Hey there! I’m so happy you stopped by! I want to take this moment to let you know I see you.
I recognize that you worry about every single aspect of parenting – hopefully not all at once – but in each passing moment we worry. Everyone does it. Worry, doubt, and fear are the most common traits we have. It doesn’t matter whether you have so much money you can give your child everything – plus two nannies and a housekeeper, or if you use the food bank and get donated clothing, or if you are one of the many situations in between.
What I know is that every single mother I’ve ever talked to, professionally or socially, has confided in me that they worry. They worry that their child’s mood means they screwed up their kiddo. They worry that staying home will lead to a child that never moves out, or working leads to children that don’t feel loved. Honestly, you’d cry at some of the fears I’ve heard, and worse, you’d even think that some of those other fears sound so good. You’ll wonder why you never worried about it from the start.
We’re good at that. Self doubt and worry.
They go hand in hand. No one’s immune, but some people are better able to move on and shut out those voices that tell us we’re failing, that we’re not good enough. Today I’m going to show you how it’s done. Fear and doubt won’t have the same hold on you any more.
How to Shake Off Doubt, Fear, and Worry
Shaking off doubt means we need to face our fears. We need to really look at what we’re worried about so we can fully understand what we’re up against. Sometimes our fear is vague, it sits in the pit of our stomach and we never really deal with it because we can’t define it.
Define Your Fear
The first step to shaking off doubt is examining it and allowing yourself to be very clear about what it looks like. Find the edges, where does doubt stops and calmness, or better: confidence, begin?
Part of defining doubt is clearly expressing the life cycle of your concerns. What does the situation look like now? What do your fears tell you will happen in a year? Five? Ten? How will life change if these worries take shape and form and become real?
What’s the recurring theme that runs through your fears and worries? As life moves from one stage to the next, do your fears, doubts, and worries change also, or do they evolve but the core stays the same?
Define Your Need
When you look at these doubts and fears, they hint at something bigger and deeper. They let you know what’s important to you. From here you can define your deeper need.
You may realize your fears and doubts have to do with your child growing up to be anxious and afraid or you may worry your children will grow up not wanting to be around you. Your specific fears are all related to your greater needs. In order to define your need, ask yourself this question:
If they didn’t have [anxiety], what would they have? Replace the word in brackets with whatever your core worry can be distilled down to. Here are a few more examples or worries: If they didn’t avoid me, what would that look like? If they didn’t feel depressed, what would they feel? What are your worries?
The answer to that question can usually point to the end you want fulfilled through your parenting.
Recognize the Positive Role Doubt Plays
Have you seen it yet? As you’re going through the process above, have you noticed the positive role your doubts and fears play?
We can listen to our fears, doubt, and worry with curiosity and follow them to our need, then we’re able to find ways to move forward with greater confidence, strength, and determination.
That’s right, your fears are there to show you how to focus on what’s most important to you. So often we get caught up by our fears, we focus on them with pinpoint precision – to the exclusion of all else. We give them a lot of power to hold us in place, but we fail to use them to move forward.
With some practice you can broaden your focus and see how your fears and worries can actually help you discover how to move forward.
Shift Your Focus to What You Want More Of
We’ve heard it time and time again, what you focus on you get more of. The idea is if you focus on something you want, you’re more likely to get it. People often use this as a way to try to get more money or love or a fancy car – and maybe that works – but the way your focus really works in the most stellar fashion is when you focus on what you can do.
In the example above we supposed you may be worried your children would grow up anxious. We asked, ‘If they’re not anxious, what would they be?’ Then we answered, ‘Confident!’
Instead of focusing on what we don’t want (anxious) we focus on what we do want (confident).
Some suggestions say to visualize what you want, really see it happening (and that’s great!) But that’s not enough. You need to take it a step farther. What can you do to install confidence in your children?
Develop Your Skills
We don’t always know the answers to these questions, not right when we ask them. But you often know where to start finding the answers.
So you take the first step. You may begin with the most basic actions, but the more skill you gain, the easier it gets, and the bigger the action you can take.
Fear and worry can hold us in place if we let them. But you have the power to shift your focus and take the first steps to creating a new reality for yourself.
Everything you need is within you. When you shift your focus, you allow yourself to see infinite new possibilities. As parents you are the most powerful tool you can ever find. But first you need to know what you want. So use your fears and worries to guide you toward new possibilities.