In one way or another we’ve all felt it: by comparing ourselves to other people, by adjusting ourselves mentally in the mirror, by criticizing ourselves over and over in our heads — we just don’t seem to measure up to this mental image. I know the blame is an external source: from a young age we’re blasted to look a certain way and to be a certain way, and these ideals can get to us after a while, making anyone feel like they don’t measure up.
I’ve experienced it. A few years ago my self doubt was so bad that I would blow off parties or social events with my friends for fear of the many photos that would be taken at them. I’d mentally criticize every single little tidbit I could find and then tell myself that I could not fit in, that I wasn’t good enough.
I’m expressing my own experiences, because it doesn’t matter how personal things get. I want readers to know that no matter what size, shape or form they behold we need to stop putting ourselves down. I mean how mentally draining and exhausting is it to stay in that place in your mind? It’s time to start thinking positive about who we are and what we have to give to the world.
I don’t want to be in my seventies looking back at photos thinking, “Gosh I really wish I had done more with my life, instead of spending it at home worrying about my body… because it wasn’t even that ‘bad’ to begin with.” It’s time to stop worrying about what will hold us back and start doing more.
The first step to combating self doubt is to start re-evaluating how you see yourself.
In the morning, while you’re brushing your teeth, face yourself and say three positive things before you start your day. Make it a habit. It doesn’t have to be a big thing, something small will also do the trick.
Go back to basics. If the self doubt becomes too much, try and clear yourself of the negative things by thinking back to what you have going for you in life. As Gayle Forman said:
I find the need to remind myself of the temporariness of a day, to reassure myself that I got through yesterday, I’ll get through today.
Take a break.
Taking a step back and focusing on something else can relieve the tension from any mind breakdown. I find the best things to do that work for me are things that calm me down. Doodle, scribble, paint with your hands. Put on your favorite music and move around.
Experience the world.
Go out for a walk. Get lost in the beauty of what’s around you. When I’m personally by myself I feel more intuitive to the world around me, it’s great to just experience and get lost in what the world has to offer.
Get in contact with a friend. When it becomes too much for me and I’m losing my wits about me a phone call to a friend can calm me right down. Calling is great. I cannot recommend it more, it doesn’t have to be the deepest of conversations but a good talk can stop the thoughts from occurring.
Self doubt can be crippling and mentally draining, I know that it’s a tough cycle to break – we, as individuals are our own worst critics, but I hope that through these steps each of you can start feeling proud for what you’ve got working for you.
Be proud. Work it!▼