If you’re prone to self-doubt then try my 10-day challenge to nix the negativity and increase your self-confidence and self-esteem. Ready?
Day 1: Increase your self-belief with positive affirmations
Positive affirmations to increase your self-belief can help in ways that you may not realize at first. It might seem silly to you right now to repeat things to yourself that you don’t believe at all. But, studies have proved that positive affirmations do help people feel better and more positive, and makes them believe in themselves more.
Take these ideas, print them out, and cut them into strips. One affirmation on each strip. Then every time you feel bad about yourself, take them out. Or, if you don’t have a printer, cut the paper into eight strips then write down one thing on each strip of paper.
Eight Positive Affirmations to Increase Your Self-Belief
1. Name One Thing You Succeed At – So for example, if you got out of bed today, that might be an achievement for you. If you graduated school, or got a good job, or are a good mum, write that down. If you feel good about it and it feels like an achievement, write it down.
2. Tell Yourself You’re a Good Person – Whatever that means to you, being a good person is important. It’s important to tell yourself that you’re a good person every single day. Write down “I am a good person” on one slip of paper.
3. What Do You Want to Be Good At? – There is probably something you really want to do well, maybe more than one. You can always write down more than one. For example, if you want to lose weight and get healthy, write down, “I am healthy and eat right.”
4. Want to Be More Focused? – Write down the words, “I am focused on the important things in my life.” Put that slip of paper in there and as you do, say this to yourself now. It’s super-important to know that you can and do focus more on what’s important than what’s not.
5. Do You Dislike Your Looks? – Even if you dislike your looks, there is likely one thing you do like about them. Write that down. “I look smart and professional today” might be more important to you than “I look sexy today” or “I look beautiful today”. Nothing is right or wrong here, but write down something positive about your looks as if it is true (if you want it to be true).
6. How Do Others See You? – Write down something positive about what others observe about you. You may need to ask some friends about that. Ask them to tell you one positive trait that you possess. Write that down on a slip of paper. Perhaps it’s your kindness, or your success, or your parenting skills, or something else. Your friends may surprise you with what they come up with.
7. Self-Belief – Even if you do not currently believe in yourself that much, stating that you do is a good way to ensure that it happens. “I believe in my abilities to ______ completely.” Fill in the blank with something you do believe in, and something you don’t believe yet but desire.
Write down as many positive affirmations as you can. Anything that you know you need to tell yourself is important. Each time you’re feeling down on yourself, take out your jar of affirmations, look in the mirror and read one to yourself. Repeat it while looking right into your own eyes and feel the truth of the statement.
What is imposter syndrome? It’s more common than you think, and it’s linked to a lack of self-belief. This is our focus for day 2.
Day 2: Overcoming imposter syndrome
Do you know that many people who are super-successful are walking around with imposter syndrome right now? They are by all accounts very successful in their endeavours, but they feel lousy because they don’t think they deserve it. They feel like a fake. They feel as if everything they’re doing is a fluke and at any moment someone else is going to find out about the truth. If you feel that way sometimes, use these tips to overcome imposter syndrome.
If You Think This Success Was Too Easy
If you are feeling as if your success was too easy to come by compared to what you thought it would take before you experienced it, this can be a reason you experience imposter syndrome. You feel fraudulent because it was simple to achieve, and you now think it’s not even that special because anyone can do it.
The way to deal with this erroneous feeling is to look at some stats. How many people in your situation have achieved what you have achieved? You’re likely to find out that not as many people have succeeded in doing what you’re doing as you think. This information alone should help you realize that you had to be responsible at least a little for your achievement. Even if other people could do it if they wanted to, you did it – they did not.
If You Think No One Is Self-Made So You Don’t Deserve Kudos
Everyone gets some form of help, whether it’s the zip code they’re born in or meeting the right people at the right time, or something else. Even if it’s just being able to drive to and from work, someone had to build the roads, and you had to be born being able to see to do it. Therefore, someone helped and you’re not totally self-made.
So guess what. No one is self-made. But, everyone has some part in their own success. It doesn’t matter if you were born on first base, third base, or not even on the field; you are responsible for your actions from where you found yourself to where you are now.
