Seeing Beyond Self-Doubt to Create the Life You Deserve…
I have been filled with self-doubt these past few months. Personal struggles, past struggles coming back to haunt me, and what seems like an endless battle to effectively create positive change and forward movement in my life have consumed me. Feeling very inadequate, unworthy, and incapable of change, I escaped to the only place I know at times like these: my journal.
Rather than lend my pen toward the things in my life that were burdening me, I decided I would only allow myself to write about positive things in my life; goals I had reached (no matter how small), all the times I kept on going when I wanted to give up, and times I stood up for myself when I would normally back down. To my surprise, the picture my words painted amidst so much turmoil was not one of sadness or despair. What unfolded before I was my story of overcoming– of resilience. I still have a long way to go and although it is messy, it is a beautiful mess.
That one choice I made to focus on ways I have succeeded rather than areas I feel I failed led to other positive choices. Not long after my positive journaling, I sat down with one of my favorite magazines and began cutting out all the words that brought me joy- including words that portrayed everything I wanted the world to see me as. As I was cutting out the words, I realized “Hey, these aren’t dreams. I really AM all these things.” This is not in a cocky way at all. For people like me, who at times struggle with self-confidence, it is very important to take time out and find the things you like and value about yourself. Cutting words out of a magazine was simple. It was fun. It connected me with the little girl who used to create collages of dreams I hoped to achieve when I “grew” up. It reminded me just how special I am and how much I have to offer the world.
Not surprisingly, the collage led to other positive changes! A few weeks after I made the collage, I signed up for a weight loss challenge, something I would never have had the confidence to do a few months ago. I started singing again- something that gives me great joy. I also took care of myself physically, scheduling appointments I had put off for months. Before I knew it, that one journal entry caused a snowball effect and I realized that as my attitude toward myself began to shift in a more positive direction, slowly my life began to shift as well. Little by little, I became closer to living my life according to my core values. Living in tune with your values is one of the top things I teach as a Life Coach, which just goes to show you- even we life coaches fall short sometimes!
I’ve often said that in our struggles true beauty emerges. This is true, but it is up to you to find that beauty. You can choose to focus on the ugly, dirty, hard, and bad… or you can work to shift your focus to those moments of sweet success, confidence boosts, and little victories. Once you are able to pick out the beauty in your journey, flowers of hope, acceptance, confidence, and growth will spring up all around you.
When I am having a bad day or feeling weak, I pull out my collage. Even on my worst day, seeing all those positive affirmations builds my spirit back up. I think I need a bigger board! There are so many words missing- words that didn’t occur to me at the time I made the collage. That’s the amazing thing that happens when you change your attitude- you see things you never saw before. When you are able to accept yourself for who you are, there is no limit to the things you can accomplish.
So, get out there! Keep steady on your journey. If you find yourself out in the dust with nothing in front of you or behind you, I challenge you to write about all the GREAT, POSITIVE, WONDERFUL things in your life. After that, try making a collage. You will be amazed at the enlightening it will lead you to.
A Daily Practice to Beat Self-Doubt
- Write down at least 3 positive self-affirmations every day
- Take a look in the mirror- a good long look- and note at least 3 things you like about yourself
- Use your collage as a reminder of a few of the many great qualities you possess
- Before you go to sleep at night, write down 3 things from your day that you are thankful for or 3 things that brought you joy