A HELPFUL ARTICLE
When you’re feeling less than your best
Self doubt. Don’t you wish it would just F-off? At 40, I consider myself to be the most self-aware and confident that I have been in my life. Yet there it is, looming in the distance, preying on my every thought, waiting for that small moment of weakness to pounce on my brain. For months I have been finding every spare moment to share my life with the world in hopes of helping even just one person. To share my experiences as a pre-PA, PA, mom and health coach through blogging, social media and video. It has admittedly taken longer than I thought it would to find my stride, but a few weeks ago I felt like the stars were beginning to align. I felt hopeful, optimistic and the most like the person I aspire to be. I was truly enjoying every moment of what I was doing. But late one night as I mindlessly scrolled through my social media feed, I started comparing myself to others I admire and BAM! It got me. Crippling self-doubt.
What am I doing? Why would anyone want help from me? Why would someone choose me as a PA counselor or health coach over so many other more experienced people than me? Do I really think I can make this work? And at what expense? I should probably just stick to what I am good at..seeing patients. The chances of having a successful at home business or blog are slim to none and can take years. Maybe I should be careful about what I say on social media. Maybe I should just work full time as a PA. My inboxes are peering at me with unread messages and tasks I just feel too anxious to complete. Now I feel like a disappointment, I am letting down my group, I am giving up on ME.
Unfortunately, I am no stranger to this inner monologue.
As a pre-PA I wondered if I was doing the right thing, going in a different direction than anyone else in my family. Was this the best career choice and would I be happy? Then in PA school the constant information overload and feelings of inadequacy on the daily making me question why on earth they accepted me in the first place. As a new grad PA wondering if I will ever feel confident in my skills and not like I might kill someone. And finally as a mom, I suspect this feeling that you are going to mess up your child never leaves, but sometimes it is worse than others.
Ultimately, there are 2 choices. Let self-doubt destroy me or get pissed.
With hurricane florence making her debut, it would have been easy for me to just disappear. Too much going on and no one would notice right? Trust me, the thought passed through my mind. But even as I type I realize that there is a very good chance there are others having the exact same thought at this moment as I am. Someone who is struggling with the unknowns, probably deep in negative self-talk and ready to let self doubt take the reigns. So I choose to get pissed. I choose to get empowered. I choose to say WHY NOT ME.
Years ago I would not have reacted the same way. I cared too much about what other people thought of me.
I worried too much about how “it would look if”. So what has changed? Well, pretty much everything. I am an experienced PA in my field and comfortable in my skin. If I can survive as a new mom with a colicky newborn followed by a perforated uterus and debilitating anxiety, I can take on stupid self-doubt. I focus on living healthy but enjoying life to the fullest. I have a squad of women that count on me to be their guide, counselor and friend. I listen to books that inspire me to be a better human. I counsel PA hopefuls, students and practicing providers on how important it is to incorporate wellness into the stress of the journey and beyond. I have learned to forgive myself for things beyond my control and accept that I will go through these seasons in my life from time to time. It does not make me less of a person, it just makes me human.
If that wasn’t cheesy enough for you..here comes the velveeta..
Coaching has inspired me to use my knowledge for the better, grow as a person from the inside out, and share the tools I have used to get over my DAMN self! We all experience self-doubt, those who say they don’t are either lying or on crack. When these moments creep in I reach to my squad my family and my favorite quote from the great Maya Angelou:
Here are some tips to help you through the times when you’re feeling less than your best!
> Find something that makes you FEEL happy. You can read more about that here.
> Write down 3 things you are good at & 3 things you are thankful for. This is one that is good for the soul & your relationships!
> Learn how to be a better morning person. Everyone knows that those who rise early, get the most accomplished & therefore are more at peace with themselves. Learn more on how to do that here.