I wanted to discuss self-doubt because it’s something that plagues many depressives. As humans, we have all probably experienced self-doubt at one point or another. It’s something that can creep in your head in a single breath and weigh you down all day.
Self-doubt often comes from comparing yourself to others. We gauge our own success or failure by the norms in society or the workplace. For instance, if the norm of your work environment is screaming with negativity and you are the one that strives to stay positive, you may experience a great deal of doubt in yourself because you are not the norm. You are the outlier. Another example that a friend recently told me about would be comparing your life to the seemingly wonderful lives of those on social media. When you are struggling, you may see “friends” laughing with others, traveling, eating fine food, etc. This may be their truth for a portion of their lives, but I highly doubt they are constantly without worry, fear, sorrow, or any other emotion. My advice would be to stop comparing yourself and live against the norm. If you have the naysayers at work that are perpetually unhappy, stay guarded. Protect yourself at all cost and focus on what you truly value. The same goes for any other venue in your life. Be aware if you are falling into the trap of doubting yourself because it will just swallow you into a deeper hole.
Self-doubt also scratches at our mind when we fear failure. I believe that failing is our greatest teacher. I recently had a conversation with a parent who admitted that they feel they didn’t do their daughter any favors by never allowing them to fail. They always “bailed” them out. This caused her daughter to experience a great deal of anxiety as an adult because failure is a part of life. Her daughter has not developed the tools to be resilient and bounce back from setbacks, which in turn leads to self-doubt. Let your kids and yourself experience failure. Do so without blaming others and making excuses for the failure. Instead, reflect deeply and learn from it. This is how we grow and develop character.
Many people that develop self-doubt feel like an imposter. Their accomplishments can be pushed aside and they do not recognize their own abilities. You may feel like your achievements were a mistake. Keep in mind that the negative people, like the ones I mentioned earlier, can often make you feel this way because there are many that do not like others to succeed. They can become passive aggressive and try to bring you down. Again, protect yourself and align with like minded souls that bring each other up, not tear each other down. This is important!
Some things I have learned over the years to conquer self-doubt, besides protecting your positivity from the cancerous people that are inevitably around us, is to exercise, eat well, meditate, write, and simply be yourself. Love yourself for who you are and realize that you are good enough. You are living in the here and now and can thrive if you mindfully stay in the moment. Most importantly, be gentle with yourself. Your failures are your future successes. Just be a student before you are a teacher.