It’s something that we don’t physically see on a person with just looking at them one time. It’s definitely not something you talk about openly, or tell anyone as well. Having negatives thoughts about yourself whether people know about it or not is not healthy. It’s not healthy for your soul, body, mind – anything. Negative thoughts can eventually cause a lot of issues on a person, mentally and physically. No matter what it is you are saying or thinking, these thoughts should not be ignored.
From my own experiences with self-doubt, lack of trust within myself and low confidence – this is a list of 10 ways that can help me battle those negative thoughts. I hope some of these (or maybe even one) make sense to you, and you can apply it in your life to help you get out of that self-doubt trap/loop you may be in!
We all deserve to feel confident within ourselves and our bodies, and love who we are inside and out!
Here are my top 10 ways I personally battle my own self-doubt!
1. Replace Negative With Positive
The one thing I try to do right away or first, is to STOP the thought in its tracks (if I can), and I think about it another way. For example:
“My legs look so big in these shorts – STOP – My legs have gotten strong and I appreciate that strength!”
It isn’t going to be easy at first – I’m sure some thoughts will slide on by. It’s hard to recognize some of them as negative, as it could be something so small. However, when you truly start to stop each and every negative thought your mind starts to have – you will be blow away at how many there are in a day!
It will become second nature to stop those negative thoughts, and to replace them with something more positive! I promise you – it will get easier!
2. Take a Breather
Whatever it is that you are stressing over, or whatever it is that is causing you this self-doubt and/or negative self-talk – take a BREAK. If it’s a project you’ve been working on and it’s giving you stress, step back for a breather. Anything that is causing you to doubt your own self, and your own actions, just take a break from it. An hour, three hours, a day, anything that will allow you to B R E A T H.
Stepping away can keep you grounded, keep you present, and ultimately keep you focused on the bigger picture.
3. Re-focus Yourself / Goals
While you’re stepping back, and taking that much-needed break to calm your mind, begin to think about WHY you are doing it. What do you hope to get out of it, and who you are doing it for? Stepping back to refocus your goals can play a HUGE part in over coming these negative thoughts and obstacles. When you are able to clear your mind from stress and clutter, you will soon find that clarity and remember the true reason why you are doing something!
For example – when I decided to start prepping for a competition I knew exactly why I wanted to do it. To test my strength, reach my goals, fulfill a dream of mine and to grow as a person! (I have a blog post on this!) However, as I’m (only) four weeks into prepping and seeing my carbs dwindle away, lower than they have gone in 2 years, I start to stress out and question my decision. I’ve already had to take a step back and calm my 100 mph mind and really dig deep. I have had to remember why I am doing this, why I am putting my body through this, and why am I doing this now? I even pull up my own blog post and read it to remind me.
Write down your goals so you can return to them as frequently as you need! When you’re hearing those negative thoughts creep in, pull out those goals and read them OUT LOUD. I had to do this when I was bulking last year. I had so many negative thoughts and self-talk creep into my mind. Eating over 330g of carbs a day and cutting out cardio was tough on me mentally! From going from having a six-pack to being a little fluffier, that can play some tricky head games on a person. BUT – I whipped out my goals that I had written down, looked over some inspiring posts and pictures of other who were bulking and BAM – my mind had been re-focused and I was ready to eat another 333g of carbs!
4. Reach Out To Others
Something that I find really helps me, is to have others around you know what is going on. I like to have a few of my closest friends/family know exactly how I’m feeling, or reach out to them when I’m having a little self-doubt, or I just can’t shake the negative thoughts I’m having. When you’re able to get those feelings off your chest, or tell someone how you are feeling it just makes you feel better. Like a weight is off of your own shoulders! It is also a great place to hear some good advice, and take in what your friends/family have to say about.
Getting a new perspective on things, and advice from others can really help you over come those thoughts, and self-doubt. They can show you a new way of thinking from a totally outside view, or different aspect that you maybe haven’t even thought of yet! Even just to hear something you already knew or thought, like “You CAN do this, Nicole” from someone else’s mouth – you tend to believe it more than when you say it yourself..
5. Turn Off The Devices
We all fall victim to comparison. Whether we want to say it or believe it, or not. Our phones and laptops are such an easy tool to get scrolling, and find someone’s “perfect” Instagram page, or “perfect” body and BAM. We start comparing our life to theirs.
TURN OFF YOUR DEVICES.
When you start comparing yourself to others, it takes away from everything you have accomplished. You some how start to forget all of your beautiful qualities and you only start to focus on the things you wish you had, or the things you want to change. It’s totally unhealthy! The thing you don’t see on Instagram or Facebook these days, are the hard times or the issues other people are having. They could be having the same self-doubt/negative self-talk that you are having, but only showing you their highlight reel and their BEST pictures. It’s usually a facade.
The internet is a horrible place to go if you’re just going there to compare yourself to others. You only see the highlights of their lives.
6. Look At How Far You Have Come
If you follow me at all, you know I love this tip. This one works for me ALL THE TIME. When I feel like I am having trouble physically SEEING the changes I am making with working out and counting my macros. I take a step back, breath, and then I scroll back in my photos. I look back at when I started my journey, or a specific date in time and I put it next to my current picture. A transformation picture usually works for me and takes a way most of the self-doubt/negative talk that I was having about my progress!
What I love most about those pictures is usually you can see the emotional transformation as well as the physical. In my before pictures I was usually awkward, or upset with how I looked. My face said it all – I was not impressed, I was sad, I was ready for change. My after pictures ooze confidence, and I love the way my body is looking these days.
7. Write Down Your Feelings
I love this one. This can be daily journal entries, blog writing (hello – I do this!), could be just scratching it down on a piece of paper when you have those feelings or thoughts. Just get it OUT of your head and write it down. It’s great to get that load off of your shoulders, but it’s also great to return to when you are feeling that way again in the future. Jot it down, try your best to move on, but return to it and remember how you were feeling at that time. I find that it reminds me how I was feeling, how I moved on from it, how silly I may have been in that moment when I wrote it down and then I try to MOVE ON from those thoughts.
8. Knowledge / Research
When you DO go on the internet, avoid comparing yourself to others like I said in Number 5. You should start researching and reading articles about what it is you are doing. For example, I strength train and I am also starting up my new Online Training business. Therefore, I go online and I find great articles about weight training, or starting up a business, or online marketing. I use it as a tool and I LEARN.
Knowing that you are knowledgeable in your field, will help with your self-confidence and make you feel unstoppable.
9. Trust Yourself
Give yourself some credit and just TRUST yourself and the decisions you make. You have made up your mind for a reason, or you’re doing something for a REASON. Deep down you know it’s what you want to be doing, or else you wouldn’t be doing it. Trust in yourself, and trust that you are capable of making the right decisions based on your dreams and goals. If you really want something, you have to believe in it and trust in it.
I really have to remember this one daily with my goals. I question myself all the time if competing is what I should be doing. Can I even do it? Is it the right decision for me? UGH I need to trust myself. I have to quit questioning this decision daily and just let it be. I have dreamed of competing for years now, and now that it is finally on the radar and going to happen at some point, I just need to trust my decision and GO WITH IT.
10. Give Yourself Some Grace
This is a big one. I feel like we are all way too hard on ourselves! We are our WORST critic – and we need to learn how to give ourselves some grace every now and again. It is OKAY if we mess up or if we end up making a decision that wasn’t the best. It happens. Give yourself some grace and move on!