Question the Authority

“I don’t know what I’m doing.” If I believed everything I think, I would just wallow in this place called self-doubt. Yep, that’s what gets me – Self-Doubt. Even grown into a woman who is accomplished and blessed in many ways, whom self-doubt leaves alone most days, I was once that 3 year old child making sense of the world in a way that leaves me believing that I must be wrong, flawed, and false. First I believed these thoughts- you know how well that turns out right? That’s the, “my chest is caving in” feeling as it must then be true that I am a fraud, that I haven’t learned a thing since graduate school to help my career.

I knew something had to change. I heard the voice of my best friend. But she wanted me to believe something completely different, that I am capable and good. She knows me better than I know myself at times so she is a reality check. But it didn’t work this time because believing the complete opposite, even if true, can be a difficult leap.

Wait a minute, what am I reacting to exactly? Remember that old bumper sticker, Question Authority?

Encouraging myself to take a step back from the yucky feelings, I looked at the self-statement then, just as a set of words.  Essentially, I removed my personal judgment. At this moment, I was freed! Spinning in circles is best not to do for too long; I was free to question right back! Here’s how it went:
Self-doubt: “I don’t know what I’m doing.”
Curios Self: “What makes you think that?”
Self Doubt: “I don’t know this, this, or this, I should have…”
Curious Self: “Well, so learn.”
Self Doubt: “Actually I have been wanting to.”
I questioned the authority of that original statement and found the truth:
For me being a good therapist includes continuing education in my area of focus.
Now that I can do something with! That faulty voice wants to follow it up and say “I told you so, you are a fraud…..and on and on.” The more we listen, the uglier it gets! When I move quickly to the feeling that follows a critical message, I become immobilized. Next time I find myself in the pit of self-doubt, I will remember to remove the judgment and take away the false authority to look for some element of truth. Something I can move with, learn from, and go.

By Jennifer Ballard

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One Response to Question the Authority

  1. Thanks Jennifer for taking the time to share your inner dialogue and the freedom you experience when you take away the false authority of your self doubt. You are now officially in the running for the June contest!

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