The self belief that matters
We all have days when the negative thoughts seem to pour in at our door. Our only defence is our self-belief and self-confidence. Yet often when we feel insecure our self-belief can be at a low ebb. You begin to entertain thoughts about yourself, believe or at least question things that others have said about you. We never seem to know where the effects might strike for our self-belief is important in every part of our life: work, play, relationships and health and exercise.
Unfortunately some can become stuck in this cycle of self-doubt, with it becoming normal rather than the occasional off day. While you know that you need to change, it is hard to know what to do to feel better. Yet there are a few simple steps that you can take that will make a difference.
There is a guiding principle here, as you tackle your self-belief issues. You have to trust the process, you have to try even though you do not immediately see the change. Martin Luther King Jr. said “take the first step in faith, you don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step” and that is what is being asked of you here.
Often when we have a negative self-belief system we have a strong internal critic. It is a voice that spends time reminding us of our mistakes or our inadequacies. This is our first target to hit back and challenge that voice. Remind yourself about how good you are at sorting out crisis situations, how well you have done despite what life has thrown at you. You will have made mistakes; all of humanity does that is how we learn, it does not make you stupid it makes you better, so remind yourself.
While you are making these changes remember to reward yourself for the work that you are doing on your self-belief. Rewards have to mean something to you but be careful that you don’t choose something that you will criticise yourself for later, for example if your inner critic focuses on food then don’t reward yourself with a cream bun etc. It may be that your reward is going for a walk or listening to music or finding a group to join, or just spending time on your own. Do something that has value to you.
Find a way of recording the positive things in your life. One of the best ways to boost your self-belief is to have a reminder of the times that things went well. Perhaps you could keep a journal of the best days, the feelings when things went right. What was that like, who was there, where were you. Perhaps you prefer a memory box where you keep objects that are from the times that you are happier.
Of course you may feel that you need help and many people turn to a counsellor for help. Through a program and process of work you will be able to boost your self-belief and feel better about yourself.
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About Graeme Orr
Graeme is a counsellor and author living and working on the south side of Glasgow. In his practice he sees a number of clients with emotional, anxiety and self-esteem that have relevance to us all. His articles are based on that experience and are offered as an opportunity to identify with, or to challenge you to make changes in your life.