Believing in Yourself

My life journey has had it’s ups and downs and I’m not comparing myself to anyone here. I grew up privileged. I had all the opportunities. The real struggle for me in my day to day living comes down to one thing…

Belief.

Perhaps it’s tied up with low self-esteem and anxiety, but it’s shit crazy how much doubt in yourself can set you back, can stop you achieving.

I’ve been trying to pinpoint this feeling in my head where something gets too hard for me and I want out. That’s the worry telling me I can’t do it, that I’m making a fool of myself.

I dumb myself down, say things like “this is too hard for me” — a huge factor in why I never really succeeded at maths and why I dropped out of Computer Science.

It’s why I pick up things like exercise and writing, and drop them. Because if that stuff isn’t in your routine you can talk yourself out of it. Because it’s not easy, it’s often very painful. Like learning something new and difficult, another language for instance *cough Spanish *cough*.

I want other people to help me out of it, to take over. I don’t want the responsibility for myself anymore. Because I’m afraid to fail, I’m afraid to look bad. Won’t someone just take this off my hands already??

And guess where all those thoughts get me? To failure, or even worse, giving up.

I can tell that it IS in my mind, because I can do things. I can even do things well if I put the effort in. If I give it my all — even if I screw up — I know I’m learning, not relying on someone else, no safety net.

It’s a story that you tell yourself, that you’re not loved, that you’re an outcast, that you’re not smart enough, pretty enough.

But what you should be telling yourself is the evidence that doesn’t support these thoughts (a tip I picked up in counselling).

For example:

Thought: I can’t do anything right. I should quit now.
Evidence supporting: It takes me forever to pick up a move in Aikido, and I can never get it perfect.

Evidence against: You passed your grading. Your sensei have complimented you before on some of your moves. 

Leading you to your…

Balanced belief: With practise you can master Aikido. It might be rough getting there, just keep at it.

Commonsense right? The problem is we hang around too much in our thoughts and the evidence for it, without taking in the evidence against or a more balanced view.

This is something I’m still working on, and if you are too, you’re not alone. Chin up buddy, let’s believe in ourselves!

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