How to Overcome Self Doubt & Worry
Self doubt & over analyzing every little detail was a constant habit for me. I would worry about anything, from someone not texting me back quick enough, missing out on an event that was planned, if I came across rude to the person at work - honestly, everything.
What my Own Self Doubt Taught me About Mental Health
What Made Me to Be This Way?
This question is one I have reflected on greatly since beginning my mindset development & growth in mindfulness. My childhood involved my parents separating, & later into my teen years the unexpected death of my Dad - who I lived with.
Over time I found that this had a profound impact on my ability to trust my relationships with friends & loved ones & my self-confidence & self-assurance to just allow things to happen naturally. I felt the need to try & be in control of anything I could.
For those reasons I want to embrace self doubt & worry, grab it by the balls & spread the tools & techniques I have used to overcome this mental burden that so many of us place on ourselves.
SELF DOUBT & WORRY
Firstly it is important to know that self doubt is 100% normal & happens to all of us, it just transpires or manifests itself differently in each of us. How we react to worrying creates two types of people & responses (purely based on my judgement & experience.) Some of us are ruminators & some of us are rationalizers.
Every negative thought or worry that comes into our head becomes our main focus, the sole intention of our thought process & until we have had reassurance or positive reinforcement, those thoughts just continue to grow & develop. 'The worriers' could be a term more commonly used to refer to this group of individuals.
I read a book recently that talks about ruminating & how it can really affect our daily lives & it resonated with me, so much so I have named myself with this personality type!
It doesn't mean we don't enjoy life or embrace the good things that we experience, it simply means - for me anyway, that I can dedicate too much attention & time focusing on the negatives or worrying about certain aspects that make me feel uneasy. Instead of using my energy & mental capacity to focus on the positives, which can be an endless cycle of torment for some people & a hard one to break - but it can be done.
These people have a logical approach to their thoughts & are able to distinguish between a thought & a feeling to then choose how they respond. Does the thought need more attention or is it based on presumption & need to be disregarded? I have people in my own life that use this strategy & honestly, I think it helps me to see how thoughts & feelings can be processed in a much simpler way than I sometimes find myself using.
It is important to remind yourself at this stage that we all worry & have our own self doubts - it is how we allow them to develop within us & take over our day or experience that is key.
REASONS FOR SELF DOUBT OR WORRY
I truly believe that we can control our mindset & how the thoughts either magnify or deplete.
This break down has really helped me to overcome mental worrying & doubting in my life & break down this endless cycle of should I worry about this or not?
Is This feeling based on facts?
I have a book 'Choose Happy' which a friend bought me for my birthday. It had a quote 'feelings aren't facts' which I now use daily to ask myself if the thoughts I am having are based on fact or presumptions.
99% of the time they are based on presumptions I have made or ideas that I have thought up into reality, therefore finding a reason to worry about it. If your feeling or thought is not based on a fact, then acknowledge it but move past it. Meaning we should not give it any more attention or the feeling/thought will continue to expand & take over more & more of your brain space.
Can you change it?
If the answer is yes, then acknowledge the thoughts & establish what you can do right now to change it - then do it. If it helps writing lists or action points can be useful to externalize the thought process & how you will respond. This should allow you to disregard the thought, as you have given it the attention it needs & responded productively to that thought, allowing you the freedom to move on with your thinking & focus on something else.
If the answer is no - then why bother wasting time thinking it?! It really is as simple as that very question. If you cannot change it, overthinking it won't change it either. Worrying is not productive if it doesn't allow you to make a positive change, so, acknowledge the thought you are having but then allow it to pass through your thoughts & do not be distracted or enticed by it.
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Does it impact my daily life?
I find that my thoughts are sometimes about things hypothetical & not relevant right now, yet they consume me & distract me from what I am doing. If this thought doesn't impact your life in this present moment, we have to force our mind to focus on something else immediately - whether it be on reading emails, the weather outside, a song on the radio, our food & what we will cook for dinner, something to engage your brain & remove this thought. Therefore giving you enough time to gain control of our thoughts & decide to then focus on something more positive & productive.
Are things going well for me?
The majority of the time (which I learn from an amazing book, I will mention below) we create self doubt & worry when we are succeeding & doing well in life. It is our subconscious trying to keep us safe & stable in our bubble. When you start taking risks, creating adventures, enriching your life outside of the normal routine your subconscious self gets worried that it will create danger for us. So we create reasons to worry & feel anxious.
So next time you have an outlandish worry or doubt - stop & ask yourself, what if going well for me right now & acknowledge this doubt for what it is, a way to keep us from exploring too far out of our comfort zone. Acknowledge it & let it pass. Do not let it consume you & bring down the greatness that you should be feeling.
Who can you talk to?
Having someone to share your thoughts with is invaluable. When you can't gain control or focus over these negative thoughts, it's great to just text or call someone who you trust & will simply listen to your air them. 9 times out of 10, once we say them out loud they never hold as much control over us anymore. Share them, voice they & let them pass.
BOOKS TO READ
The Chimp Paradox
- This book explains how our subconscious can take over our thoughts & make them seem real
- How to view your thoughts & learn to control them
The Big Leap
- How our mind can take over in a negative way when we are achieving
- Day to day steps to reach success & avoid negative self doubt & worry
The Destiny Planner
- This book is an engaging & interactive guide to finding happiness & success
You are able to externalize & write down your thoughts & feelings, as well as look forward to the positives you want to create
PHRASES TO FOCUS ON
- Thoughts aren't facts
- The better you do, the most self doubt grows
- Don't question who you are by what you think
- The most you feed a thought, the more it grows.
- Be a warrior not a worrier
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