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Lessons From the End of a Marriage

A “How to Thrive” Guide After Divorce

Self-Doubt During Times of Change

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I spent some time this morning journaling about self-doubt. And since this is a common reaction during periods of change and divorce certainly qualifies as a major life renovation, I decided to share my thoughts with you –

  • Self-doubt is a normal, natural and expected part of any transition.
  • It is temporary and it’s worst at the beginning when there is more planning/expectation and less progress/action.
  • Be careful not to feed your self-doubt. I have noticed that mine is fed through certain Facebook groups, information that feels overwhelming and conversations with people that either dismiss or amplify my anxieties (it feels best when people both hear my fear and also express their belief in me). I need to consciously limit my exposure to these, especially when I’m feeling more doubt.
  • Fears WILL change over time. What seems the scariest right now will become less intimidating and then new fears will emerge. Again, normal.
  • Hard is not impossible. We teach this to kids all the time. We may be older and more set in our ways, but the concept still applies. Besides, anything worthwhile in life takes effort.
  • What real evidence do you have to support your self-doubt? Probably less than you initially think.
  • What other times did you experience self-doubt? How long did it last? What did you do right to get through it? How do you feel about that scenario now? I reflected back on when I first started teaching (which was terrifying). The self-doubt built as I finished my degree and I went through the first few months of teaching feeling like an imposter. I did quite a bit right – I had mentors, I listened to lots of advice (and generally tried it to see if it fit before deciding if I should keep or discard it), I gathered an abundance of information, I made connections and I kept going. Now, teaching is automatic and I feel extremely confident in any related environment.
  • Take it slowly. It’s an elephant. Don’t choke.
  • Seriously, take it one day at a time.
  • After all, it’s not like you have a choice in that.
  • Unless you can go into suspended animation and awake only when the transition is over??? (If anyone knows how to do this, please message me.)
  • List your skills and strengths that are going to help you through this. And no, self-doubt is not a strength.
  • Confidence building will be important critical. What makes you feel confident? For me, I need a combination of things that get me out of my head (exercise, I’m looking at you!), things I’m good at and things that make me feel more secure.
  • Unplug. Take a break. Step away. Pushing all the time doesn’t make you stronger. It makes you tired.
  • This is exciting!!! No, really. That feeling in your stomach? That’s enthusiasm, not dread. You have an opportunity to learn, to grow, to challenge assumptions. You are entering a new world. It’s time to explore.
  • It’s an adventure. Be curious about what might lie around the next corner.
  • Self-doubt is not a stop sign. It doesn’t mean you’re doing something wrong. It’s only a sign that you’re doing something different.
  • Big rewards only come from risk.
  • Besides, things change no matter what. Isn’t it nice when you at least get to have some say in them?
  • You got this.
  • No, really. You do.
  • Your self-doubt is kind of like that bitchy girl back in middle school who puts everyone else down because deep inside, she’s really insecure. Your self-doubt is speaking from its own fears, not your limitations.
  • One day, you will feel comfortable and confident about this and wonder why you were so silly with all this angst.
  • You. Got. This. (and I do too)

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5 thoughts on “Self-Doubt During Times of Change

  1. Great post on the fears that we all face in times of changes. I really love the focus that you place on confidence as critical and not just important. We forget the value of our own confidence and the power we have to generate this from within. Keep up the great content! Jodi

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