Self-Doubt & Second-Guessing
It is because you care deeply about the person your caring for, that doubts and second-guessing can find a way to creep into your thoughts. You want to do everything correctly while showing compassion and competence. However, mistakes occur, you lose patience, you become tired and may forget to do something. You may have fretted over a particular decision, and now nagging thoughts about whether it was the right decision or not are haunting you and keeping you awake at night. Self-doubt begins to erode your confidence and soon you start second-guessing everything. Before you know it, you’re feeling incompetent, frustrated, worried, and mentally exhausted.
It’s important that you don’t allow these negative emotions to gain a foothold in your mind. Accept them as normal human responses to actions or decisions you care deeply about. Your love and concern for your family member may make you overly sensitive to any perceived short-coming. This is a good time to measure the expectations you (and others) have placed on yourself, and adjust them to a more realistic level.
Focus on the positive influence you’re having on this person’s life. What would their life be like without you? Realize it’s impossible for anyone to be perfect, to always make the right decisions, or to never buckle under pressure. You’re doing the best you can, and no one, including you, can ask for more than that.
Minimize self-doubt and second-guessing in the future by following these tips for making decisions:
List your options on paper, then narrow down the choices by drawing a line through those that don’t fit with your core values as discussed under Finding Perspective.
Gather helpful information by doing a little research and talking to others who have experience with the issue.
Ask yourself if the decision is one that really won’t make much difference which way you go? If so, make the choice that feels right, and then let go of it.
Realize that most decisions can be changed as circumstances evolve. At that point, it’s fine to reevaluate to determine if the original decision is still appropriate.
Let your intuition help you in the decision-making process. Intuition is a form of unconscious reasoning that uses all the knowledge and experiences from your life. Your “unconscious” thought process often uses hidden reasoning that your “consciousness” may not be aware of or have access to.
Use someone you trust as a sounding board. They may be able to add a different perspective and/or help you talk through it.
Once a decision is made, acknowledge and accept it as the best one at that given time, put it aside, and move on.