The Doubting Twin is your constant companion, so getting to know her is your first step in building self confidence. Ever present on your shoulder, she looks out for you, doing her best to keep you feeling secure. Sadly, she is over protective – it’s in her nature – so you tuck your personal power away, stay quiet and play safe.
- That hang dog stance as we wait for a train
- The drab clothes that stop us standing out
- The dive for the back seat in a meeting
And the whisper drones on – who do you think you are? Why did you think you could do that? That was the wrong thing to say ….
I discovered the Doubting Twin by talking with numerous women about their confidence. To a woman they are achieving marvelous things – great job, big success, strong relationships – yet the vast majority have to manage that depleting voice that criticises their every move. It is a constant battle to overcome the ‘drag’ and still go for what they want.
The Doubting Twin is finely tuned to worst case scenario:
- ‘If you upset them, they won’t like you anymore’
- ‘Speak like that and they’ll think you’re big headed’
- ‘Make an entrance and they’ll be jealous’
‘They’ is anyone who works alongside, lives alongside, succeeds alongside. According to the Doubting Twin, ‘they’ look after number one and leave you out in the cold if you don’t please them. ‘They’ have an axe to grind and want to win, so if you speak out of turn, they can easily react and put you down. With such a difficult environment, no wonder you need the DT to look after you and point out the dangers. It’s all a matter of survival.
Of course, if you have a hammer, everything is a nail. If your Doubting Twin is on high alert you will always find problems. And the most frequent advice of the Twin is to lie low, keep your head down, do a good job, don’t offend – then you’ll be fine.
Soaking up energy
It’s a fine line between Doubting Twin and Dementor, draining the lifeblood from us and every vestige of courage and confidence. If we believe the rhetoric, we are useless, hopeless, unskilled, untalented and a general disaster area. Yet the truth is, she just wants us to be OK and safe. We created her to suit the life we had as children and we’ve just never bothered to check in and see if she is still the best way forward. And the more we try to ignore her, the louder she gets.
We need to understand her original purpose; decide how safe we actually need to be and what the real issues are, then hit the reset button.
When in balance as the Constructive Twin she is godsend – a risk assessor with an eye to opportunity and challenge, ready to help find new directions that will give us the life we want.
So where to start? Step one – recognise when the Doubting Twin is in command, consider what she needs and what she’s concerned about. No more than that. Don’t try and over-ride – just notice and listen.
Be your Doubting Twin persona and consider:
- What is the risk right now? What am I concerned will happen?
- What impact could this have on me?
- Who are the people I’m most concerned about and what might happen to them or me?
- What action do I want to take, in the light of those risks? What might be the impact of that action?
- What would help me feel more comfortable in this situation?
- What is the possible benefit of this situation?
The Doubting Twin may well have valid points to make; alternatively she might be over cautious and holding you back. Once you understand her concern and how she wants to keep you safe, then you have choice. And that’s all we need!
I’d love to hear where you get to, so drop me a line or visit facebook and let me know.