What do you see when you look at yourself in the mirror? Do you feel confident or do you shrink away from it as soon as you can? Do you experience positive or neutral self-talk or do you start to notice doubt whispering or screaming at you? How you answer those questions helps to determine how you feel about yourself. The key to confidence is believing in you.
So what exactly is doubt? Doubt is thinking about yourself in a negative, vulnerable way or thinking you’re not equipped to handle things when the facts show otherwise. Doubt causes you to stop actively participating in life and enjoying the world around you because you get stuck in your own head. You get bogged down internally by self-criticism, second-guessing, and analyzing the unlikely less than favorable outcomes of situations rather than the more realistic ones. Doubt also causes you to put needless obstacles in your path and leads you to take ineffective action. This can cause sadness, anxiety, fear, and frustration. Beginning now, it’s time to run doubt out of your life so that you can get back in the driver’s seat. The way to do this is to really examine what your doubt is saying using the facts of the situation and not your perceptions/assumptions or feelings. That way you chip away at doubt’s credibility and over time your more accurate, realistic confidence takes over.
Confidence comes from knowing that you are your greatest resource. By believing in you, you recognize that can handle whatever stressor, difficulty or upset faces you. You know that if you don’t have the information, skills, or knowledge that you need, you have the internal know how to figure out what you need to do to get it. You understand that you are competent. You also give yourself the credit you deserve.
Not only do you recognize that you are capable, but you get that you are a decent, desirable person. What that means is that you know that you are likable/lovable, equipped with basic social skills, and know how to put yourself together to walk into any situation. You understand that you may feel increased anxiety or apprehension about walking into a situation, but that at your core you know you can handle it. You know that if someone doesn’t include you in a plan, want to hang out with you, or is upset with you that the situation is distressing but that it does not lead directly to a negative doubt label about you.
So how do you believe in you? You do it the same way you do your spring cleaning or update your wardrobe or look. You just need to do it for your head. To squash doubt you need to throw out all the information that no longer fits who you are, is inaccurate, taken out of context, or based on interpretations or feelings and throw it all out. Then put yourself on PAR with everyone else. PAR stands for positive, accurate, and realistic. A good way to do this is to pull out a piece of paper and list out all the characteristics, qualities, roles, skills, attributes, or feedback from others. If you’re still having a hard time, then you can try to keep a credit list so that each day you write down at least five positive things that you played a role in. Last, take the time to look in the mirror and embrace all the qualities that make up the confident, unique you.
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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 2 Dec 2009
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.
and Leslie Sokol, M. (2009). Believe in You. Psych Central. Retrieved on April 19, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2009/12/02/believe-in-you/