You deserve kudos for it. You deserve the life you are building and it’s okay to accept that you value the things you have achieved, and you could not have done it without making the choices you made. Even if someone gave you a million dollars, you had choices. You could blow that million dollars or you could invest it and turn it into a billion dollars. Either way, you are where you are now due to your own choices at the time.
You Have Value
The hard thing for people who have imposter syndrome to understand is the value they provide by being who they are. Even if 100,000 people are doing what you want to do, you provide a unique input and value to your version of that thing that no one else can ever provide. This means that even if you are making money selling blue jeans, which are everywhere, your jeans are special because you came up with the idea.
Anytime you can provide something for someone, it is valuable (and that value is in the eye of the beholder); it doesn’t matter if it’s a commodity or if it’s totally 100 per cent unique. Your special touch adds just enough value to make it worthwhile to you and to others. When you accept your value to the world, you’ll be able to let go of imposter syndrome and instead of asking, “why me?” you’ll start asking “why not me?”.
Overcoming imposter syndrome is to accept that you are important as you are, that you offer something special even if it’s similar to others, and that you are valuable in your own right. You are valuable just because you exist and the things you do add value to the lives around you, even if it’s not totally original or new.
Next we’re going to look at some tips on how to overcome negative thoughts.
Day 3: Nix negative thoughts this way
Dealing with negative thoughts is something everyone has to do. Some people choose to allow negative thoughts to freeze them in their tracks. Other people have a negative thought and then transform that into a positive one instead. If you want to be a person who has good self-esteem and lets go of self-doubt, purposefully turning negative thoughts to positive ones will help you like almost nothing else.
Tips for Dealing with Negative Thoughts
1. Don’t Say Them Out Loud – Whenever you have a negative thought, let it stay in your head for a moment but do not voice it out loud to anyone – even yourself.
2. Go for a Walk/Run/Swim – Even if you don’t like doing that, the point is to do something that requires thought and movement. You want to be away from technology and hopefully into nature. You want to get your heart pumping and using energy. Focus only on your feet hitting the ground, the sun on your skin, the water around you.
3. Smile – This may seem trite but when you are feeling negative, putting a smile on your face can boost your spirits quite a bit even if you’re not feeling it yet. Smile at people around you or go smile at yourself in the mirror, but smile instead of indulging in the negativity.
4. Find a Positive Friend – If you have a positive friend already, give them a call, plan a date, or send them a funny joke on Snapchat. Do whatever you can to think more about this person and get your positive thoughts flowing.
5. Reframe the Issue – It’s easy to get tied up in negativity when it’s kind of based in reality. For example, if you’re trying to lose weight and get healthy, you may think, “This is going to suck and be so hard and I’m going to fail.” Instead, frame it differently by thinking, “This is going to be an exciting challenge and a journey, but I know I can do it.”
6. Get Out of Yourself – One way to overcome any type of self-pity or negativity is to go help someone else. Volunteer to read to kids in the library, work with kids at your place of worship, or feed people at the food bank. All these things will help you see that your life is pretty good.
7. Turn Up the Music – There is probably some positive music that makes you happy that you can listen to. Turn it up loud so that you can’t help but sing and dance away your bad feelings.
8. Accept that Perfection Doesn’t Exist – You’re not perfect, no one else is perfect, and that’s okay. How boring life would be if we were all perfect. We would no longer have any reason to strive for anything or learn anything.
9. Let Go of Victimhood – Sometimes things do happen outside of our ability to control it. We may get mugged, raped, or get in a bad accident that wasn’t our fault. There may have been nothing to prevent it. Maybe you got sick with cancer or were laid off from your job. None of these things could be prevented. But, don’t let yourself get sucked into the abyss of victimhood. Instead, think about what you can do that is a good choice and do it.
10. Repeat Positive Affirmations – Get out your positive affirmations and start reading them to yourself.
Each time negative thoughts that aren’t useful come up, do something mentioned here to circumvent them. If you can turn the negative thought into a positive thought, especially one that requires action, you’ll win this fight with your inner self. To gain your self-respect, rid your life of damaging self-doubt and keep on winning.
