Fighting Self-Doubt

Self-doubt is one of those things that can cripple you to the point of inaction.  Self-doubt can cause you to give up on looking for the good in yourself.  If you read my last post, I’ve Lost Myself, you know that I have hit a pretty hard rock bottom.  I have come to the point where I don’t believe that I am capable of anything; a point where I have honestly believed that I have nothing left to contribute to life.  Self-doubt has been a huge player in my life lately.  The phrase, “I just can’t…” has crossed my lips more time than I’d care to admit.

Something happened last week to help change my direction though.  I was hit with something straight out of the blue and had to either act or curl up into a ball and go back to bed.  Guess what I did?  I took action.  I took control of what I could of the situation.  I didn’t let it beat me.  At the time, I didn’t see it that way. At the time, I was freaking out playing all kinds of horrible scenarios in my head of what could go wrong.  For some reason though I didn’t give in to those thoughts.  I forged ahead and did what I had to do to get through it.  My therapist was the one that pointed out to me that I didn’t give up.  I had begun to believe that I have no more fight in me, but as my therapist pointed out in that situation I didn’t crumple in defeat.  I made the situation work for the best.

It has taken a couple of days to sink in – exactly what I accomplished.  But now that it has, there is a sense of empowerment that I haven’t felt in a long time.  I am seeing all the good that can happen if I just take a little action.  As I said in my last post, motivation has been a real problem lately.  Self-doubt has played a very big part in that.  I can’t possibly be able to do this or accomplish that so why even try.  It is a very sick place to be.  Thankfully, I think because of the situation last week I am now starting to pull myself up out of the muck of misery.  I think my mind has finally said, “Enough is enough.  Let’s do this.” 

I am a fighter.  Always have been and as far as I can tell right now, I always will be.  I am strong.  I have been beaten down pretty low this year and allowed myself to get to a place that I swore to myself years ago that I would never get to again.  That ends now. 

There are small things that I have been doing to build myself back up, to fight the crippling self-doubt.  The situation last week gave them a jolt of positive electricity so now I’m a little more ramped up and determined.

      1. Having more trust. Looking back over my life and everything I have been through, I can see where doubt tried to stop me but I drove ahead anyway trusting that it would all work out; that good would come out of whatever bad situation was happening at the time.  And every time it did work out and my life was better for it in some way.  I am trying to get back to that place where I trust myself to keep going even when everything around me tries to pull me down.
      2. Reaching out more. For a long time, I steadily shut many friends and family out of my life thinking that they didn’t want to hear or didn’t really care about what was going on with me – good or bad.  I quit talking to people in general for the most part.  For the past couple of months, I have made an effort to answer phone calls from family, to text friends I haven’t heard from in a while.  I am working at opening my world back up to people I care about and it has been helping me a lot.  Talking about what is happening in my life to people who love me has helped turn the doubt into hope.  They encourage me when I need it and remind me that I can handle anything that life throws at me.
      3. Not comparing myself to anyone but myself. Too many times these days I find myself comparing my life to those of others.  So and so has it so much better because they have such a great marriage.  So and so is lucky to be in school already and close to being done.  These comparisons do nothing to help anything.  I’ve been trying to instead compare myself to myself and measure how far I’ve come – how many trials I’ve faced and come through a stronger person.  It helps instill the hope I so desperately need.
      4. Take on the Attitude of Gratitude. I have realized that only when I am grateful for what I have am I at any kind of peace.  Being grateful for even the littlest thing in my life helps neutralize the negative thoughts and brings about positive energy.  It’s hard to doubt yourself when you’re grateful for having the opportunity to grow.
      5. Thinking positively. This goes along with the gratitude bit.  It is a must that I keep my thoughts from diving into the world of negativity.  Finding the good in any situation helps pull the positive out and keeps the hope alive.

I don’t have all the answers right now.  I have no idea what life will be like this time next year, but I do know that if I keep working on these steps, I will be okay.  Probably better than okay.  The pain of the past few months still sneaks up on me and makes it hard to even breath sometimes, but I have to keep moving forward.  I am strong.  I am worthy.  I am capable of anything I set my mind to.  Keeping these mantras in mind, I will make it through even these dark times.  And maybe even find a smile or two.

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