The Crusher of Dreams
Self doubt is defined as the lack of faith or confidence in oneself, as per thefreedictionary.com, it should say, crusher of dreams. Doubt can stop us from anything and everything we want to do or say. I am not suggesting we always leap before we look, however doubt can be paralyzing and can keep us from moving forward in our relationships, dreams, work and our lives.
Everyone experiences self doubt at one point or another during their life. It could be around a new relationship, job or decision making. Some people are riddled with self doubt and struggle their whole lives with this villain. Self doubt has the tendency to creep up in situations where we are out of our comfort zone, doing something for the first time, or making an important decision. Many of us fall into the clutches of self doubt and find ourselves crippled by fear and doubt.
Imagine how much easier life would be if we banished self doubt and replaced it with self confidence and we believed in ourselves most of the time. Instead of looking at things and saying "I am not good enough" or "I could never do that" try thinking "How can I improve or better the situation?" When we experience self doubt, we often forget that we CAN do most things, within reason. I am not suggesting we attempt to perform surgery when we do not have surgical or medical training. We need to be honest with ourselves and our skill sets. Just because we think something negative about ourselves, does not make it a fact.
We do not have to believe the voice of self doubt. We can instead choose to believe in ourselves. This is difficult to do when we are riddled with self doubt, but we can choose to work through it. We can choose to try, even if we fail, we still must try. When we fail, it is easy to believe the voice of self doubt, but that does not make it a reality. We need to brush ourselves off, grieve the loss of the failure and try again. Learn from the failure, and continue to pursue your dream, job, relationship or whatever the situation may be. Self doubt eats away at our happiness as well as our belief in us. If you constantly doubt, it is difficult to be happy.
Trusting and believing in ourselves in the face of self doubt, will help overcome it. If we trust ourselves it is much easier to make decisions, feel confident when starting something new and conquer self doubt or any negative self talk that creeps into our thought process. Sometimes self doubt can be good, it may help us take a step back and analyze things, after the analysis an action plan should be put into place and then act. If you find that after analysis you are listening to self doubt, reevaluate by starting with all of your accomplishments. Make a list of everything good about you and your skill set. Try to regain self confidence and trust in yourself.
People, who are self confident and believe in themselves, tend to be happier at work, in relationships and in life. The next time the crusher of dreams stops by, hear the doubt, feel it and remember all of your wonderful qualities and believe in yourself.
Disclaimer: This blog is for informational purposes only and is not meant to replace therapy or treatment.
You Are Not An Island
At times we may feel that we need to do things on our own without anyone else's help. Sometimes this can be cathartic other times it can leave you with a feeling of loneliness and a mild feeling of despair. It is very important for everyone to understand that we are not islands and it is healthy to reach out to our support system. We have support in friends, family and colleagues. It may be difficult at times to lean on this support due to issues that may have come up in your previous or current relationships. However, it is important to nurture and grow our support system.
If you look back, you may see that at different points in your life, you relied on different people for different things. Depending on our age, needs, wants and desires, we have turned to different people in our support system to assist with different areas of our lives. As we grow and age, some of us feel that relying on others is a flaw or limitation, that is NOT true! Reaching out to others in our support system is not a sign of weakness it is a sign of strength. It is just as important to be a support to others, as it is to be supported. Having a good support system is a two way street, we need to support those in our lives just as those people support us.
Here are 5 advantages of having a strong support system:
1. Sense of belonging: A sense of belonging is important throughout our lives. It starts with our family of origin and our friend group as we grow from children to adolescents to adults. We need to thrive, not just survive. With a good support system in place, we can flourish and reach our potential in whatever area we are striving.
2. Reduce Stress: A strong support system aids in stress reduction. Venting and spending time with loved ones can help reduce our anxiety, and increase our mood. Call a friend or family member to go for a walk, hike or a yoga class when you need to reduce stress. Having a strong support system can assist us in decompressing after a stressful day.
3. Improve overall health and wellbeing: A good support system helps with our overall physical health throughout our lives and especially as we age. Feeling as though we are not alone helps with physical health as well as emotional wellbeing.
4. Emotional support: An emotional support system is very important as good emotional health and wellbeing can increase overall physical health. A strong support system is pertinent to good emotional health as it gives us a community of support during the trying times.
5. Improved self-esteem: When we have people we can rely on and who can rely on us for support, we feel better about ourselves. It is always good to feel as though we have some people rooting for us on the sidelines as well as rooting for those in our support system.
Sometimes we find ourselves in a new city or location where we do not know anyone. If this is the case, try volunteering, take a class, music lessons, join a group such as a running or a book club, the idea is to find other people with similar interests as our own. As adults, many of us find like-minded people at our place of work, other times that is not the case. Look for organizations or meet up groups in an interest area and try to slowly build a support system in your new area.
Disclaimer: This blog is for informational purposes only and is not meant to be a replacement for treatment or therapy.
Dr. Deb is a successful Psychologist who practices in New York City. She is an Anxiety Specialist who works with adolescents and adults providing both individual and couples counseling.
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Debra O'Shea, Psy.D PLLC
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New York, NY 10122
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