Is self-doubt the cause of my anxiety?

The American Psychology Association (APA) defines doubt as a lack of confidence or uncertainty about something or someone, including the self. Doubt may center on everyday concerns (Can I accomplish this task?), issues of daily living, or the very meaning of life itself. People in different stages or ages, ask themselves, what am I doing with my life? Either because they had some sort of plan, changes in their lives, opportunities, relationships, and decisions. Change is very common, it is inevitable. So, why self-doubt?

Self-doubt is characterized by feelings of uncertainty. When it becomes debilitating it may cause symptoms of anxiety. For example, we’ve made an error in a work task and believe we are the worst employees and tell ourselves that our supervisors will fire us immediately. Self-doubt is this persuasive voice in your mind that holds you back from doing the things you really want in life. How do you minimize self-doubt?

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is an effective treatment to begin reframing your thoughts, and understand how they affect your behaviors and emotions. Mindfulness techniques would also contribute to practicing self-compassion, patience, and acquiring more trust in yourself. Talk therapy helps to identify patterns of thoughts and the logic behind your behaviors, also could be a great benefit to reduce these feelings.

These are a few tips to overcome self-doubt:

  1. Enjoy your achievements – did you think twice about doing something, but still, did It and received positive feedback from others? It helps to remind ourselves of our strengths, and our capabilities, and accept opportunities.
  2. You vs You – don’t compare to others. When in self-doubt we begin to compare ourselves with others and it can be paralyzing. Everyone’s situation is different. Think about the positive factors instead of the negative ones.
  3. Be selective with those around you – spend time with people who support you. You know who they are! Those who actively listen without judgment, who offer ideas, who recognize and empower you.
  4. Be mindful of your thoughts – our brain is like Velcro to negative thoughts. Take a pause, implement self-talk, go through each thought, and practice letting go. Accept they are thoughts that come and go.
  5. Harshest critic – you are your harshest critic. By being mindful and treating yourself with kindness you will get to the resolution of your conflict. Step by step and focused in your purpose would be the way to go.

Mindfulness exercise

  • Take a few moments to feel grounded in your body and bring awareness to your breath.
  • Reflect on what you just read. Is there anything you have discovered for yourself and would like to remember? Write it down somewhere accessible and review it.

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