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Episode 66: How to stop Second-Guessing Yourself

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Episode 66: How to Stop Second-Guessing Yourself

Hello and welcome to another episode of The Confidence Catalyst Podcast, I’m LDS Life Coach Hannah Coles and I’ve got something good for you all today!

So many of us struggle with second-guessing our decisions. We worry that maybe we made the wrong choice or that others will judge us. We go back and forth thinking, ruminating, and stewing over our decisions and it feels exhausting. In today’s episode I share with you how to stop second-guessing yourself for good and how to show up confident every single time. Tune in!

Let’s dive in! I know you’ve done it before, we all have. You’ve made a choice, a decision. You said the words, did the deed, paid for the purchase and now…you’re sick. You have this sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach because you’re not so sure about your decision.

Let’s say you sent a text message to someone and you read it before you sent it, or maybe you didn’t but either way you felt good enough to send it at first but then once it’s on it’s way now you’re not so sure.

You think about it more…you read the text, re-read the text, analyze the text, start trying to interpret every which way that text could have been read, and start questioning your decision. Should I have said that? Why did I say that? Did I even want to say that? What did I just do? And all this becomes more frantic, urgent, and incessant in our minds and it’s exhausting and ends up having you show up inauthentic, worried, and worst of all, not being able to trust yourself.

Second guessing yourself is a form of insecurity, a lack of confidence.  Now remember, confidence is synonymous with certainty. What you’re really saying to yourself when you’re second-guessing yourself is that you’re not confident, certain in your decision and more importantly, in yourself.

This is a very disempowering place to act from. 

You’ll make decisions here that aren’t in alignment with yourself.

You move away from your inner intuition or connection with the Holy Ghost – who speaks to your heart and offers you divine guidance and insight.

People tend to people-please here because since they’re unsure they delegate decisions to someone else they deem as confident – oh you look like you know what you’re doing, let’s run with your decision – even though you might regret that later.

And you’re moving further away from your own self-confidence.

Side note here: there’s nothing wrong with changing your mind or changing your decision when you want to. That’s not what this podcast is about. This podcast is about second-guessing yourself when you’re unsure and feeling insecure.

There’s only ONE reason why you’re feeling insecure about a decision. ONE.

Think about this, if you’re second-guessing yourself it’s because of this one reason:

You believe there is a RIGHT or a WRONG decision to be made. That’s there’s a BEST choice or not.

We second guess ourselves because we’re not sure if we made the correct choice, if you said the “right” words, if you offered the “right” insight, or gave the “right” presentation. 

How many times have you posted something, texted something and you felt really good about it. Maybe it was impactful for you or insightful. Maybe you thought it was significant so you hit post or send only to get nothing in return. There’s no likes, there’s phone silence and you’re wondering…whaaaat’s going on??? 

Then you second guess yourself. Then you start analyzing, ruminating, stressing because maybe it wasn’t significant. Maybe it wasn’t insightful. Maybe you’re wrong and there was a better or right answer instead.

These thoughts create a lot of anxiety and stress and worse, they might start you on a path where you stop sharing your authentic self, where you stop responding to certain texts or you filter out what you were going to say for a safer answer. Worst case is you stop sharing your light because you’re afraid it’s wrong, or YOU are wrong.

Today I want to walk you through 4 steps to overcoming the urge to second-guess yourself so you can show up confident, authentic, empowered, and certain of yourself.

Your people can’t find you if you’re not showing up as yourself and over time you can’t connect with yourself if you’re constantly suppressing your most authentic you.

So first let’s talk about why you’re insecure in the first place. You believe that there’s a right or wrong, correct or incorrect, better or best decision to made so there’s fear that you could be making the wrong choice and we don’t like to make the wrong choice because then we make that mean all kind of terrible things about ourselves but what if I told you there are no right or wrong decisions to be made.

I know, some of you might be struggling with that one but let me explain, decisions aren’t right or wrong. There are just choices that create results.

When Joseph of Egypt was sold into slavery by his brothers – we could argue THAT was a wrong choice but then again, it put him in a position to become second to Pharaoh and to save all of Egypt and Canaan, right?

