Self belief

Self belief: How to get it back and how I lost mine

Ah, self belief. Hands up, who’s truly got a boat load? If you’re here I’d imagine not. I feel you sister, I’ve been there. If you’ve read my post on how I fucked up, you’ll know that it just took listening to that tiny voice in my head that said “you can’t do that” to lose a massive part of me and halt any achievements.
You see, losing belief happens to all of us (I believe so anyway – those who say they never falter I think must be lying. Or supernatural) but it’s getting through it and standing back up that counts, and that’s the bit we all struggle with. It can strike at any moment, before or after an achievement. Like when passing an exam – “wow, I didn’t think I’d do that! “ or before aiming for a big dream “that’ll never happen to someone like me” at either end of the spectrum it eats away at your positivity and actively prevents you from living a life you love and deserve. So, what do we do about this rubbish deal?
Well first, let’s outline the positives. Self belief is just our good old friend fear dressing up and playing at being something else for a bit. Fear serves us well on an instinctive level because it tells us not to run into oncoming traffic, or move to Guam with no understanding of the language or culture. However, it is definitely a hindrance when it tells people like you and me not to write books or sing songs or make speeches because “our old colleagues might judge us”. That bit, the illogical bit, that sucks.

You probably live your days laced with self belief, particularly if you’ve ever been diagnosed with any form of anxiety (as I have in the past). Consciously or subconsciously, you probably live your days a little like this:
Wake up. What to wear? I can’t pull that dress off anymore. Jeans and a work top it is. Does this show my belly/arms/thighs too much? Never mind, gotta go, why can’t I get up earlier? I look like crap because I rushed my make up. Oh well. Morning coffee – does that barista remember my order? Will she remember me? Should I ask how she is? What do I do, I can’t decide!! No, the man behind me looks mad and will hate me for delaying him. Ooh, latte. Wait, no, calories. Too fat. Skinny latte. Flat white? Oh my god, can’t decide. As usual. Late for work again. Oh god, my boss thinks I’m crap. Well i am compared to the team. How did I get here, I really got lucky! If only I had the tenacity of Sharon. She always knows what to do. When’s lunch? Ugh, wish i didn’t have a job that made me clock watch.
And that’s no way to live!

Okay, we haven’t even hit lunch yet and writing that drained me. A lot! But I know a good chunk of that – or all of it – is what you feel on the daily because hunny, I’ve been there. On the daily.
You see, this self doubt doesn’t go away. Ever. And the reason I know that is a) I’ve moved past my own self doubt, upgraded my life, and I still feel it and b) my biggest role models admit they still feel it too even if they’re millionaires living dream lives. So we’re going to have to get comfortable. I know, sorry, I don’t make the rules.
But how do you push past self doubt?

Firstly, get really clear on how much negative self talk you’re pedaling and how much doubt you’re allowing in. Let’s double check that morning routine I just chucked up there for how much our imaginary woman is doubting.
Wake up. What to wear? I can’t pull that dress off anymore. Jeans and a work top it is. Does this show my belly/arms/thighs too much? Never mind, gotta go, why can’t I get up earlier? I look like crap because I rushed my make up. Oh well. Morning coffee – does that barista remember my order? Will she remember me? Should I ask how she is? What do I do, I can’t decide!! No, the man behind me looks mad and will hate me for delaying him. Ooh, latte. Wait, no, calories. Too fat. Skinny latte. Flat white? Oh my god, can’t decide. As usual. Late for work again. Oh god, my boss thinks I’m crap. Well i am compared to the team. How did I get here, I really got lucky! If only I had the tenacity of Sharon. She always knows what to do. When’s lunch? Ugh, wish i didn’t have a job that made me clock watch.
Damn girl, that’s too much to expect of yourself.

So once you’ve figured out exactly how much you’re talking down to yourself (I’m serious, write it down on your phone, or tally it somewhere, draw mini doodles on your arm each time, I don’t care just do it!) you need to mitigate each of those thoughts and give yourself some compassion. You can’t necessarily stop those thoughts immediately but you can certainly figure out if they’re true (hint: they’re not).
Wake up. What to wear? I can’t pull that dress off anymore. Well, I could do, by ut maybe it’s not what I want to look like anymore. Jeans and a work top it is. Does this show my belly/arms/thighs too much? Hang on, I’m a real human with a real body and that’s Fine. Never mind, gotta go, why can’t I get up earlier? Today I’ll try to get an early night so I can feel better for it. I look like crap because I rushed my make up. Oh well. Although actually, my eyeshadow/mascara/brows are on point! Morning coffee – does that barista remember my order? Will she remember me? Should I ask how she is? What do I do, I can’t decide!! No, the man behind me looks mad and will hate me for delaying him. Right, I’ll give them both a big smile and – oh, he’s smiling back! Great, latte. Wait, no, calories. Too fat. Skinny latte. Flat white? Oh my god, can’t decide. As usual. You know what, I’m doing well with my self talk today and I don’t need to worry about every calorie – latte please! Late for work again. Although the train was delayed and Sharon is late too so it might be okay. Oh god, my boss thinks I’m crap. Well she looks miserable but is that about me? Probably not. I deserve to be here. How did I get here, I really got lucky! Oh, wait, I worked hard for the promotion and my technical knowledge is second to none. If only I had the tenacity of Sharon. She always knows what to do. Then again I’m a problem solver when I need to be. When’s lunch? Ugh, wish i didn’t have a job that made me clock watch. I wonder if I could create that?
YAAS!

This is MUCH better. I challenge you to meet your self talk with love for at least a few days and note the change in your mood – I bet you it’s ground-breaking!
What changes will you make to improve your self belief?

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