Friday, January 29

Words Hurt

It is amazing what a few careless words can do to your self confidence. 

Last weekend, someone told me that I "must make my (Kickboxing 101) students feel good because I am above average weight."

These words really hurt my feeling and were a direct assault on my self esteem.  I have been struggling with the fact that I am teaching kickboxing before hitting my goal weight.  I admit it:  I have some weight to lose.  But, I felt like that comment was a little harsh.  Maybe I am just too sensitive to comments about my weight. 

Instead of brushing off the offhand remark, I crumbled inside and withdrew from the world.  I dreaded teaching class on Monday and was happy that I was able to cancel it due to weather.  I spent most of Wednesday being anxious about teaching my afternoon class, but I did it. 

And you know what? 

It went great!  I even used the microphone! (I was afraid of the mic during my first class, so I didn't use it.)

Due to the terrible weather we have been having, it was only my second class.  People that attended my first class came back and the ones that couldn't make it let me know in advance that they couldn't be there, but planned on coming next Monday.  They came back!!  I must be doing something right! 

So I say, screw those nasty comments! 

Zen Habits had a great post earlier this week, 5 Great Way to Conquer Self Doubt:

Go back in time: The first step to overcoming self doubt is to recognize that it's there in the first place. Think about the circumstances that are leading you to feel insecure, and see if you notice any patterns. Are there particular situations (for example, dealing with a new boss, speaking in public) that prompt you to feel this way? Make a note of times in the past when you doubted yourself but ended up coming through with flying colors. Knowledge and recognition of your past successes will bolster your courage regarding what you can achieve in the future.

Defeat the doubtful thoughts: In one column, write a doubtful thought, and in the opposite column, write facts that dispute that doubtful thought. For instance, suppose you are afraid to invite a new colleague to lunch because you're afraid you won't have anything to talk about and she won't like me. Statements that refute that thought might be: "We can spend at least an hour talking about the office culture here and what she did before this" and "She will like me because I've made a sincere overture to get to know her better."

Keep an event journal: If you are a person who experiences a lot of self doubt, then it's time for a test. In the course of a single day, write down all of the things – simple and complex – that you accomplished without a hitch. These can be things like "ran productive staff meeting" or "had great talk with Brandon over coffee." Then, write down the things that didn't go so well. You will inevitably notice that the list of things that went well far outweighs the list of things that didn't, and this will hopefully allow you to see your doubt in a different light.

Call on your cheerleaders: Often, our loved ones can see our lives much more objectively than we can. Being a natural introvert, I sometimes doubt my interpersonal skills, and when someone doesn't respond to me in the way that I expect, I occasionally get paranoid. It always helps to call one of my best friends so that she can assure me that I do in fact have a lot of wonderful relationships in my life.

Celebrate your successes: When a situation in which you doubted yourself turns out better than you expected, don't just nod and smile and move immediately on to the next thing. Take a moment and reward yourself for a positive outcome. Do something you enjoy like going to your favorite restaurant or eating a delectable dessert. Taking the time to cement positive emotions in your mind will hopefully make the doubt disappear more quickly next time.

Question of the day:  How do you conquer self doubt?

1 comment:

  1. I don't know who it was that said that insensitive comment but I want to yell at them! I'm sure that person is not out there teaching a kickboxing class. That's a great sign that you have repeat customers in your class - it must be a good one! If I was in the area I'd love to take a class from you.