I can be my own worse enemy at times. The negative self-talk, self-doubt, and excuses as to why I can’t do something sneak in for me just as much as they do for you. This toxic self-talk often creeps in after writing the first article for a new client. I wonder if I’ve met their goals with the content. I wonder if I wrote the article in a way that helps tell the message they want to tell.
I question if my freelance writing ability is good enough when all logic points to YES. I’ve been freelance writing for over 3 years. I’ve rarely run into an issue where major revisions were needed or a client wasn’t impressed with the quality of my work. I have only had one negative experience with someone who seemed to be taking her anger from hiring people with horrible work ethics out on me.
If I pause that self-doubt and listen to my reasonable side of the brain, I can quickly bring my self-doubt back to a positive place. Logic and experience will tell me that I’m a great freelance writer and I’m a valuable asset to my clients, therefore this new client should feel the same way.
We all fall prey to our negative thoughts. The most confident people may struggle with self-doubt when they’re trying something new or doing something that’s outside of their comfort zone. The difference is that the more confident people have mastered the art of controlling their minds. The self-doubt is squashed as quickly as it sneaks into their conscious thoughts!
Have any of you ever doubted yourself? Have you ever found yourself thinking that you’re not good enough for this person or that job?
If you answered yes to either of those questions then take solace in knowing that you’re not alone. We all struggle with self-doubt occasionally and we all question whether we deserve the good that comes into our lives. Not a single person out there is perfect. We all have imperfections. We’ve all fallen off-track before. We’ve all made mistakes.
Now is your time to let go of the doubt, to stop holding yourself back because you made a mistake before. It’s time to shine and know that you’re amazing just the way you are! You have something to add to this world, whether it’s your personality, your skills, your job, or your lifestyle; everyone has something that brings value to this world!
The key is to KNOW your value! It’s time to think about what you have that sets you apart from everyone else and makes you unique. You may not see what makes you unique yet. You may not know what sets you apart from the crowd at the moment, but I do know you will know what it is soon enough!
What Makes You Question Your Abilities?
I’ve spent many hours (and I’ll spend many more over the course of my life) asking myself this question. When I sit down and use experiences to convince me of my self-doubt thinking patterns, it always confirms the thoughts make zero sense. I can’t share one example that provides me with proof beyond a reasonable doubt that my negative self-talk is coming from reality. What I do find is that I go back to a spot in my past when I felt I had to live up to other people’s expectations.
As much as I feel I’m too old to have my childhood influences impact my life, that stage in life set the foundation for my core person. Just like me, you could go back in time and realize that your self-doubt can be linked back to some childhood influences that led you to doubt your ability or skills.
Take a moment to write down any influences that you’ve had over your lifetime that could be causing you to question your abilities.
Write down how you feel when reading each item you’ve listed as influences. Try to give at least 4-5 feelings with each experience/influence. Note which feelings come up frequently. Perhaps sadness or ugly or some other negative feeling comes up with each of these influences you wrote. Whatever emotion you seem to cling to for each example will help you dig deeper and learn to handle the feelings associated with each influence so that you can move forward in controlling your self-talk.
For example; when I think about my childhood and be HONEST with myself I often go to a place where I felt sad, scared, uneasy, alone, not important. If I were to write all of my examples of childhood influences down, you’d see that sad, scared, and alone fueled most of my childhood. I never felt secure, safe, and confident about life during childhood and now those are very important things for me today. I want to feel secure, safe, and confident but that negative self-talk creeps in because I never felt I was good enough for those feelings. I had to acknowledge those feelings in order to start taking control of my conscious thoughts!
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How to Use Those Feelings from Childhood
Now that you have a list of those feelings and you’ve come to realize that you’re struggling with negative self-talk regularly or on occasion partly because of those influences, it’s time to use those feelings from childhood! Do some journaling for 14 days, use this journal. Write down a few major things (good or bad) that occurred that day. Be sure to note how you felt beside each of these experiences.
After 14 days of journaling review what you wrote in the journal. Start connecting the dots with your experiences and feelings. Do you notice a pattern? Have you been doing different things each day but end up feeling the same way with each event? Do you find that you’re journaling negative things and negative feelings? Is there anything positive you wrote during that 14-day stretch?
If you didn’t write one positive thing or feeling during that 14-day journaling exercise then you’re going to need to do some work! Being more negative than positive or focusing on the bad experiences and feelings during this 14-day journal exercise will tell you all you need to know about why you’re constantly struggling with self-doubt:
You’re focusing on every bad experience and bad feeling every day!
Use The Journal to Reduce Negative Self Talk
After you complete the 14-day journal writing project and evaluate what you wrote, it’s time to be more intentional with your journal writing. Now I want you to journal for another 14 days. During this time you can only write down positive experiences that happened that day and the feelings associated with those positive experiences. Your feelings can be neutral, positive, or negative but they must be honest feelings! The experiences, however, must be something GOOD that occurred each day during that 14-day period.
After this 14-day journal experiment is complete, you’ll evaluate what you wrote. Read every journal entry and your feelings. Do you find that you start to smile while reading these journal entries? Are you sitting up taller? Do you feel more confident? What does your current body language tell you about these 14-days of journaling about the GOOD in your life?
There’s no right or wrong answer. This is a personal journey for each of us but I can tell you that I’m willing to bet you feel much better about yourself and your life after journaling 14 days with nothing but positive experiences jotted down!
If that’s true, then this means journaling is a tool that will continuously help you reduce negative self-talk and start seeing the real person you are today. The real person who no longer defines their life from childhood influences. The real person that takes life by the horns and says “I’m good enough!”
It Doesn’t Stop Here …
I know the journaling exercises helped you transition your thoughts and feel more confident. While this step won’t diminish the childhood influences that still impact your thought patterns, it will slowly help you overcome those obstacles and start living the life you deserve!
Now is your time to shine. Not tomorrow. Not a year from now. NOW is your time to shine, baby!
I know these steps helped me remove negative self-talk so that I could continue living my life’s purpose easier. Go ahead and buy a journal! Start using my steps listed above to reduce negative self-talk and eventually get rid of self-doubt altogether! Take this exercise a bit further by signing up for this program that helps you adjust your mindset while you sleep!