It’s not always easy to deal with feedback, even positive feedback. Let’s talk about that next.
Day 4: Can you deal with feedback?
One thing everyone must face at some time is dealing with feedback. Feedback can be both positive and negative. Some people are bad at giving feedback and some people are talented at doing it. But, even if someone who is bad at it gives you feedback about something, you can learn to deal with both positive and negative feedback appropriately.
For some people who suffer from self-doubt, it’s easier to hear negative feedback as it feeds into what they already believe about themselves. When they hear positive feedback, they cannot take it because they just don’t believe it and think the person is lying or worse, being condescending.
Let’s go over some tips for dealing with both positive and negative feedback that can be useful for you depending on where you are.
Let’s start with negative feedback.
Avoid Acting Defensive
One thing that sometimes happens even if we believe it, is that we become defensive when we hear something negative and immediately want to defend ourselves. We even turn off our ability to listen when we hear it, which is not a good way to react. If you get like this, take a step back and watch yourself getting the feedback from afar in your mind. Focus only on what they’re saying, and don’t put your own feelings into it at all. You can ask questions about how they think you can improve, but don’t argue with them about it.
Only Apologise If Needed
Sometimes negative feedback is only feedback based on the other person’s opinion and isn’t something you need to say you’re sorry for. If you’re not sure, instead of reacting right away, inform the person that you appreciate what they’re saying but you need some time to think about it and consider it. That way, you don’t say you’re sorry for something you have nothing to be sorry about. If you do determine you need to say you’re sorry, you only need to do it once (sincerely) for it to count.
Ask for Clarification
When someone is giving you negative feedback, take the time to hear what they’re saying, then repeat back to them what you thought they said to ensure that you really understood. Sometimes (especially if we have low self-esteem) we can over-interpret something as negative when it’s not. Ask for understanding and take the time to let it sink in so that you’re sure you really do get it.
Remember that perfection does not exist. Everyone makes mistakes; that’s normal. You can say you’re sorry if it’s required, and then you can move on without letting the experience cause more problems or fear down the line. When you know that it’s human nature to screw up, and you’re not exceptional in that way, you can let go of the pressure to be perfect even when getting negative feedback.
Now let’s talk a bit about dealing with positive feedback. As much as dealing with negative feedback makes people squirm, so does positive, and sometimes we react incorrectly to it. There really is only one right way to deal with positive feedback which is why it’s last here. Say thank you very much.
If someone else is also responsible, do mention them but don’t feel as if you need to say it’s all someone else over you unless there is a real mistake. Saying thank you is an important way to deal with positive feedback and will make the other person feel satisfied that you heard them. If you react negatively to positive feedback, you could set yourself up to never receiving it even when you deserve it. Don’t do that. Say thank you. Mean it. Move on.
The truth is, both negative and positive feedback will happen over your lifetime. It’s important to put them into perspective and not dwell on them in a negative way. Both types of feedback can be learned from and make your life better if you accept it.
Are you a worrier? Next we’ll talk about how to deal with worries without getting seriously stressed about them.
Day 5: How to deal with worries with less stress
If you tend to be a worry wart, you need to learn tips to deal with worries that really work for you. No one likes feeling worried about anything but if even one person has accused you of being an over-worrier, then you may have a problem that needs to be dealt with.
First, know that some worry in life is normal. If we never concerned ourselves with anything at all, none of us would be able to even do what’s necessary to put food on the table or get out of bed in the morning. After all, for the most part, humans are lazy. We like the easy way. But for some people, natural worry about eating and having shelter or staying healthy (or keeping our family that way) turns into a psychological problem.
If worry keeps you up at night and prevents you from experiencing life fully, then follow these tips for dealing with worries.
* Write It Down – When you have a worry that you can’t let go of, quickly write it down and take the time to write some action steps. For example, let’s say you’re worried about your daughter going on her first date and now you’re having circular thoughts about what terrible things could happen over what great things will happen. Write it down, and in this case, you may want to ask your daughter to send you a message when she’s at their destination and each time she gets in the car and out of the car. You may also want to talk to her about her ideas, morals, and beliefs.
