When you start to doubt yourself, it can be very hard to know what the truth is. There may be times when you look at yourself in the mirror and think, “Why am I not good enough?”.
Maybe you start to pick yourself apart, criticizing everything from the complexion of your skin to the shape of your thighs. Once you get going, the momentum of self doubt can feel unstoppable. There comes a point in all this negative self talk where you want to just give up and let your thoughts take you where they will.
My Experience with Self Doubt
If you are experiencing self doubt, know that you are not alone. There are times when I struggle with self doubt, usually because I am comparing myself to others. Living in such a connected world, you can start to feel lost among so many other people. It’s easy to get obsessed with how many “likes” you get on Facebook or how many people follow you on Instagram.
Reaching Out to Others
What helps me combat self doubt is to reach out to my partner, family, or friends. By telling them what I am feeling, I’m able to feel supported and loved. While being able to reassure yourself is an important skill, in a moment of crisis, you may need to lean on your loved ones. When you are experiencing a lot of self doubt, it can be such a relief to hear from someone who believes you are amazing.
Calling In the Experts
What I also have found very helpful is to speak with a professional. Although some are hesitant to meet with a therapist, I think that therapy is one of the best resources for personal development. During therapy, you can dive down deep into the roots of your self doubt. Understanding why you doubt yourself in the first place can help you to feel more confident in the future.
Imagine the Good
If you’re experiencing self doubt, I want you to fight back. Challenge that negative voice in your head that says you can’t do something or that you’re not good enough. When you start to think about all the bad things that could happen, think instead about what good things might happen.
What if you apply for your dream job and get the position? What if you ask somebody out on a date and they say yes? There is very little that we can know for certain, so why not imagine all of the wonderful things that could be in store for us? Positive events are just as likely as the negative scenarios our minds cook up for us.
An Exercise to Combat Self Doubt
If you’re feeling down on yourself right now, I want to tell you one more trick that I have to help me feel more positive about myself. Grab a piece of paper and write down the things that you wish people would tell you. Write them down, over and over, until you believe that they could be true. For example, I would write, “Caitlin, you are strong and capable. You will find success on your own terms.”
If you’re having trouble thinking of something positive to say to yourself, imagine that you are someone who cares for you and admires you. What would your best friend say? By emulating what loved ones would say to boost your spirits, you can act as your own best friend. Overcoming self doubt is the ultimate form of self care.
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