How to conquer self-doubt: Remove toxic people from your life

Almost everyone has them – you know, those “friends” who are always quick to find something wrong with an idea or err on the side of negativity; those ones that deflate your happiness like popping a balloon and leave you feeling down and depressed and wrung out after spending even five minutes with them.

These are bad people and we do not need them in our lives.

I’ve written a series of posts now looking at how I’m tackling my self-doubt – by being more aware and more positive, by cutting excuses out of my diet, and reminding myself how much progress I’ve made.

But these are all internal factors. Often self-doubt is triggered by something externally – a rejection, a criticism, a lack of support. There’s nothing worse than having a stupendously exciting idea and telling a “friend” only to have them snigger and then slowly pick it apart. Or perhaps you’ve had some positive news – a new job offer, promotion or marriage proposal – but on uttering said news you don’t get a high five but rather a slap in the face (not literally, of course). Or maybe you’re looking forward to a theatre show, a new music album or new pair of shoes but when you share your opinions your character is called into question because ‘how could you possibly like boybands!’ etc.

Every time a scenario like this occurs it not only eats away at your soul but it plants a seed of self-doubt. It makes you question yourself, your dreams, your desires. These so-called friends sap the joy out of life with their negativity and bitterness – and I would guess that on more than one occasion such people have been instrumental in destroying the hopes, dreams and happiness of others.

Why do they do it? Well, in the vast majority, these people are insecure. More often than not, they want your happiness and dreams but for some reason they don’t have the courage or the ambition to go for it themselves. They are jealous so they bring you down to make them feel better about themselves and their shortcomings. Or maybe they don’t like change and your exuberance is upsetting the status quo and they can’t deal with it. There’s a great quote that’s doing the rounds on social media: “Obsessed is a word the lazy use to describe the dedicated.” It’s so true.

Regardless of the reasons why these negative people want to bring us down, the point is they are toxic and detrimental to our mental wellbeing and our dreams – and they should be banished from our lives.

Now, granted, this is easier said than done, especially if it’s a particularly close relationship. Experts suggest reducing contact with these people rather than having a confrontation, and in their place, spend more time with people who inspire and support you, who cherish you and are rooting for you. Just don’t take these people for granted.

And if you think you might be one of these naysayers, it’s not too late to change. Everyone is allowed to be happy.


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