GUESS WHO’S BACK! Hey guys, I know you missed me these last two weeks. I didn’t actually intend to disappear, but I fell down a rather deep hole of crippling self down, and I’m only starting to feel like myself again. I’ll be honest, the last few weeks haven’t been the best for me. My self confidence has been in the gutter, and I felt so unmotivated. So I took a break, for the first time since about August. Sometimes, it’s nice to take a break. Sometimes, it’s necessary. In this case, I was dealing with self doubt and just needed to allow myself to take a step back. I gave myself two pressure-free weeks of just reflecting on things! It’s hard isn’t it, when those little things creep in? Dealing with self doubt can be so tricky sometimes, and I’m sharing a little bit of reflection on the subject.
I put so much time, effort and heart into my blog, it’s not at all surprising that self doubt sometimes rears it’s ugly little head. It also means that my motivation basically disappears, and I can’t be arsed to do anything. I know I’m not alone in all this, but when I’m feeling my worst, everything looks a little grey. Still, there have been a few things helping me get through this weird little blip I’m currently having. It’s not by any means a definitive list, but this is just a few of the ways I’m dealing with self-doubt…
Let It Out
I used to never talk about my feelings. I know, that sounds so weird, given how open I am about most things, especially on the blog. Honestly, though, I used to clam up and not ever let anything out. These days, I’ve taken a healthier (and slightly more vulnerable) approach. If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen my stories the other week when I went to a gym class and it all went to shit. I had a horrible time, was filled with self loathing, and binge ate a whole tub of cookies. When I shared my feelings, I had a number of messages from people telling me that they felt the same about themselves. A few people commended me for making it to the class in the first place. More still told me that I was beautiful, and to allow myself this bad day, but not to forget what an amazing person I am. I can’t tell you how much it meant to me to read all those messages. When we’re feeling our worst, we can’t remember the good things. So let it out, talk to someone, tweet about it, do what you need to do. Sometimes it takes someone else reminding us that, actually, we’re pretty cool. For me, dealing with self doubt is about trying to silence that voice in my head. The voices of my friends is much stronger, and in those moments, much more logical.
Give Yourself a Break
One of the worst things I do when I’m feeling a little self doubt is to suddenly be really hard on myself and get annoyed that I’m not doing all these amazing things. So I have to stop, take a step back, and make the choice to not do anything. That sounds a little counter productive, but it’s necessary for me. On one of my blogging days, instead of doing any work, I went to the cinema. I just needed a break from my own head, and to watch something to make me laugh. Sometimes that is easier said than done, but it’s something that I find necessary. Last week, instead of planning and writing my usual two blog posts, I had a day on the couch, and a day out with a friend. I spent an hour just listening to one of my favorite albums right now (Rainbow by Kesha, if you were wondering!), singing along and just having a little boogie. Put yourself in a positive place. Change the environment. Try not to be too hard on yourself, and allow yourself the freedom to just live.
Set An Achievable Goal
I do this on days when I’m feeling really low. It’s an old trick I learned from CBT, and it’s perhaps the biggest thing I’ve kept with me since. When I’m feeling low, I try to make a list of 3 things to achieve that day. Take a bath. Do the washing up. Pick a film to watch. Small things that on the lowest day can feel monstrous. That really works for me. The same is true when I’m dealing with self doubt. I make a little to do list of things I know I can accomplish. Take photos for this blog post. Bake a new recipe. Send a friend a message just to say hello. By setting those tasks, and then ticking them off, you’re already doing better than you were before. I’m a big advocate for self care for that very reason. It makes everything bearable and less overwhelming. Sometimes, when you’re dealing with self doubt, that’s all it takes to find your feet again.
I don’t think self doubt ever really goes away, but sometimes we’re better at keeping a reign on it than others. Sure, so my newsletter doesn’t have as many readers as I’d like, and my Instagram following seems to have plateaued, but does that mean I’ve failed? Not at all. Most of the time, it doesn’t bother me, and I can keep creating content and working hard. Those darker days are when everything just feels like a massive failure. Dealing with self doubt is also about knowing yourself, and trusting yourself. At the end of the day, you are enough, and you have something of value to offer. It’ll just take a bit of extra work to remember that!