Now, let’s go over some important strategies for teachers to deal with self-doubt when it happens. As teachers, we deal with self doubt daily. Be assured that even the most successful teacher works to overcome self-doubt at times. Feeling self-doubt is not the problem. Letting self-doubt control you, make your decisions for you, and rule your life is the problem.
Teachers Dealing with Self Doubt
You’re Not Alone – Everyone experiences self-doubt and whether you have friends, family, or anyone to talk to right now about this, you are not alone in your feelings. It’s all how you react to it that matters. You can find other teachers that are going through the same thing by joining Facebook groups or other types of groups to help feel less alone with your issues. If you would like more information about teacher struggles click here.
Keep a Journal – One way to overcome self-doubts is to keep a journal to help remind yourself of accomplishments that you have experienced. We experience so many accomplishments daily, yet we never focus on those. You can talk about the self-doubt you felt and how you pushed through it. It doesn’t have to be a false representation of what you’re doing, but do try to focus on the positives of each situation and what you learned from it.
Don’t Compare Yourself to Others – This one is a tough one. Don’t we all look at that teacher online and wonder why we can’t be like her? The worst thing you can do is to make comparisons of your life to someone else’s. This only breeds more self-doubt and even jealousy. The truth is, you have no idea what other people have gone through to be where they are, or even if they’re really being honest about their situation. You only know the truth about your own situation.
Strategies for Dealing with Self Doubt
Learn Gratitude – Every single event in life has something to be grateful for. Even the worst things can be turned around to be a lesson that can help you in the next situation in your life. People who have overcome the worst things that you can imagine – death, crime, illness – all have one thing in common: that’s their ability to see the positives in it or at least be grateful they knew the person, loved the person, or something good.
Set Small, Immediate Goals – One way to overcome issues with self-doubt is to experience success. We all love success. Even our students love success. Start setting small goals that allow you to experience immediate success. It depends where you are in your journey, but success can be as small as getting up on time in the morning, to going to say hi to another teacher, to something more challenging like asking your principal to help with a training for teachers. (Note that I said “asking the principal”, not doing the training yet.)
Surround Yourself with Positive People – Take the time to pick out people you already know who makes you feel good about yourself. If you don’t have those people in your life, it’s time to seek them out. Get rid of those teachers that bring you down. If you need to stay out of the teacher lounge if that is a toxic place in your school. The important thing is to start being around positive people more.
What Else Can I Do
Learn from Mistakes – When you make a mistake, instead of beating yourself up, accept it and learn from it. As teachers we are constantly making mistakes. Sometimes it helps to write down the experience in your journal with a focus on what you learned and how you’ll do it differently if that comes up again. Make sure to have a plan. Don’t just say I’m not going to yell at Sally today. Have a plan. First, tell yourself “When Sally frustrates me today, I’m going to take a deep breath and count to 3 before I speak.” Then, take this opportunity to teach your kids how to learn from their mistakes.
It’s OK to Be Uncomfortable – One thing to realize about life is that it’s okay to be uncomfortable sometimes. You won’t grow if you don’t experience some discomfort. That doesn’t mean you have to be into mental, physical, or spiritual torture; it’s just that feeling a little fearful, uncomfortable or unsure is natural. Put things into perspective so that you know you’re making good choices and, isn’t this what we teach our kids to do? Well it’s time we do it too.
These strategies for dealing with self-doubt will not work for you if you don’t implement them. Teacher self-doubt happens all the time. This can lead to anxiety, depression, and that can spiral into a bad situation.
If you really want to experience true joy in life and your teaching, believe in yourself, and get rid of the debilitating self-doubt you’re experiencing, start implementing now. Don’t delay or make excuses.
If you would like more information on what steps you can take now to help with your self doubt, click on the picture below. I have a guide that tells you 5 things you can do right now to help with your self doubt.
There is also a great article by Lyndsey Kuster that explains the damaging effects of self doubt on teachers. You should check it out, it is really great information.