I don’t know about you, but I am my own worst enemy and never give myself enough credit where it’s due. All throughout my life I have allowed self doubt to become a big part of my day to day life, whether it be during education, work, hobbies or even in my social life. Along with the help of my therapist, I have been trying so hard to overcome the constant self doubt and I thought I would share my tips and tricks with you in today’s post as well as having a bit of a mental health natter. Disclaimer, this is a looong post so a big coffee is defo needed!
I mentioned a while back I was undergoing CBT therapy because I came off my anti-depressants due to being pregnant. And as you can imagine, coming off my medication sent my depression and anxiety through the roof. Something I have always struggled with is not being confident in my decisions and this was magnified as soon as medication wasn’t in the equation. On the daily I would doubt everything I do from small things like if the meals I cook are nice, if my makeup is done to a good enough standard, if my content is worthy of viewing. Then there were bigger doubts like will I be a good enough mum, am I working to the best of my ability, do I make enough effort with the family or am I an embarrassment? I was even questioning things I say to people and whether that was the right thing to say. I have finished my course of therapy now and it has definitely helped me manage my anxiety better, here are my tips:
Challenge it with the facts
I have found that this is the most helpful way to combat anxious thoughts because more often than not, they are all fictional thoughts. After making decisions I would typically make negative assumptions and create fictional scenarios in my mind. When a worry pops into my mind, I always try to make the effort to break that worry down and challenge it with the facts. Is my colleague messaging me about work because I done badly or is she just trying to clarify things for herself? Is that person actually judging what I look like or are they just looking at me because we’ve made awkward eye contact?
Keep a journal
Throughout CBT I documented my mood in a journal and admittedly it felt a bit odd at first putting all my feelings onto paper, but it definitely helped me identify my triggers. Before keeping a journal I was under the impression I was just sad most of the time because I was no longer on medication and there wasn’t much I could do about it until I am back on them. However, by keeping a daily diary I discovered that my mood is typically at its worst in the evenings when I am alone or on days where I have crammed a lot of activities into the day and I could also identify when I am at my happiest. This helped me plan my week and put methods into place to prevent having a low mood as much as possible.
Give yourself credit where its due
I have always been horrendous at patting myself on the back, I always fixate on what I wasn’t as good at. Nobody is perfect, no matter how well they seem to have their shit together. Although I know this, I am guilty of always striving for perfection in all I do, which means that I am constantly beating myself up for when things are inevitably not perfect. A way of combatting this is by writing down all your achievements in a journal no matter how big or small. Identifying your achievements is so helpful for your confidence and you will end up shocking yourself at how well you are actually doing. There are so many things that are worthy of congratulating, whether it is doing the house work, going out for that coffee when you couldn’t be bothered or even getting out of bed in the mornings when things are really bad.
Recognise when you are doing it
The biggest way to break the self destructive cycle is to realise you are doing it and press pause. It can be so time consuming and certainly not beneficial at all to sit and question every single thing you do as what’s done is done and no matter how long you spend punishing yourself it won’t change the past. When I realise I am in a cycle of self doubt, I jot the worry down in my journal, question it with the facts and then try to refocus by using my senses. By recognising this habit, it stops it being an acceptable part of your day.
I really hope that you enjoyed this post and if these tips help at least one person then I am a very happy bunny. If you have any tips and tricks then please leave them in the comments below!
Until next time,