FRANKLY SPEAKING: 3 Signs Self Doubt is Ruling Your Life (And How to Break the Cycle)

by Lauren Tharp
by Lauren Tharp

Confidence is one of the most attractive and desirable traits we notice in other human beings. But when was the last time you sat down and contemplated YOUR confidence?

Sadly, many people lack this positive trait, despite wanting to see it in others. Both men and women are riddled with self-doubt… and it’s destroying us.

I know the last line sounds grim, but take a deep breath. It’s not nearly as bad as you think. There are ways that you can overcome your general lack of self confidence.

Before you can start your journey to recovery and start living a happier, more productive, and confident lifestyle you need to identify the signs that self doubt is a dominant feeling in your life. Today we are going to talk about some signs of doubting yourself, and how you can break the cycle once and for all!

1. Constant Avoidance

How many times have you made a promise to hang out with friends only to bail at the last second? Chances are, this happens pretty often if you’re lacking confidence.

When you don’t feel good about yourself it’s so hard to put yourself in social situations. You feel like there is a weight on your shoulders and like it will literally kill you if you have to get dressed and leave the house.

Social situations are just the beginning of this “avoidance” trend.

Do you find yourself frequently calling off work? What about laying around when you said that you would “get EVERYTHING done today?”

Even avoiding texting your friends back can feel like a burden when you’re filled with self-doubt.

The reason people tend to avoid these types of situations when they're lacking confidence is they would rather just sit around and dwell on everything going WRONG with their life instead of what’s going WELL.

If you want to fight back against avoidance, you have to push yourself to answer those text messages, don’t let yourself get out of plans with friends, and don’t call off work – even if you’re dreading going in.

Surprisingly, once you take that first step to get off your butt, you’ll discover that it takes a LOT of energy to hate everything. You are much better off getting out there and living your life with your head held high.

2.Feeling Jealous & Frequent Social Media Use

Believe it or not, social media and jealousy go hand in hand. They both hold you back and can cause an unhealthy amount of self-doubt in your life.

If you use social platforms on a regular basis you already know what I’m talking about. You either are, or know someone, who gets on their social media page and just gets MAD about people doing well for themselves.

People loaded with self-doubt often feel resentful when they see friends buying houses, getting new jobs, getting married, etc. There are multiple reasons for this feeling, but mostly it has to do with people thinking “Why can’t that be ME?”

A vicious cycle begins. People lose their confidence because they see people doing well, and they don’t have those things or goals yet in their lives. As a result, people with a lack of confidence become stagnant. Once you quit trying, you’re NEVER going to reach your goal, which only fuels more jealousy and self doubt – keep that in mind.

The solution to this problem is easier than you think. Give up social media for a little while. I know, I know, you’re wondering what you are going to do with your thumbs all day. Here are some things you can do that will make you feel better, not worse:

  • Plant a garden
  • Read a book
  • Start a new art project
  • Hang out with friends and family
  • Catch up on a TV show you enjoy

Obviously, there are more things we can add to this list. But if you are willing to trade social media for things that legitimately make you happy, you’re going to stand a good chance at reversing the horrible cycle of depression and self doubt.

3.Brain Freeze (No, Not the Ice Cream Kind)

As the subtitle suggests, brain freeze is the third sign that you have an unhealthy amount of self doubt in your life. I’m not talking about the horrible headache you get when you pound a pint of mint chocolate chip Ben & Jerry’s either. (Though that stuff is GOOD!)

I’m talking about a brain freeze of your own design. This might both hurt and help you to hear, but the realities we imagine in our minds are rarely the truth. As human beings, we have a habit of exaggerating emotions, inferring meaning, and overall clogging our brain up with thoughts that are only relevant to us.

If you are the kind of person that suffers from a lack of confidence, sometimes these thoughts can be your greatest enemy. We often think of ways to sabotage our brain into thinking that we are less than we actually are, and eventually we start believing it.

While some people are able to shake these toxic thoughts, there are those who dwell on them until they end up in a state of near paralysis. They are unable to get ANYTHING done because they are just so caught up in their own heads.

You’ll know if you are this kind of person because your thoughts will consist of a lot of “what ifs” and generally thinking you know what others are thinking, even though they gave you no verbal or physical cues. As a result, you beat yourself into the ground, positive that others see you the way you see yourself.

This is the hardest type of thinking to break, but it can be done. You have to be willing to step back and realize that you’re a victim of your own thoughts. Not everyone sees you as you see yourself. In fact, there are people who admire you! Your self doubt is just that, doubting yourself.

Instead of focusing on all of the bad traits and thoughts that only you see, consider the positives that you bring to the table. Think about the last time you helped a friend. Overall, just consider your good traits.

Don’t ever forget that we all have good traits. You need to frequently remind yourself of your potential. In fact, if you are willing to remind yourself how great you are instead of bad, you’ll be able to crush that mounting feeling of self doubt before it crawls it’s way back into your brain again.

Like all things worth changing, overcoming self doubt takes time. But you can do it. We all have faith in you. You can always be a better person than you were yesterday. Who knows? Your confidence may light a fire in someone else and change their life forever.

This article was originally published on fashion