Most of us doubt ourselves and feel vulnerable at times. Even those who seem super-confident in social situations are often freaking out on the inside when it comes to small talk and meeting new people. Here is some advice from Dr.Phil on how to believe in yourself and fight that self-doubt. Thanks Phil, you lovely mustachioed legend.
We all have negative thoughts, we’re only human. Proper science says that its easier to form, attract and remember negative thoughts than positive ones. Well that sucks. Confident people are just as troubled with pessimistic thoughts, which highlight all their faults and issues, but they can also recognise their strengths, and talk themselves out of the darkness so they can see the light.
If you struggle to find the positive, start by finding one thing about yourself that has worked well for you (maybe your ability to listen and understand has helped you to be a good friend). That’s a start right? Now there has to be more than that. Write them down, and keep going back to them when you need a little boost.
Know yourself. You’ve identified the strengths, now acknowledge your weaknesses. Understanding who you are, and how you operate is a real gift, and can help you to avoid making the same mistakes over and over again. Have you got a temper? Okay, well if you know that, you can talk yourself into taking a breath before you explode again. Because you know that the last few times it really didn’t help. Knowing your weaknesses also helps you to identify aspects of yourself that you need to work on, things you need to develop, and lessons you need to learn. And that’s okay.
We Irish are the WORST at this. And us Irish women reach another level altogether. How often do we work really hard, achieve something really special or do something really kind only to say “Ah sure lookit, it was no big deal.” It is a big deal, and if you don’t recognise that, others won’t either. Being able to receive a compliment allows you to actually acknowledge and accept it rather than brushing it off and putting yourself down. How about next time, try saying “Thanks. I appreciate that. I worked really hard, and the fact people noticed is lovely.”
Its hard when you don’t know where you’re going, you constantly question yourself, because your gut reaction is out of tune. As humans we need to see a path ahead, because we know where we are, we can see the next step in the distance, and we can acknowledge when we get there. Otherwise we’re emotionally lost. Whatever your goal, whether to get to college, to play camogie for your county, or to manage your mental health, make a chart, write it down, identify steps, set a deadline, and start checking them off.
Did you ever hear the saying “stuck in a rut”. So many of us are crammed in that rut and can’t see the light. If you eat the same things, talk to the same people, go to the same places, think the same thoughts, changing even one small part of it can seem unthinkable. Even if these things are not good for us, we finds security in them, because we know where we stand.
Try shaking things up a bit, eat something you’ve never eaten before, make a new friend, join a dodgeball club (its the craic, honestly). That jolt makes you feel alive in a way you may have forgotten, and might inspire you to make more changes. We set out on adventures as children not only to express our independence but also to understand our capabilities. How will you know if you never try?
Having a group of people who believe in you, where you feel you belong, helps you feel secure and boosts your confidence and self-belief. There is strength in numbers, and finding your people can really help you to push yourself further. Have a look at the people around you. Do they make you feel good? Do they fill your heart or make you feel empty? Can you tell them your darkest fears? No? Then maybe you need to find some new people. Don’t forget though, that its a two way street, and you need to cheer for them as loudly as they cheer for you.
We adapted this piece from Dr. Phils list in his book “Life Code: The New Rules for Winning in the Real World.”