* Act – When something is worrying you a lot, sometimes the best thing to do is act on it. For example, if you’re worried that you won’t meet a deadline, instead of staying up all night worrying, just go to do it if possible. That way you get it done and you can stop thinking about it.
* Set a Time Limit – Maybe it’s a worry that you really cannot control such as worrying that your children will die, your parents will get sick, you’ll get sick, your friend will get hurt and so forth – these are all things you have no control over. Set a time limit to allow that worry to continue, then stop it and do something to distract yourself from it.
* Get Off Technology – Believe it or not, if you’re experiencing excess worry (especially about crime, the environment, politics and so forth), it’s time to get offline and stop watching the news or using technology as much. This can be hard but if you make a rule for yourself to turn off all tech a couple of hours before bed and until after lunch when possible, you’re going to have a more worry-free life.
* Be in the Present – So many times we’re not really enjoying or experiencing what’s happening right now. If you’re watching a TV show with your family, are you really enjoying it or are you surfing Facebook? If you’re on a date with the boyfriend or spouse, are you totally there? Be totally with whatever you are doing without distractions and it will help cut down on worry.
* Gain Acceptance – Sometimes you do have legitimate reasons to be concerned, but worrying isn’t going to help. Your child is actually sick. Your mom actually has cancer. Your friend really did get hit by a car. These are all things you have no control over, so you have to gain acceptance of the situation. That doesn’t mean you like it. It just means it happened, is happening, and nothing can change it.
* Get Moving – Extra worry energy can be used up by moving. Get your heart pumping through exercise. Go for a brisk walk. Go for a swim. Go play a sport with someone. Pounding the racquetball is very much more fruitful than just worrying about something that you cannot fix.
* Pray and/or Meditate – For some people, being very still and mindful and clearing their mind works. Both prayer and meditation show the same type of improvement in the ability to contain worry in people. Do whichever you want or both to help you get a handle on worrying.
All these time-tested tips for overcoming worry will help you deal with it. But do understand that some form of worrying is normal. If it doesn’t keep you up all night, stop you from doing the things you need to do, or cause you to avoid situations you need to be in, then you’re probably okay.
Some people are really no help when you suffer from self-doubt – in fact, they just make it worse. Next we’ll talk about how to remove toxic people from your life.
Day 6: Remove toxic people from your life
Regardless of whether toxic people are relatives (even parents and siblings), friends, acquaintances, or co-workers, they play a huge part in our lives and can be a real problem if we let them. Often toxic people are narcissists. They can be very dangerous to your wellbeing if you let them stay in your life, and most narcissists cannot be cured of their condition.
Realise That Toxic People Will Not Change
Often this is hard to accept because you may love the person. But toxic people usually do not accept their issues and try to place blame on everyone around them. They won’t change because they don’t think they need to change. They’ll declare you’re the problem when it’s really them. Accept that they’re just not going to change and nothing you do has any power over them. This doesn’t make you less of a person or less important; it’s just that their condition will never allow it.
Develop Safe Boundaries and Maintain Them
When you realize you’re dealing with a toxic person, especially if there is no real way to escape them such as if they’re a co-worker (although you can get another job), set boundaries and stick to them. For example, you don’t want them to talk to you, call you, or get in touch with you in any way shape or form, ever. This is very clear, but you’ll have to be very firm and stick to it.
If it’s an ex-spouse, this can be harder to do than if it’s a co-worker. It’s hard if it’s a parent, but it doesn’t matter how close they are to you; if they’re toxic and make your life miserable, you must let them go and stick to it.
Avoid Being Pulled into Their Crises
Sometimes when you seek to end the relationship, they’ll try to pull you back in by making you part of their crises. Avoid allowing this to happen. When they try, ignore it and just move on. This is normal when you’re leaving someone who is toxic. They sometimes think of themselves as a sort of puppet master. They believe they can control others and often they do because people are too polite.
Accept Your Own Problems
You’re not perfect either but you aren’t responsible for someone else’s issues. However, you are responsible for yourself. If you have done things you’re not proud of due to the toxic relationship, accept it and then work on changing that about yourself so that you can do better in other relationships.
