When you doubt your power, you give power to your doubt. – Honore de Balzac
We’ve all had those days, when it feels like nothing we do is good enough. We question our abilities, feel like we’ll never be successful, and, to make matters worse, berate ourselves for feeling that way. Self-doubt is insidious – it’s that little or not so little voice that keeps telling you that “you’re just not good enough.” I don’t think cats experience self-doubt in quite the same way we humans do, but some cats are definitely less confident than others.
When it comes to helping cats who lack self-confidence, what usually works is helping them cross what Jackson Galaxy calls “the challenge line.” With a lot of patience, and by using play and food, you can encourage a shy cat to become more confident.
For humans, there are a number of things you can do to pull yourself out of the self-doubt doldrums:
Stop comparing yourself to everyone else
Comparing yourself to others is one of the fastest roads to self-doubt. It’s also a complete waste of energy. You are unique, and your accomplishments and your unique purpose in life can never be compared to anyone else’s. Comparing leads to resentment and deprives you of the genuine joy of celebrating another’s successes.
Forget about what others think about you
If you worry constantly about what others will think about you, you may find yourself in a permanent state of self-doubt. We’re all on individual journeys. Focus on what your journey is about, and make no apologies for who you are, even if you’re different from everyone else in your peer group. Normal is highly overrated!
Identify your biggest fans
That being said, as the saying goes, no man is an island. There is nothing more wonderful than having friends, family, peers, and, in my case, readers like you, who support you. Nurture these positive relationships and draw confidence from the support you receive. I have a “feel good folder” on my computer where I save notes and comments I get from friends or readers that make me feel good about something I wrote or something I did. During times of self-doubt, just reading a few of these instantly lifts my spirit.
Surround yourself with positivity
Read something inspirational every day (may I suggest Purrs of Wisdom). Listen to music that makes you feel good. Make a lunch date with a friend from your “fan list.” Play with your cats.
Start and end your day with gratitude
It’s so easy to focus on what you don’t have rather than what you do have. One of the most effective ways I know to end feelings of self-doubt is to start and each day listing three to five things you’re grateful for.
Feeling self-doubt is part of the human experience. And sometimes, none of the tips above may help, and it may just be time to feel the negative emotion, and then move past it. Like a formerly shy cat, you, too, can cross that invisible challenge line.