Many of us suffer from self-doubt, which can lead to a lack in confidence. It’s like the monkey or devil on our shoulder that incessantly tells us “You can’t do that”, “You’re rubbish at that”, “It might not work”, “It’s too risky”. The element of questioning, if used wisely, can give us clarity of thinking, but when the negativity drowns out the positivity, it can be detrimental to our self-esteem, self-worth and confidence.
It will probably come as no surprise that, if in childhood, we are given negative messages by our parents, we begin to question ourselves. This might come in the simple form of not being allowed to question a parent and that the parent is always right, or from continuous nagging and put-downs. Turning the doubt around can be tremendously difficult, but it is possible. If we are gentle and kind to ourselves, we can make space to replace the self-doubt with confidence, so that the things we tell ourselves are positive; “You can do this!”, “You’ve got this!”, “It’s worth a try!”, “You have nothing to lose!”, “Go for it!”
This simple breathing exercise can help us to focus on the positive. When you breathe in, allow your mind to think of all the things you are good at, and when you breathe out, let go of all the self-doubt and negativity. If this feels difficult, try for 5 days, to write down 5 pleasant experiences you’ve had each day. For example, it could be that you went for a coffee with a colleague at lunchtime, or you ate a delicious chocolate bar. If we choose to focus on the pleasant, joyful things in life, we can learn or re-learn how to feel confident.