Realise They May Try to Stay
This is especially true when it’s a relative. They may beg you, they may promise you, but they’ll try to turn it around to be all your fault too. They don’t ultimately accept that it’s a problem they have, and you’ll soon be able to tell if you stick to your guns because they’ll keep trying in increasingly abusive ways to get your attention. If it’s dangerous, get the law involved so you can get a restraining order.
Accept Their Power Over You
This may seem contrary to good advice, but it’s true that they have had power over you and they’ll try to use it. If they’re a relative, a spouse, or someone you love, this is going to make it even harder. But the thing is, even if someone is related to you that doesn’t make them less toxic and dangerous to you. You’re going to be much healthier when you realize it’s okay to feel something for them, even if you must love them from afar due to their toxic nature.
Choose Your Battles
When you’re deciding to cut someone out of your life, it’s important to choose your battles. For example, if you work with someone, they may have to speak to you about work. Let them know that’s all you want from them. If your ex-husband needs to talk to you about the kids, you may still have to speak to them about the kids. Don’t fight about everything. Choose only battles you can win, because a toxic person will never agree with you about anything and will fight with you every chance they get about literally anything.
Find Healthy Relationships
As you end toxic relationships, it helps to replace them with healthy ones. You can’t replace your mom, dad, or kids, but you can find people who give you those feelings. That way you’re not sitting around thinking about them all the time. Even when someone is toxic to you, it can take some time to get to the point where you can move on without being upset and sad.
Getting toxic people out of your life can be a process. The process isn’t always pleasant. Sometimes it’s downright difficult. Sometimes it’s heartbreaking. But, if you get yourself into the frame of mind that you want to be your own best friend, your own lover, your own caretaker and do the right thing as you would for your child, then you can do it because it’s the right thing to do for yourself.
Next time, we’ll talk about how to find motivation when you have self-doubt.
Day 7: Have self-doubt and need motivation?
If you have self-doubt, sometimes it can be hard to get the motivation you need to accomplish things in life. But, you can become more motivated if you work towards understanding your self-doubt. Most of the time, self-doubt is not founded on anything to do with reality. It’s just your own negative talk in your head that keeps you from doing the things you need to do.
These tips on how to find motivation when you have self-doubt will help you get past it and make things happen.
* Act as If – You’ve likely heard the idea that “faking it till you make it” works. This is actually very true, but you don’t need to fake anything. Just do what you want to do, and go through the motions that you know you need to go through in order to get to where you want to go. Eventually, your confidence will kick in as you experience more success.
* Set a Small Goal – For example, if you want to be more motivated to eat right or exercise, choose one thing to change. Stop drinking anything with sugar to start with, or start parking at the end of the parking lot to get in more steps. These very small changes can lead to even bigger changes when you experience success with a small goal.
* Look for Inspiration – Whether it’s books, blogs, movies or something else, surround yourself with motivating information. Get rid of things that take away your motivation – whether that’s negative TV shows such as news, or drugs and alcohol. The more inspiration you can find, the better.
* Get Pumped – Let yourself get excited about doing something instead of being fearful. For example, if you’re going on a first date, imagine it going well instead of all the things that can go wrong. You’ll end up walking into the date looking happy and calm instead of nervous and awkward. If you have a goal for something, always envision succeeding.
* Tell Others about Your Goal – One way to get motivated is to tell others, who can then hold you accountable to your goals about them. Often this can be better if it’s a life coach or someone who is a very positive and loving person in your life. Be careful who you task with this so you don’t get demotivated.
* Stick with It – Small steps can help you get to any goal that you have set. You can’t go on a trip across the country without first getting out of your driveway. Everything takes time and if you stick with it, you’ll find the journey gets easier as you keep doing more to reach your goal.
* Let Go of Negative Thoughts – One thing that can get in the way of you reaching your goals is negative thoughts. When you see everything from a negative standpoint first, it can be hard to see the positives and get motivated. It helps to learn to turn any negative thoughts into positive ones by rewording the thoughts. Turn “this is hard” to “this is a wonderful challenge”.
