On Letting Go of Self-Doubt…

3 years ago by

Hi Garance!
How do you manage to separate yourself from what others think? (or rather, what you imagine they think or will think?) I feel like I’m still just starting to get to know myself and I’m having a really hard time not giving too much importance to other people’s opinions. I’m super sensitive and always filled with doubt — one comment from someone about my work or me in general can ruin my whole day, and other people’s success, even when it’s well-deserved, always reminds me of what I lack or what I haven’t accomplished. Do you have any advice for me? Thank you so much, and I hope you have a wonderful year.
– Claire


Dear Claire,

I know, I’m the same. But unlike you, I am no longer at the beginning of my journey, and I think I can help…

Knowing yourself takes a lifetime. I don’t mean that to discourage you, but just to tell you that life is like a giant beautiful messy experiment at trying to be yourself.

As far as loving yourself, it is an exercise. It’s not something that you attain, it is something you practice and cultivate. Love is a verb, remember?

So here are a few ideas for you.

– Anytime you feel even the slightest pang of suffering, whether it is feeling hurt by someone’s words, or feeling jealous; explore the pain. Write. Describe exactly how you feel and where you feel it. Don’t reject the feeling, don’t stuff it deep down. Make friends with it. It is telling you something. Emotions are often a great pointer towards what we want and who we are, if we make sure to examine them.

– Shift the way you think about people. Do you feel critical, sarcastic, unforgiving with others? Usually if you think about people that way it is because that is the way you think of yourself. Try to see the beauty in others, it will help you see the beauty in you.

– Remember that whatever people think about you is a projection of their fears, their dreams and their disappointments. Most of the time, you have nothing to do with any of this.

– Have integrity. Do you, all the time. Bag your dog’s poop even when no one is watching. Be chic with yourself. Make your rules and stick to them. That’s how you create a strong backbone. These rules might change over time, but if you live in a world of ever shifting rules, then you are the prey of everyone’s ideas, values and opinions.

– Create a safe space, and let it be completely independent from any other moving thing in your life (work, relationships, social media…). It can be a place where you sit and meditate. It can be reading a book, it can be seeing a therapist, it can be cooking. Just remember it must be safe, accessible, and when you’re there, you’re the real you.

– Sounds so boring BUT, meditate. Find your way to it, it’s the best exercise to learn to detach yourself from the window of life. If you’re glued to it 100% of the time like a kid to a candy store, engaged in the flow constantly, at some point, you stop being able to differentiate what is important (living according to your truth) and what is not important (a mean comment on Instagram).

To finish, remember that you can’t control what people think about you. The only thing you can control is what you think about yourself. So get to work and be patient. It comes slowly but once you’re there, all simple and happy and living for yourself, you won’t even think about what other people think – you’ll have such better things to do!



Add yours
  • Claire, j’aime bien ce que Garance t’a répondu, mais je ferais quand même une nuance. Il me semble qu’il y a des opinions dont on peut se foutre éperdument – un commentaire méchant sur instagram, franchement !-, mais d’autres qui peuvent avoir un sens et nous faire progresser, à condition de ne pas se noyer dans la culpabilité.
    Parfois, les critiques sont fondées, constructives, voire bienveillantes, si si. Le tout est d’apprendre à les reconnaître au milieu des critiques injustes/stupides/méchantes/complètement cons, donc sans aucun intérêt.

    Eh oui ! Grande nouvelle, on a souvent des occasions de foirer un truc, et grande nouvelle numéro 2, tout le monde foire de temps en temps, au travail ou ailleurs, même les gens les plus importants/brillants etc ! Et grande nouvelle numéro 3 : c’est rarement super grave !

    Nul besoin de se torturer lorsque ça arrive, mais juste poser les choses à plat, essayer de voir si certaines remarques sont justifiées et ce qu’on pourrait améliorer la prochaine fois, ce n’est pas de l’auto-appitoiement, c’est une approche finalement assez mature qui doit s’apprendre et que l’on vit très bien au bout d’un moment, avec un peu d’entraînement.

  • Wow! It’s do, do true. These tips are do helpful, I’ be tried them all and they do the trick. Now when Garance put them together all that’s left is to print them out and lookat them, as a reminder, daily. Great job, Garance! All the best, Claire!

  • Chère Garance, il y a très longtemps que je n’avais pas laissé de commentaire sur ton blog, car je ne m’y retrouvais plus. J’aimais tes articles, je les aime toujours, mais il n’y avait plus cette connivence, cette proximité que j’aimais tant lire dans les premiers articles et les premières années de ton blog. Je ne lisais plus que les articles que tu rédiges, et même si j’étais triste quand tu étais triste, que j’avais de l’espoir quand tu sembles aller mieux, je n’arrivais plus à me projeter totalement comme avant dans tes paroles, j’avais l’impression que tu étais devenue tellement différente de moi, alors que tu l’es depuis toujours -car on est tous des individus distincts- je ne m’y retrouvais plus. Mais cet article, ou plutôt cette réponse, me touche au plus profond, me parle, elle m’aide. Ces mots adressés à une autre vont m’aider à aller mieux, me donner de la force, j’ai l’impression de retrouver la « Garance grande sœur plein d’humour de sagesse et de bienveillance » que j’aimais tant lire, et que je retrouvais avec joie dans chacun de tes articles, il y a encore quelques années. Je suis heureuse de te retrouver, et surtout, cette article me fait beaucoup de bien et me donne du courage, de l’inspiration, au point que je vais le copier et le garder dans mon téléphone, pour pouvoir le lire même quand je n’aurai pas de connexion Internet. Merci pour ces paroles de sagesse, merci d’être aussi sincère dans ta façon de te livrer, merci pour ces conseils, tu ne peux pas savoir à quel point cela va m’aider. J’espère que tout ira bien pour toi dans les semaines à venir et dans cette année. Je sais que ce que tu traverses est éprouvant. Je te soutiens, j’espère que ça va aller mieux. Gros bisous.

  • “Explore ta douleur” : chaque fois qu’un sentiment negatif m’envahit, j’essaie d’en comprendre la raison et aussitot ce sentiment diminue et meme disparait quelquefois. C’est un “outil” que m’a donne ma psy il y a tres longtemps et que je n’ai pas oublie, car il est “life changing !”

  • Jorge Alexandre Teixeira February, 18 2019, 2:34 / Reply

    I really enjoyed the «explore the pain» part !!! I think it might be the key to all our bugs in our head that sometimes makes us block in adversities !!!

  • Wow, I really loved this one. “Try to see the beauty in others, it will help you see the beauty in you,” and “Make your rules and stick to them” both really resonated with me.

    There is such grace in always striving to be the best version of yourself, while also accepting yourself as you are, and your posts always inspire me to find that line. For me: Workout, eat better, embrace my hobbies more, to be my happiest self – instead of berating myself for being lazy or eating poorly, or lying on the couch on Instagram instead of reading and painting.

    Thank you for sharing your wisdom gently and always without judgement!

  • Alexandra February, 20 2019, 2:07 / Reply

    What a wonderful post!

  • C’est exactement ce que j’avais besoin de lire aujourd’hui. Merci !

  • Absolutely love all of your posts, Garance. They speak directly to the heart and source.


  • Love your posts, nice one as always!

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