join my Change Your Mind Facebook group, where other families of alcoholics support each other with challenges they experience from the past or present. You may have lived with an alcoholic in your past, but it’s still impacting you in the present.
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