That’s an extreme but I want to show you that there are decisions that create results- that’s it and I believe wholeheartedly that God will always help us turn everything for our good.

In Romans we read, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God” (Romans 8:28)

In D&C 90:24 – “and all things shall work together for your good”

This promise is repeated again and agin in the scriptures, in the lives of those around us, in history and yet in our minds we doubt that. Probably not consciously but in our minds we fear that we’re making the “wrong” decision and that stops us, paralyzes us at times, and keeps us from feeling confident.

Right and wrong

Correct or incorrect

They’re subjective terms. What’s right to one person is wrong to another. Decisions aren’t wrong, they just are. It’s a matter of opinion and if that’s all it is, why not just decide that the decision you made was the right decision for you at the time.

A lot of times we get ourselves into these thought loops that create worry and stress because we think we should have chosen differently and in those moments I like to remind myself that, it was supposed to be that way.

I was supposed to say that, to text that, to decide that and you know how I know? Because that’s what happened, that’s what is.

There’s no point in arguing with what is, what happened because it already happened. The most productive course is accepting it and then thinking, “that happened, now what?”

Just moving forward.

Most of the time when we’re second-guessing ourselves it’s because we’re afraid of something. Not just that we made the wrong choice but that other people will judge us. It’s not so much the wrong choice but that others will think we made the wrong choice.

When you send that text message and get crickets in reply and you start second-guessing your choices it’s not because you think what you sent was wrong – if it were “wrong” in your mind you wouldn’t have sent it in the first place. But what you’re really afraid of is that others will think it was wrong and in your mind you really believe that you are wrong.

So here’s the thing with this one, we can’t control other people, what they think or don’t think, what they say, how they feel, what they chose to do. And we don’t have to.

It’s none of our business what others think of us – or what they think about. A big part of why we’re so worried about it is because we think that they can make us feel something.

That when they don’t respond they make us feel rejected. 

When they disagree they make us feel less than or in the wrong.

When they say things contrary to us that they made us feel offended.

But they can’t do that. They’re not that powerful.

The worst, worst, worst thing that could ever happen to you is that you feel a feeling.

Think about how powerful that truth is.

You make a decision that produces and outcome and you get to think about that outcome and what you want to make that outcome mean about you THAT thinking then creates a feeling for you.

YOU decide your own meaning – deciding it was right or wrong and 

YOU create your own feeling. 

The only thing that creates how you feel is the story you tell yourself.

If you tell yourself you made the wrong decision how do you think you’re doing to feel?

If you tell yourself that people don’t agree with you, you didn’t choose the correct path, how do you think you’re going to feel?

insecure, doubting, lack, fear, worry, embarrassment, worried, afraid

So if you realize that you’re the story creator – that nothing has gone wrong – then you can rewrite the narrative. You can spin the story to work FOR you instead of against you.

When I think about decisions I like to think about them in terms of productivity. I don’t ask myself to look at right or wrong, correct or incorrect because that means that there’s a wrong or an incorrect way – and we don’t like to be wrong so instead I look at this way:

Which will be more productive for me?

All choices will help you become who you’re supposed to be. Heavenly Father, because He loves you will make all things work for your benefit – even if that means that you need to take the long road to get there. And that’s okay. That’s exactly what you needed.

When you’re able to reframe the question in this light it vastly changes things. 

It’s not, did I make the wrong decision? Which creates fear, regret, worry, insecurity

It’s This is what I needed and do you know how I know? Because that’s what happened.

And I love asking myself, “okay, that happened, now what?”

Thinking like this helps you move forward and progress. Second-guessing yourself is like hoping on the hamster wheel and running, exhausting yourself, tiring yourself out only to go no where except now you’re tired.

So instead of inviting other people to impact you or your choices I want you to look inside. Instead of worrying about what they think about your choices, do you like your choices.

You don’t need other people to agree with you. They can’t make you feel anything. So use your mental energy to look inward, to have your own back, and to move forward.

