Insecurities and feelings of inferiority are the monsters that rove in the minds of just about any human being. Due to the competitive nature of our culture, we are constantly comparing our mental and physical growth to others. And if you are like me, you feel like you NEVER live up to everyone’s expectations and standards. It’s as if the whole world are dominant, ferocious lions and you are just a mere abandoned kitten. For the majority of my childhood, my social anxiety was so bad that I wouldn’t look nor speak to people I truly didn’t know because I never felt worthy enough to be in anyone’s presence. My shyness and insecurities only intensified throughout middle and high school, in which I had a multitude of panic attacks because I felt like a complete failure and that I was not competent enough to do any task that was given to me.
Now, let’s fast forward to the present….
I’m a senior in college and ,yes, self doubt is still a problem that I must face everyday. Yet, I have taken enormous steps to eradicating my self doubt, which has aided me to live a more enjoyable and fulfilling life. I can honestly say that I am not the same self-deprecating person I use to be. When I make mistakes, I can get past them without putting myself down. And, everyday, I’m learning to love myself and the intricate qualities that make up my being. But what aided me to get to this better place, you might ask?
Here are four lessons I learned to get rid of self doubt:
1) IF YOU ARE GOING TO BE IN THE MOMENT, STAY IN THE MOMENT
I know, it makes no cotton-picking sense (I’m sounding like my grandma now >.< ) to allow yourself to stay at your lowest emotional and mental state. Yet, this technique is quite similar to the old phrase, “When you’re down, you have no where else to go but up.” Allow yourself to feel all the pain and hurt that your anxiety and self-doubt may lead you to feel. Then, after you have had your “moment”, move on from it as quickly as you can and try to find an alternative activity to focus your attention and emotions on. It’s as if you are, in a way, emotional exhausting yourself from thinking negatively. It may still sound a little crazy, but trust me, it helps!! Recently, I had intense feelings of being a disappointment, which is a huge component that triggers my anxiety. That entire night, I couldn’t help but cry and reiterate to myself that I wasn’t good enough. Yet, the next day, something strange happened. I thought I would be in the same melancholic mood I was in the previous night. But yet, I was too emotionally and mentally tired to dwell on the negative thoughts. In fact, I really desired to uplift my physical and emotional state.
This advice is NOT endorsing the notion that it is healthy to feed your negative voices. Instead, I am saying that it is best to face your emotions to the best of your abilities. Masking emotions will NEVER help. Additionally, talking to a respected colleague or loved one is another way get through these “moments” when your self doubt is at its worst.
2) STOP COMPARING YOURSELF TO OTHERS
Just stop doing it!
I know its hard since we are social creatures that all desire to be admired and well- liked, but its imperative that you see the beauty and power in being YOU. So do not try to measure up to anyone’s standards, expect for Jehovah’s and your own. You are phenomenal and do not need anyone to tell you how to exude your greatness.
3) PRACTICE SELF COMPASSION
Self compassion is having the ability to forgive yourself when you err and make mistakes. I never really paid attention to my lack of self compassion until I had to take a clinical psychology course, in which the professor said, “When other people (especially on minor circumstances ) mess up, we tend to forgive them and act like it wasn’t that big of a deal . Yet, when we make the same error, its as if the sky is falling and we turn it into a huge dilemma”. It’s so true. We are more harsh on ourselves for the same miniscule mistakes that almost everyone, and their mama, makes. Learn to lessen the perception of severity in regards to your mishaps and truly comprehend that EVERYBODY makes errors from time to time.
4) PRAY FOR HELP
The biggest helper you have on your side in the battle against self doubt is Jehovah God. He has the ability to provide comfort when anxieties overtake us (Ps. 94:19). Earnestly go to him in prayer. No matter the issue, he desires to hear your concerns because he cares for you (1 Peter 5:7). Just like a mother who is close to their child’s bed in times of sickness, he is close to you when you are mentally and physically ill. Talk to him as much as you can and, undoubtedly, he will provide the best way to alleviate your negative feelings.
Dealing with self doubt and anxiety is a continual course that is embedded with an abundance of peaks and valleys. Some days, you will be elated with your progression and feel on top of the world. Yet, on others, you will feel that your efforts to obtain a healthier mental lifestyle are futile. At either time, DON’T NOT GIVE UP! In the future, you will thank yourself for taking the time to improve your self perception. Great experiences and opportunities instantly open up when you finally become unleashed from the chains of self doubt. So, go ahead and break free!