Maybe you have a goal that you’re totally psyched about — you’re inspired, super focused, and it’s on your mind all the time. That’s fantastic! It’s a satisfying and productive headspace to be in.
But, maybe that’s not the case for you right now. Maybe you’re at a low point, and, although you had this big goal (whether in sport, academia, career, [life] etc), you’ve gotten a little off track, made a few mistakes, or simply lost your drive. For whatever reason, you’re doubting yourself.
Right now, you’re not sure if you can do that big scary thing you want to do.
This isn’t a fun place to be, and it can be hard to come out of.
But here’s the cool thing I’ve realized:
You get to pick your truths.
The other day, Dr. Jessica Grahn
gave a presentation at Western about bias
. There is bias all around us. These biases come from our surroundings and they perpetuate our own self doubt. Often, these biases/doubts are subconscious — they’re so ingrained in our psyche, that we don’t even realize that they’re guiding our thoughts and dictating our actions. For example: when I think of a successful person, the image that pops into my head is a well-groomed, well-dressed, white male. I’m not alone in this (just Google search images of ‘successful person’ and this will become clear), and it’s not a choice I’ve consciously made. Twenty-three years of living in the Western world have made this choice for me. That’s just one example.
A bias is based on something we perceive, so it is not false, but it’s also not necessarily true. Recognize this. We’re empowerful when we can recognize our own biases. When we recognize our biases, we can locate the origin our self doubts and see that these doubts are based on information that is neither true nor false (for example, even though I picture the aforementioned man as the figurehead of ‘success,’ it does not mean that I can’t be successful, and it does not mean that you, regardless of gender, race, knowledge, etc can’t be successful).
Then the best part: we get to pick what we want to be true (ie: I can be successful; I can be strong; I can be fast; I can be creative; I can be intelligent. Better yet: I am successful).
Since nothing is truly true in this world (everything is coloured by perception), we pick our own truths. Often, we choose to go with the bias because it’s our knee-jerk reaction. But remember that there is always another option. We get to pick what we believe and which thoughts we nurture.
The thoughts we nurture and the stories we tell ourselves are the truest truths out there because they dictate whether or not we persevere; we have to choose which thoughts to nurture because those are the ones that will bloom. We have to be aware of our own biases so that we don’t limit ourselves (or others).
So if you’re doubting yourself, question your bias, and pick a new truth.
You are good enough.
You can do that thing you want to do.
You can be that thing you want to be.
Challenge: Notice negative self-talk and stop it in its tracks! Pick a new truth. Choose to believe that you can do that terrifying, exciting, wonderful thing. Perception is the only thing that’s stopping you. Change your lens. Welcome your fears, acknowledge their origin, embrace them… but then set them to the side, get excited, and dive into your new truth.