Self Doubt and the Art of Conjecture

  • If you’re like many people, today is the first day to a full week after two short work weeks of holidays.
  • If you’re like many people, you may have set some goals for yourself on New Year’s Day and started them today.
  • If you’re at all like many people you had a few stumbling blocks today.
  • If you’re like many people…the doubt. has started. to. creep. in…


It’s not bad yet, but it’s possible that by the end of the week you’re going to be thinking, “Well, I let it go this far, so I can let it go for the weekend and restart on Monday.”



You may be wondering why I mention this now when it hasn’t even been an issue yet. Let’s just say I believe in prevention, the preemptive strike as it were. Why? Because if history tells us it has happened this way in the past, you can reasonably predict that it may happen that way again. Furthermore if you can predict something may happen then with a little planning, you can make an effort to prevent it.

So purely in the interest of prevention, let’s look at some ways to be gentle with yourself this week in order to take better aim at your short-term goals.

In a gentle way, you can shake the world.  Mahatma Gandhi

  • downloadRemember that you made these goals when you were all pumped up to get things done! And yes, you should make every effort to meet them, but recognize that any good goal is going to need flexibility. You may not need to adjust the end result but rather your steps in getting there. Breaking it down further if you find you underestimated how much attention the other parts of your life would still need. Or better yet, saying “no” to the things you do to chronically overextend yourself, serving your real values by doing the few things, instead of stressing yourself by trying to do it all!
  • It’s likely that you are the only person expecting yourself to have all the answers. Trust your intuition, trust that no one person can control everything.  There is only so much planning you can do. When you tell yourself “I won’t be happy unless/until this happens…”  you eliminate the unexpected. How many happy accidents have you missed because you couldn’t see fit to be content that something may have come about in a way different from what you expected?
  • portable_reel_to_reel_tape_recorder_818931Shut down your inner critic. Learn to turn down that repetitive tape in your head that keeps telling you to doubt yourself. When you’re doubtful (and we all can be), the past becomes regret and the future becomes fear. Why spend your time in either place? When your inner critic shows up it is time to be present. Time to recognize the here and now, pay attention to what you’re doing to the exclusion of other thoughts. Being present allows you to observe and not judge. Fear is judgemental. When fear shows up recognize it as a powerless thought that’s just trying to keep you from reaching your goal. Fear is trying to keep you small.
  • You don’t get to beat yourself up for being fearful or having doubts. We all have off-days. Some of us have off-weeks. Don’t deny how you’re feeling. Take it as a sign to be gentle with yourself. Maybe today is the day I give myself a little extra break time. I find a book or go out to lunch…whatever floats your boat. Don’t do it every day, but don’t forget to do it on occasion.
  • Be grateful. There are many proven benefits to adopting an attitude of gratitude. Being thankful for even small changes is going to be important to your continued success. I am not going to reinvent the wheel, so let me just send you to the right place to witness what I’m peddling here: The 31 Benefits of Gratitude. (Suffice it to say it’s everything from improved sleep to forward career advancement.)

Remember that stumbling blocks are normal. Expect them, and you can make a plan before you find yourself having to make it up as you go along.

Are these posts helpful? Is there anything you would like to see at Carrot?


This entry was posted in control issues, fear, gratitude, mindfulness, prevention, self-doubt, self-talk, support. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Self Doubt and the Art of Conjecture

  1. Goal was treadmill today. RA and dramatic temp drop said NOPE. I’m over it. Pass the space heater.


    • ljc52 says:

      Now that’s what Im talkin bout Lisa! You will do it when you can… You know your situation, You know your body and the consequences of too much anything… way to go… WARM UP, WOMAN!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Pat B says:

    This is a great post. I like your new blog, and will be checking in to read other posts here. 😀


  3. Yes, yes, yes, this is helpful, motivational, and the encouragement is much appreciated! I had to adjust my Facebook goal yesterday, because there was much interaction regarding my sister’s fall and pending surgery that I wanted to be on top of. At first I felt guilty, then realized that this is an unusual circumstance and no apology is needed. I also didn’t get any reading done last night because I was exhausted before bedtime ever got there. Today is less stressful, and I’ve got things under control, so I look forward to reading tonight… and I’m enjoying my stay in lunches and the extra time it provides for things like this! :-))

    Liked by 1 person

    • ivywalker says:

      I dont think the reading counts if you have to reread it the next night because you were drooling so much from forcing yourself through the exhaustion from the night before! ahhahaaa! Im glad its all working out for you though! Remember, just a few days ago you werent doing as much as you are now even with the modifications!


      • You’re right, I am doing so much better already, getting some new habits in place, some things will require more effort and perhaps modification to make them work. 🙂


  4. valj2750 says:

    It’s okay to hit bumps and turn left and right and ziggle around. What you point out so well in this post, is that the bumps are part of the journey and we can’t let the bumps (and our negative self-talk) distance ourselves from the goal. So many times I hit a snag, felt guilty, fearful or unable and chucked the whole thing. It’s a journey, not a race.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve done that so often too, Val. GIven up before I really even gave it a good chance to become a habit or a life change. My favorite expression is “Always Begin Again”, not next month or next year… every day is a new day to begin again. Tomorrow never comes. 🙂 When we know we can start again we aren’t so hard on ourselves when we stumble.

      Liked by 1 person

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