Getting motivated starts with experiencing small successes and trying to see the world through a positive lens. The more you do it, the more natural it becomes and the more motivated you are to live your life to the fullest.
Everyone comes across failure sooner or later – it’s how you deal with it that makes all the difference. We’ll talk about that next.
Day 8: Positive ways to deal with failure
It may be hard to accept, but failure is part of life. In fact, if you don’t sometimes experience failure, it’s probably because you’re not truly living life to the fullest. You need to leave your comfort zone to experience either success or failure. But it doesn’t change the fact that we fear failure, avoid it, and dread it.
Having said that, if you want to experience success it’s important that you get used to being uncomfortable. When you end up having to deal with failure, there are ways to look at it that are positive. Let’s look at some tips for dealing with failure in a positive way that really works.
* It’s Not Personal – Usually, failure isn’t personal. It’s important that you depersonalize it regardless of what has happened. Even if it’s a partner breaking up with you, that is something about them more than you. J.K. Rowling “failed” (according to her) lots of times when she submitted her manuscript to many publishers only to get rejected. She never gave up and kept doing it.
* Learn from the Failure – Every single thing you do, especially when you fail, is a learning opportunity. When you can see failure as a learning opportunity, you will not fear it so much. Take the time to collect the facts and note the ways you could do better next time. This is something that is done in every single profession, from an airline pilot to a firefighter, to doctors, lawyers, and more. Look at the failure objectively and figure out what you can learn.
* Don’t Dwell on It – Letting the fact that you failed live in your mind and cause you to have repetitive fear-filled thoughts is not a good way to deal with failure. Choose a time to think about it, analyze it and move on from it.
* Stop Looking for Outward Approval – Sometimes the reason we fear failure so much is that we’re afraid to disappoint others in our lives. You don’t want to be overly influenced by anyone else, especially people you don’t ask. You must do what you know inside is best for you without outside influence.
* Shift Your Perspective – When you experience failure, try to view it from someone else’s point of view instead of your own. Separating yourself from it and looking at it as an outsider, removing your personal feelings, can help you learn even more from the situation.
* Let It Go – Sometimes there is nothing to be done about the failure; you simply screwed up. That’s normal. It’s totally human. If it’s something you need to apologize for, say so. If it’s not something you need to say you’re sorry for, then you need to move on and let it go.
Failure is a normal part of life that you need to experience to grow. If you’re not trying enough things that may lead to failure, you may not get to experience some amazing successes in life that you really want to experience. Dealing with failure is just part of life. You can do this.
When you do fail or make mistakes, it’s important to forgive yourself. We’ll talk about how to do that next time.
Day 9: How to forgive yourself
Everyone makes mistakes. Sometimes the main person you must forgive when mistakes are made is yourself. You may do something horrible to someone else, you may have caused a project at work to fail, or any number of things that require forgiveness. The thing is, sometimes other people’s forgiveness is easier to come by than your own.
Look at these four ways to forgive yourself and take them to heart, because everyone needs forgiveness from the main person in their lives: themselves.
1. Rate What You Did
Give your failure a scale from one to ten before you forgive yourself. It’s important to put your offence on a scale of some sort so you can look at it clearly. For example, did you hurt someone else or was it more self-destructive? Obviously, when you hurt others there is a whole other emotion at play over when you hurt yourself, but both are important.
Look at what you’ve done and rate how it will affect the future. Are there ways you can mitigate the damage that you’ve caused? For example, can you repay yourself or the person you harmed monetarily? Can you say you’re sorry and have it mean something? Remember that forgiveness is a process that you need to go through to truly experience it fully. It may take some time.
2. Accept Your Feelings
You’re likely not alone in your feelings about whatever it is that you’ve done. It can help to share the feelings you have with someone. Perhaps a professional or a trusted friend can help you put what you did into perspective.
The important thing is to realize that you’re not alone in your feelings, or even probably the thing you did that you need forgiveness for. Someone else can relate to what you’re feeling. If you can find those people, you can learn to accept your feelings and move past them.
