Self-doubt and thinking that I’m not good enough have always been huge issues for me. Thinking that everyone else seems to have it sussed, even though I know in reality that everyone has their struggles. Falling into that cycle of comparison, whether it’s on social media, with another mum at playgroup, or a colleague. We know we shouldn’t compare ourselves against others, as we all have different situations and circumstances, but it is so hard not to fall into this trap, especially if we have low self-esteem.
I have thoughts like;
- Who am I to be doing this?
- Why would anyone want to listen to me?
- Will people think I’m arrogant and self-obsessed sharing my story?
- Will people think my writing is boring?
- People will laugh at me.
- People will think, who does she think she is anyway.
Now, firstly, these thoughts are so mean that it’s unlikely anyone would actually think them! And it’s interesting how I think that it would be mean for someone to say these things to me, but accept them as truth when my inner critic is voicing them to me.
These thoughts are kind of paradoxical in a way, that they are negative, harsh and worst case scenarios but then they also have a hint of ego about them, in thinking that other people would be that concerned with what I’m doing. People have more than enough of their own stuff going on to concern themselves with the inner details of my goals and dreams!
My husband says that I have unrealistic expectations of how I think things will go, and he’s right. I think that things will go one way, and when they don’t or veer away from the image in my head, I instantly feel like a failure.
Since I’ve started Mum2Mum, I’ve achieved some great things and I am really enjoying what I am doing – running events, meeting like-minded mums, making new friends, giving mums the opportunity to chat openly and honestly and to do that myself too. It’s the first time in my life that I am standing in my truth and have the chance to express myself creatively and authentically.
I should feel happy, inspired and grateful. And I do, but I also feel a disconnect – I am doing all of these great things so why don’t I feel happier. It’s not because I don’t like what I’m doing, because I do, I love it.
But is it more to do again, with those expectations – I expect myself to feel a certain way because I am doing all of these great things, and because I don’t feel that way, I then beat myself up about it. Which is crazy really when I write it down. I am beating myself up for not feeling the way that I imagined I would feel – an imaginary scenario.
After feeling like this for a week or so, I came across this podcast today with coach Sas Petherick and author Rachael Lucas –and Rachael describes how even when she became a best-selling author, she didn’t feel like she expected to. Now I’m not a best-selling author, (obvs!), but it was really refreshing to hear that this disconnect affects even those who are hugely successful too.
Knowing that others have the same shared experience as us, can help cultivate our self-compassion and help us feel less alone.
Can you relate to this feeling of self-doubt, comparison and disconnect?