Self Doubt is a Bear and 6 Ways to Handle Those Bears

Self Doubt is a Bear.

Thanks to Scott Calleja and Flickr for letting me use your awesome photo and allowing me to add text to the photo.

And just like a Bear, self-doubt can be big and scary, has big claws and smells really bad, (the sticks-in-your-nose kind of bad). Worst of all, if you have garbage laying around they will dig through it, spread it around, and make a huge mess. Worst of all, when they get a taste for that garbage, they will just keep coming back because they know there are tasty morsels to feed on.

I, myself have spent many years, encountering these bears, have spent too much energy worrying about them, and letting them paralyze me.

Will they (people) like me?”

“I will never make it.”

“Did I say something to upset them?”

“What if they don’t want to be my friend?”

“What if I’m up there speaking and I am unable to continue because I start stuttering?”

“What if everyone thinks I am a fraud?”

“What if no one reads or likes my writing?”

“Who would hire me?”

“I’m not qualified to…”

“What if everyone thinks _____ is not as awesome as I do.”

“What if I look like an idiot?”

And on, and on and on. I could go on for pages, but no one wants to read that, and frankly I don’t want to write that. As I said, I have spent many years in the grips of self-doubt, and I was sometimes paralyzed in indecision and too guarded in my interactions of people. For example and I admit this isn’t earth shattering, but one thing I always regret, is not doing is trying out for the Mascot in Middle and High School (I know this is not earth shattering) . I remember wanting to try out, sooo bad! But I was convinced that I wouldn’t make it and people would laugh at me. So year after year, tryouts would come and go and I never tried out.

If I could go back to my young self and hug her, I would say , “Do it, just do it! You are awesome. You may not make it and people may make fun of you (because Haters gonna Hate), but you will feel good about trying and will have succeeded in overcoming your fears (powerful stuff). But more importantly, what if you do make it? What then?”

“But what if I fall? Oh My Darling, what if you Fly?” — E.H.

Now I will never know. I could have been the best Bearkat Klein High School has even seen!

And I have continued to limit myself for many years, in my career, in my ambitions and in relationships.

It took me years to realize that many of my limitations were the limits I created for myself.

So the good news is, that because we create these limits and boundaries, we have the ability to move beyond them, and create new more open boundaries, that provide the space for us to realize our potential and amazing possibilties.

How? Here are my ideas to dealing with that pesky bear.

  1. Stand still, acknowledge it and allow it to move on. See it for what it is…it is not a truth teller. Take a good hard listen to the voices in your head, that inner dialog. Is it being your friend? Is it making you feel strong? Or is it keep you stuck, paralysed. So when the bear walks onto your path, don’t run. Instead stand still, look at it and it will soon move along and you can continue.
  2. Continue on your Path. Don’t focus and worry about the bears, imagine what you want, then take steps to create it. Your life is yours to create, you have only to imagine the possibilities.
  3. Keep on Keep’n on. Sometimes there will be hills to climb, sometimes there will be rain and mud and twists and turns, but remember that for every uphill there is a down, and from rain shower there is a rainbow that follows. You will get there, believe it and in yourself. And there may be Bears that cross your path, in which case, refer to #1
  4. Be on the lookout for Rainbows. Focus on the good things about a situation and know that during a rainstorm the rainbow will come, the only catch it, you have to notice it to appreciate it. Last year I did a super fun spot on a morning News Program. For the week leading up to it, I prepared and rehearsed my vision of how I wanted the spot it to go and I felt pretty good. Then that morning the bear walked in with the fear and the doubt and claws. And I started picturing all the scary things that could happen. I had to mentally slap myself to stop the dialog, and refocus my thoughts on the fun, the opportunity and excitement of the experience. And my thoughts became my reality.
  5. Haul away the Garage. Don’t leave that (mental) garbage just laying around to attract to bears. Some garbage is easy to haul away, but some garbage is heavier and stinker and ,is the hardest and worst to clear out. But won’t it be nice to get rid of it, and not have to walk around it anymore? You may be able to work through it on your own or you may need a little extra support. If you need more support seek it out. You can seek this support in friends and/or family or find a great counselor or a coach to help you discover the tools you already possess to help you dispose of your garbage.
  6. Find your Compass. We all have an internal navigation that knows exactly where we need to go. But of many of us have lost the ability to see and read our compass because we are so use to getting direction from everything and everyone around us. So turn that “eye” inward, connect with yourself and you will know your way.

Remember, #yougotthis! Next time you see that bear, you know what to do.

I believe in you!



P.S. Everytime I publish an article I feel unsure and my personal bears start to stock me a little. But I push through and publish anyway…because I may fly.

P.P.S. What Bears do you come across in your life? Please share your thoughts below!

**This article was first published on, check it out for more articles like this. You won’t be sorry…promise!**