If they don’t agree with you then give them permission to be wrong about you. I know that so hard at first. It goes against the grain because we WANT so badly to be right, to make them understand, to see our point but that’s only when we’re operating under a belief that they can make us feel something. So when you realize that that can’t make you feel anything -that your feelings only come from what you’re thinking – then it gives you space to allow them to exercise their own personal agency, to be wrong about you and that it’s okay. 

There’s so much freedom there.

You want to use your energy in the most productive way – note- not right or wrong, just what’s the most useful for you?

Instead of using that energy to spin tall tales about what other people think, use that energy to ask yourself, okay, now what?

Keep moving forward. 

I love thinking, Okay, that didn’t work like I thought it would – now what?

That happened, now what?

Well, I learned I don’t like that, now what?

It’s always moving forward. It’s all about now what?

Here’s the thing, deciding to have your own back after you make a decision is another decision and it will always be the most productive decision.

After you make a choice and you feel the urge to second guess yourself – I say urge because it’s a choice. You can choose to spin out in tall tales, to criticize yourself, and say mean things to yourself that you shouldn’t have said that, done that, etc OR you can choose to have your own back which looks like treating yourself as you would someone you love.

My son recently earned and saved up to make a big purchase for him. He really wanted the new apple airpods. He was so excited when he found a deal online that saved him money. And when they came he wore them nonstop. He had us all listen to them and how amazing the noise cancellation was. 

Then a few months later my husband bought me a pair from apple for my birthday and all of the sudden my son started noticing these minute details and differences. I say minute because I can’t really see the difference. But now he’s second guessing himself that he bought the real deal, authentic kind because he didn’t buy it from the apple store but rather another online platform. 

For weeks he spun off in tales of injustice and dishonesty, that he was duped and how he shouldn’t have been. 

He show us the differences and have us listen so we could see and hear what he saw. It was too late to return them because he had had them for too long- mind you, completely  enjoying them until he compared them.

And I asked him, how does it feel when you think that way?

He was upset and angry. He felt duped. He told all his friends he was duped so now every time they see him they ask if he’s replaced them yet which only adds fuel to the fire because now he has more thoughts that he needs to earn up and buy the “real deal”.

It created a lot of stress and strain for him when just prior he was happy, content, and loving his air pods.

He could easily make the decision that his airpods are the right ones for him. That he was supposed to have those AirPods – and you know how we know? Because those are the ones he has. Notice how differently it feels to believe that story over the “I got duped” story.

It feels more confident, certain, sure, and acceptable. From here he could decide. “you know, I loved these at first but now I think I like yours more. I might want to earn up and buy that kind” 

You can practice having your own back and deciding that that decision was the best decision for you because it’s what is and now what?

Make the decision to get out of resistance and see the instant peace that accompanies that.

Confidence comes from certainty. While we can’t know all the things all the time and thankfully we don’t have to. All we need is to know how to create the feeling of certainty for ourselves.

This certainty isn’t certainty in circumstances because we all know things outside of us can change and do change all the time. That’s the only certain thing about it, right? That circumstances are always changing.

What you can create certainty in is how you’re feeling and how you want to show up.

This always comes from what you’re thinking. 

When you make a decision and you like you decision you create confidence and certainty.

You can tihnk, that was supposed to happen that way, you know how I know? Because it did happen that way.

That feels certain, confident.

From there you can move forward. From there you can make more decisions or be more open to feedback and information which is very different from second-guessing and insecurity.

One last thing when it comes to second-guessing yourself. A lot of people struggle because they believe they really don’t know what to do and this again stems from the belief that there is ONE right way and a wrong way. So what I like to ask myself when I think I don’t know is, what if I did know? What would I say then? And then I listen and pay attention to what I’m pulled to. 

Your brain will always always have an answer. Always. So stop indulging in, “i don’t know” and make yourself answer. Then decide and most importantly have your own back, create that certainty for yourself by choosing to think that that decision was what was supposed to happen.

If it was supposed to happen there’s no resistance. It’s just math. That happened, now what? And best of all it allows you to continue to move forward and progress.

Okay, you guys. Have a fantastic week! Don’t forget to come over and check out the membership which is amazing and now offers 1-1 coaching! And I’ll talk to you next week!

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