Self-doubt is that creeping little thing that may overwhelm us and cloud our thinking. Not only thinking, in fact, but also our ability to act and make decisions.
How can you make the transition a bit easier for yourself?
How can you help yourself get rid of the self-doubt and start believing in yourself more?
Let’s talk about some ways you can do exactly that.
REMIND YOURSELF ABOUT YOUR WHY
One of the key things when you start doubting in yourself or your path is to come back to the roots. Remind yourself why you’ve moved, what you wanted to achieve and what life you wanted to work towards.
Then, evaluate your values. What values did you identify as the most important back then? Has there been any shift in your priorities since then? How could you bring these values to life in your current environment?
Sometimes, even just identifying those initial wants can be helpful in fighting the self-doubt that you started carrying now. Most likely when you were moving you expected to be challenged, to grow, to experience new things, to learn. Naturally, that comes with a pinch of uncertainty and a period of increasing your competence!
Beliefs are deeply ingrained thoughts and truths that we carry with us through life. They may be supportive, but unfortunately also stopping you in your tracks and preventing you from success. Not to say that you can solve all your problems by “just” changing your beliefs (oh if it was that easy, can you imagine??), but having a closer look at your beliefs and the effects they may have on your emotional state and behaviours is definitely beneficial.
Verify if all the self-depreciating thoughts you’re having are indeed true – if you’re thinking to yourself ‘I just can never get anything right!’ ask yourself, ‘was there ever a situation where you did succeed in something?’ That way, by questioning some of your ‘ultimate truths’ you could discover that actually some of them are maybe too generalised or too catastrophic.
LIST YOUR SUCCESSES
I’m all for practical exercises, and this is one of them for sure. If you start doubting your abilities, one thing you can do to make sure you don’t forget your achievements to-date is to list the things that you did manage to achieve abroad already. List them, however small they are. It could be opening a bank account, reaching out to an old friend, sending a bunch of CVs or finding a place to live etc.
Keep that list handy. When those unsupportive beliefs start crippling in (you know, the likes of “I can never get anything right”, “it’s just been an uphill battle all the time since I arrived”, “I made no progress since moving here”), you will have an easily accessible proof that in fact you have done a lot, and you’re not a total failure, and you are making progress.
Need support in figuring out all the logistics you need to take care of when moving? Make sure to sign up to the newsletter and download this comprehensive Moving Checklist! With that list you’ll have all the things to think about in one place, and will make sure you won’t miss out on the most important bits.
CIRCLE OF CONTROL
When we’re in the self-doubting spiral, it’s possible that we fall out of circle of influence really quickly.
Have I done the right thing by moving if the economy is such a shit show right now?…
Am I even able to find a job if there are so many companies that are firing people?…
I don’t think any company ultimately wants my skill set, do they?…
A way to work against that could be to focus on what’s within your circle of control/influence. By focus (I know, I know, easier said than done!) I mean acknowledging the difficulties around today’s world landscape, or weather or anything else outside of our control, but also flipping the perspective to notice and name the things that are within your control.
If you’re doubting that you can get a good job abroad – What’s within your control to push things forward? What have you not tried yet to find that dream job? Focusing on that empowerment instead of things you ultimately can’t influence or change gives you more ownership of your day-to-day and helps reduce the self-doubt.
GIVE YOURSELF SPACE
Last but not least – self-doubt can sometimes simply be a sign of overwhelm. Mixed with the catastrophic thinking and general lack of energy. If it lasts for extended periods of time, I’d definitely encourage you to consult a specialist about this and seek external help. However, if it’s a bit up and down and not a persistent feeling of lowered mood and energy, you can start with just arranging some self-care activities during the day for yourself. Clearing the mind, putting the energy into things we like doing, and reducing the stress can help get into a more supportive state of mind where your self-doubt isn’t in the centre of your reality.
All of the above methods of dealing with self-doubt are things you can also do preventively to practice building your resilience skills and supportive mindset for any adversity that’s to come. They’re not magical solutions, of course, but rather techniques that can help you manage in tougher times.
Which ones did you find the most interesting? Which one would you like to try out first?