So, you finally landed the new job or got the courage to do something you’ve wanted to do for months, or maybe you just keep finding yourself at place where your confidence is at a low. Regardless of the situation, I think we can all agree that we've been in a place where self-doubt has reared its ugly (and sometimes all too familiar) head. If this sounds like you, then maybe this list will help you step outside of the suffocation of self-doubt and into the freedom of living.
1. Practice positive self-talk and affirmations daily.
Okay, so this one is a little bit of a no-brainer. A lot of times we develop serious self-doubt because we are constantly sending ourselves messages about what we could be doing better, what we want to be but aren't, or how we just aren't good enough. In many cases, these thoughts are happening and we barely even notice! Now I know positive affirmations sound a little Dr. Phil-ish, but they are totally worth a try for the difference they make. What we feed our minds about our self-worth starts to manifest in real life after a while. Your thoughts carry more weight than you think! Instead of giving yourself negative feedback, begin to focus on those great qualities. Write them out or recite them daily. Make a habit of affirming the amazing qualities about yourself every day.
2. Discover something you're great at and do a lot of it.
Have you found what you're really good at? If you haven't and you are still dealing with a lot of self-doubt, I'm going to tell you why this can help tremendously. Having confidence is only possible when you have a great understanding of who you are AND are comfortable with those traits. Doing something you're good at is a great way to constantly remind yourself of your amazing qualities and gain a deeper understanding of self. As you continue to dive into things that you love you will also gain a a greater sense of purpose which is key in developing unconditional self-love.
3. Focus on pleasing yourself before others.
If you want to create a toxic relationship with yourself, try to please everyone before yourself. I know that sounds extreme, but I truly believe this is a good way to drive yourself INSANE. There are several problems with trying to please everyone but the biggest are: A. It will never happen and B. It is self-neglect. Let's be honest here. How many times have you gone out of your way for someone only to find they found another small detail to be upset about? Nothing you ever do will ever completely satisfy people. Why? Because we are human and many times we don’t even know what it is that we want or need and when we do, we often change our minds. Might as well give that energy to someone who could use it best (spoiler alert: YOU) We've all heard of the "you can't fill a cup from an empty pitcher" saying. This is SO true. When you neglect yourself for other people you cannot possibly give your best to loved ones. Maybe you’re the person that manages to be superwoman for a while, but I can guarantee there comes a point where it will all catch up to you. Don’t build your self-worth on what you are doing for others because the second you are unable to please a person you begin the cycle of self-doubt. Start cultivating self love by focusing on you first.
4. Surround yourself with positive relationships.
Who you are surrounding yourself with is so crucial to the way you view yourself. It is so important to make sure you are around people who have an understanding of who you truly are, and can give you the love and support that you need to grow. By allowing yourself to continuously be surrounded by toxic or negative people you are opening the door to self-doubt and poor self-image. No matter the length of time or the amount of effort put in, it simply isn't worth it! Put some distance in between those less than encouraging relationships and make room for unconditional love and support. It will make such a difference!
5. Find your spiritual center.
In the game of life, things happen beyond our control no matter how we prepare for it or what we do to prevent it. Having a spiritual connection will not only give you peace in those circumstances, it will also help with your self-doubt because you will stop asking where you went wrong and instead start to look at the bigger picture. In addition to that, having a spiritual center will help you in understanding purpose which tends to build a person's view of their self-worth. When you start each day out getting spiritually connected, you will start to feel a shift in perspective that allows you to looks less at the negative and more at the positive.
6. Live in your truth.
Without truth, true love cannot exist. This definitely applies to self-love. It is easy to hide behind what the ugly truth may be about ourselves, but you will never be truly happy with yourself until you do. It is time to take accountability. Accountability does not mean beating yourself up or blaming yourself, it simply means understanding and accepting that you play a role in your circumstances. Accountability gets rid of the victim mentality that says, "Why is everything bad happening to me?" and instead allows a position of power that says, "This is who I am, this is how I got here, I accept that, and I can now move forward." Dig deep, get honest, and allow the truth to transform how you see yourself.
7. Stop comparing.
Every journey is unique. Some happen at a fast pace with minimal difficulties at the beginning, and some start rough and have a smooth ending. This is definitely worth saying in the social media era where we constantly are being forced to evaluate the "picture-perfect" lives of others. What we often fail to realize is that most people often display the positive things going on in their lives on social media and leave out the personal struggles. As the saying goes, "You never know what is going on behind closed doors." I guarantee every person you are comparing yourself to is dealing with issues like the rest of us. Do yourself a favor and stop binging on false realities. When you do this you're only feeding your self-esteem reasons as to why you aren't good enough. Let your only comparison be between you and your future self.
8. Cultivate love.
Love feels good when you receive it, but it feels especially good to give it out for no cost at all. If we all spent some time in our lives creating an environment filled with selfless acts of love, it would be almost impossible for that love to skip over us. It is one of the easiest ways to fill your soul with unconditional love and positivity. Random acts of kindness such as giving, volunteering or helping someone in need help to take the focus off of ourselves and look at the bigger picture. Get out there and discover how much a selfless act can add to your own self-esteem.
9. Focus on your inner qualities instead of outer qualities.
We've all seen the person that doesn’t like themselves so they go about fixing it through outer qualities whether it be their physical appearance or their environment. If you have dealt with bouts of self-doubt, there's a pretty good chance that it doesn’t stem from outer things. You can try to change outer qualities a million times, but if you are not working on the inside issues, I can guarantee you won't get very far in managing your self-doubt. What is on the inside eventually will pour out, so make it a priority to learn how to love all of the inner qualities that you possess and the other things will begin to follow.
10. Find an outlet for your doubt.
In many cases the root of our self-doubt is deeper than just surface level things that we can manage on our own. If this is the case, it may be time to dig a little deeper and seek an outside outlet. Whether this is a person you trust, professional help, or just journaling, when you use these tools as an outlet, you are giving yourself power to overcome the cycle of self-doubt. Keeping it in secrecy gives those issues the perfect place to settle and grow over time. Find a healthy way to express those emotions and start building a healthier version of you that you can unconditionally love and accept.