Tag Archives: decisiveness

Never Second-Guess Yourself Again

Posted on March 22, 2016 in Personal Growth by Sandra Bienkowski

Use these 6 steps to find your own clear, confident voice.

Do you ever get together with friends or family, have a great time but later second-guess something you did or said? If you replay events and often wish you could have a do-over, second-guessing could be robbing you of joy and self-esteem. Ruminating about our choices can make us feel pretty miserable. Here, our experts weigh in on why we do this and how we can stop.

Build up your self-trust

Second-guessing is often caused by not trusting ourselves. Self-doubt can happen as a result of critical parents, perfectionist tendencies, low self-confidence or pessimistic thinking.

“When you are low in confidence,” says positive psychology expert Caroline Miller, “research shows that you are more likely to doubt your perceptions and judgment, and make you feel that you need the approval of others. This behavior can lead to depression, anxiety and procrastination.” (Caroline’s upcoming book Authentic Grit looks closely at this phonemenon and many others affecting women and power.)

“Lacking confidence in our judgments indicates a feeling that the world is out of control and that you don’t have the ability to ground yourself with your own positive choices, which is an indicator of pessimistic thinking,” Caroline explains.

Pat Pearson, the author of Stop Self-Sabotage, says we torment ourselves with self-doubt because we are mirroring the people we grew up with, but we can change if we shift from negative to positive thinking.

Here are six expert tips on how we can end the self-torment of second-guessing.

1. Notice and replace

“The first step is to notice your negative thoughts and then intentionally intervene with a better thought,” Pat says. “When you tell yourself, ‘I will be fine,’ your mind doesn’t believe it, so instead, start a sentence with ‘I choose’ and say something you can believe. For example, say ‘I choose to do everything in my power to create a positive outcome.’”

Read the rest of my article on Live Happy.