How to conquer self-doubt: Blast negativity

Last week I wrote a blog about how I was conquering self doubt by being more aware of the negative thoughts flowing through my head. I’ve been really trying to practice this to stop them in their tracks.

As I hopefully get better at this, my next step is to try and counter that negativity by blasting some positivity at it.

This is, however, often easier said than done.

At a rudimental level, as soon as I pick up a bead of negativity emanating from my brain I quash it with logic and reason. I say (or something along these lines): “Hang on a darn second here, you’re being negative. Now you know that’s not good. And, you know that negative thought is also not right. You have no proof that you can’t do this, no proof that you’re not good enough, no proof that you don’t deserve this. In actual fact you know you’re better than this and can do it.”

Boof! I’ve given myself a stern talking to and at least half the time I trust this wiser me and feel better for it.

And the reasoning is all true. I have no proof that this is something I can’t do or that I’m not good enough. It is literally mind over matter and being able to find the belief within myself to know the negative thoughts aren’t true.

Of course this is where it all gets a little tricky. First there is the small issue of having the belief in yourself when you’re plagued with self-doubt. The two don’t really seem to go together. This is a topic for another blog, and is an area I have been considering a lot.

Furthermore, throwing logic at negativity doesn’t exactly stop the negative voices and suddenly make you positive. In a way, I guess it’s like a sticking plaster solution – it treats the immediate situation but not necessarily the underlying condition.

In a comment on last week’s blog, it was suggested that reframing the negative thought in a more positive way opens up opportunities for creativity and greater positivity. An excellent idea but, I admit, I find reframing negative thoughts very difficult, I can’t get my head around it. Perhaps it’s just a practice thing or maybe my self-doubt habit has become so ingrained or maybe it’s not how my head works.

But clearly I’m not going to admit defeat on this and will endeavour to find positive solutions to this self-doubt conundrum. All I know so far is that the trick is to not get sucked in by the self-doubt and negative thoughts. You can’t be lead to believe these thoughts at face value.

This ain’t no easy street of course. I realise that just being aware of the self-doubt and trying to counter the negativity of it is only one part of the solution. Finding the other parts of the solution is also part of the journey.


4 thoughts on “How to conquer self-doubt: Blast negativity

  1. You forgot the other part of that comment on paraphrasing negative thoughts with positive ones. Negativity becomes a HABIT, a default setting, a comfort blanket, something familiar. It has taken TIME for this to happen and therefore it will take TIME to accustom yourself to a new, positive default setting.

    Have you tried a morning journal? You spend say 5 minutes vomiting onto the page all your uncensored thoughts – note: UNCENSORED thoughts. These will probably include a lot of negative thoughts, a complete moaning session about how sucky Life is. That is fine. Before you close your journal you then take a breath. You are cleansed of all that crap now. You now write down FIVE bullet points. FIVE positive affirmations about yourself that relate to what you have just written. This is the hard part, certainly at the beginning, especially when you realise you are not allowed to put the word ‘NOT’ in.a sentence – e.g. “I am NOT a fraud.” Because your subconscious can challenge this and whisper, “Are you sure about that?” You have to phrase every affirmation with positive language. So instead of thinking ‘I feel like a fraud’ and writing ‘I am not a fraud’, you write “I an entitled to feel confident about my decisions.”

    The point is that you have to give yourself permission to see yourself in a positive light. You have to OVERTLY allow yourself entitlement to dreams and goals. One of your affirmations might be: ‘I am ENTITLED to plan for my 40×40 goal’. Or ‘I am entitled to have my goal respected.’ ‘I am allowed to respect myself.’ ‘I am allowed to have goals.’ Use capital letters (note how I love them!!) because they change the emphasis of a sentence. I AM entitled to have my goals respected. I am ENTITLED to have my goals respected. I am entitled to have my goals RESPECTED.

    These thoughts are powerful. Despite being a 21st Century woman, not a lot has changed for woman-kind. We still fall into the subservient roles; duty and obligation – dreary self-sapping self-denying routines still loom large ahead of our own dreams; to get on in our careers we have to bury our own ideas and play ‘by the rules’. This all subtly undermines one’s sense of self and one’s confidence in one’s own ability and autonomy.

    So recognise this is not just a one off exercise in thinking positive. Each day you have the same mountain of negativity to climb and so each day you have to Pro-actively remind yourself you are allowed to think well of yourself. Make this as important a part of your daily routine as say, cleaning your teeth. Remind yourself: You ARE allowed to aim for Big Dreams. You ARE ENTITLED to feel GOOD about yourself.


  2. Pingback: How to conquer self-doubt: Review your progress | Katrina Megget

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