3. Know What You Want but Accept If It’s Unrealistic
Even if you hurt someone else and may have no control over how things end due to that, it’s important to know what you want. For example, if you cheated on your spouse and caused them a lot of pain and it made you realize how much you love them, and you want them back, it may still not help you get them back. But, it’s important to know what you want so you can tell them, and they know it’s an option if they’re willing. Having said that, be ready to accept the outcome and let them know that you will. This is a true sign of acceptance and moving on.
4. Let It Go
It’s normal to play what you did over and over in your head to a point. But, if you really want to forgive yourself, it’s imperative that you let it go eventually. No matter what you’ve done, you don’t need to think about it forever and keep punishing yourself forever – especially if you’ve learned from the mistake and aren’t going to do it over again.
Tell yourself you’re sorry and tell anyone you harmed that you’re sorry. Each time mean it. Analyse what you did and learn from it. Develop concrete steps to prevent the same thing from happening again and then move on from it. Start focusing on the positives that you have learned so that you can truly forgive yourself and move past it.
There are times when self-doubt and situations reach a point where you may need professional help. We’ll talk about that next time.
Day 10: Do you need professional help?
Sometimes there are situations where you really do need professional help and no amount of self-help books, courses, or information is going to help you overcome the situation. The healthiest people alive seek professional help when they need it, so don’t look at the need as some kind of failure. If you are experiencing any of the below, it may be a sign that you need professional help for your self-doubt.
* You Have Trouble Functioning Day-to-Day – If you can’t even get out of the bed, or you have trouble just getting through your day, it’s imperative that you seek help. Sometimes it’s lack of sleep due to obsessing about everything that happened, and sometimes it’s a chemical imbalance that requires meds. It’s okay to get help.
* You Are Experiencing Mood Swings That Others Notice – If you go back and forth from happy, sad, miserable, angry and so on, there is likely a serious problem with your hormone balance or vitamin levels. Seek medical assistance. Ask your primary care physician or go to an urgent care if you don’t have one and tell them what you’re experiencing.
* You Are Feeling Uncharacteristically Sad Every Day – Depression is more than sadness so it’s hard to explain this, but if you have a black or down mood almost all the time, you could be suffering from depression. Sometimes depression is situational but sometimes it’s not. It’s best for a professional to diagnose.
* You Feel Uncontrollably Anxious Most of the Time – Anxiety is a very dangerous feeling to keep around. It can cause panic attacks. It can cause you to avoid situations that can challenge you and can stop your life in its tracks. If you are experiencing these feelings, it may be anxiety but it can also be post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Both should be treated professionally when they’re not something you can get a handle on yourself.
* You Obsess over Past Infractions of Your Own or Others – If you find yourself remunerating over issues that happened in the past that you did or that others did, it’s important that you understand this won’t solve the problem. If you can’t stop, you may need professional help putting things in perspective.
* You Have Trouble Getting Past a Traumatic Event – When something traumatic happens to us, it’s normal to re-experience it and have trouble getting through it to a point. If you find that after a few weeks you’re not getting past it, you may need someone to help you who is a professional and has experience with what happened to you.
* You Think about Suicide – It’s probably true that most people think about suicide from time to time, but most people don’t think of it in terms of doing it and it’s usually just a passing thought. If you find yourself planning it, thinking of it constantly, and not getting over it, then you probably need to talk to someone professionally. Suicide is a permanent problem to something that is truly a temporary problem most of the time.
* You Overuse/Misuse Drugs, Alcohol, and/or Food – If you can’t control yourself around any substance or activity such as gambling, sex, or something like that, you probably need professional help. Using any of these things incorrectly is dangerous to your health and your life.
* Your Fears Interfere with Living Your Life – If you find that your fears are keeping you from experiencing and living your life fully, you may need help dealing with them. Maybe you have something like agoraphobia that can be dealt with, and it’s not something you need to do alone.
If you have any one of these issues that you can’t seem to get under control on your own, it’s imperative that you seek professional help and guidance. Sometimes events can turn into serious chemical imbalances that require medication and professional psychiatry intervention to get through them. That doesn’t mean you’re not a strong person; it just means that you need that extra assistance to overcome it. By seeking help, you’re showing how strong you truly are and it’s an amazingly brave and healthy first step.