12 ways to tear down our walls of Self Doubt
Believe in yourself & break down your walls of Self Doubt!
We, as women, come from all different aspects of life. Some of us are married, some of us are single, some of us have happy homes with loving husbands and some of us are struggling valiantly to raise a family alone. Wherever, and whomever, you are – we each fight the same battle daily; a battle to overcome the doubts that rise within us. Its a battle to feel good about ourselves and who we are. We are battling to withstand the onslaught of the world, its views about womanhood, and our value as individuals. We build walls around ourselves to protect us, and they end up holding us back, and shutting us away from the light. In the past few months I have read page after page of blog posts addressing these walls we build. “Believe in yourself” they say. “You are Enough” is the battle-cry”. I’ll admit it’s heartwarming to read through the never-ending feel good articles of women patting each other on the back. “I feel this way too,” I will think, as I read yet another article about a woman who struggles to feel important.
But sometimes, I wonder…”Is there more to this story”?
WHY do we build these walls of doubt and what can we do to really fight against it, instead of just reading articles telling us that we are good enough. I mean, don’t misunderstand me, I enjoy posts encouraging women to believe they are beautiful, but if we don’t believe it ourselves, what good did the message from a stranger do? I know personally, it might make me smile for about 10 seconds, till I walk back into the reality of my chaotic world.
I wonder, how can we effectively break down these walls. How can we convince ourselves and the women in our lives to not just tell themselves that they are good enough, but really believe it? Ladies we need a PLAN! And not just some “lose 10 lbs in 10 days or your money back” kind of gimmick, but we need something that will really make a difference in our everyday life.
I’m not going to pretend to have all the answers, and I am not a professional. But I have always seemed to have sharpie on my forehead saying “Tell me your problems”, and have been on many a living room sofa with a friend pouring out her heart. I have seen women struggle and cry and I have been there myself. I have felt the moments (or centuries) of despair and loneliness. From these years of encouraging others and learning myself I have formulated a plan. Its a plan to literally BREAK through these walls. To fight our way out of feeling like we are somehow less, for whatever reasons we have assigned to ourselves. And it means work. I’m going to outline the plan below, and I encourage you to focus on one aspect of the plan each week. We can do it! We can break down these walls of doubt and move forward into the light, believe in ourselves, and spread that light to the world around us. But first, we have to break through.
B- Believe in your infinite worth
— Having a healthy relationship with God, however you worship him, is crucial to your happiness. Pray and specifically ask for a stronger relationship with him. Knowing who you are and what your ultimate purpose is will help you work towards true confidence that comes from the right place.
R- Reject the worlds messages
— The world is full of messages about how and WHO we should be. WE have to reject these messages. They teach us that success and beauty can be clearly defined and achieved in a specific way, instead of teaching us that our true goal is to define beauty and success for ourselves! When we can truly stop worrying about what others think of us, and define for ourselves who we want to be, and how we want to achieve it, we can really be happy with who we are. These ideas that come from the world around us, really provide the foundation for our walls of doubt. We need to start here, and chip away at these ideas about true worth, to really make any progress at breaking down our walls of doubt in ourselves.
E- Edify yourself
For me, edify is such a beautiful word, it means so much more than just to educate. It means to instruct or improve (someone) morally or intellectually. This is going to look VASTLY different for each of us. For some it might mean higher education, like college or graduate studies. For me, it means to constantly be learning and looking for ways to improve myself. It also means I choose carefully what things I allow into my brain. I will not watch or read anything that doesn’t inspire me, or make me want to be better, do more! I have turned off a LOT of TV shows, and stopped a lot of books without finishing. This goes hand in hand with rejecting the world’s messages…if you can’t hear them, its a lot easier to ignore them 😉
A- Accept your weaknesses
—This one is much harder for most of us. We have to know where we are weak, and accept it- in order to really KNOW and love ourselves. I know I’m a slacker (true) and disorganized. Because I know and accept this about myself it’s a LOT easier for me to work around these weaknesses, and come up with coping mechanisms to help me accomplish my goals in SPITE of my weaknesses. I think all too often we ignore our weakness, out of fear that they will bog us down, or depress us farther. Instead we should embrace them as part of ourselves and learn ways to work WITH them. For example, I know that I need to set reminders in my phone, and carry a planner. This helps me to stay organized. I also know that listening to an audiobook helps inspire me to get things done, because I can’t just sit and stare at the wall while listening, I need to be moving! Those are just a few things I have discovered help me be more productive, and happier in general. Ignoring your weaknesses builds stronger walls of doubt when we fail because we didn’t learn to work around these obstacles.
K- Know your Strengths
— This one is obvious! Equally important to knowing our weaknesses, is being able to recognize our own strengths. It’s easy to look at others and see all the amazing things they do and how they succeed. We rarely see behind the scenes to all the hard work, time and energy that went into that success, we just get frustrated instead. Try looking at yourself through someone else’s eyes. What are your specific talents and abilities? And don’t just look through their eyes, ask your friends what they feel your talents and strengths are, you may be surprised! And don’t be afraid to think outside the box. Strengths can be ANYTHING from being a great singer to being a good listener, or a great friend. The possibilities are endless and specific to you!
Are there talents you aren’t developing right now? Could you change that? For me, I really want to be better at the piano. Music is a gift I was given by my parents and it is a strength for me. But I have never put the work into developing a skill for the piano. I’ve just played well enough to get by, and I need to change that! Knowing your strengths doesn’t just bolster your self esteem, it helps us to make better choices about projects we choose, or ways we spend our time. Directing our attention towards our strengths helps to refine us, and helps us to eventually FEEL more successful than we might feel otherwise.
T- Take care of your body
— This one is kind of a no brainer too. NO one feels happy and ready to succeed when their body feels like garbage. We need to take specific steps to be healthy and this is as simple as can be…although hard to implement. We need to get enough sleep, have DAILY CONSISTENT exercise, and eat a balanced diet. This plan, although basic, is going to look different for each of us. I’m never going to be able to go out and run a mile. It’s just not going to happen! So I can walk! I got a health tracker wrist watch that I wear on my arm that counts my steps- it’s been a great tool to help me see where I stand towards my daily fitness goals. I try to take a 20 min walk each day. Its a start, although a small one- and I feel SO MUCH BETTER on the days I am consistent with this goal. Its not just about losing weight- its about the endorphins released in your body when you exercise. You will have more energy and feel better in general. Not to mention the benefit for your heart!
As for diet? You really don’t need a fancy fad diet to keep a healthy weight. You just need to eat as simply as possible. Avoid eating processed foods when you can and focus on whole grains, fresh vegetables and fruit (or NOT fresh…honestly fruit and veggies are always going to be a better source of food for you, even if they come from a freezer or a can!) and Lean meats. If you want a specific diet to follow, I recommend using “my Fitness Pal” and following the American Heart Association Diet. Its very basic and allows you to really eat anything you want, just in moderation and through balancing it out.
H- Have Daily Prayer
—Regular Routine communication with God is KEY! Ask him for help with your specific needs, tell him your problems and talk to him like he is your friend. Then, when you finish your prayer- wait…Pause and listen for answers. I’m not saying you will hear voices, but the impressions that come to your mind in this quiet time are crucial to helping you make decisions and feel better about your life.
R- Reach outward
— I really wish the R hadn’t come so far down because I wish this was at the top of the list! Serving others is the best way to lose ourselves and forget our own problems for awhile. I honestly feel that service also gives God a chance to bless you in ways you would never imagine! Through my service to my grandmother who has lived with our family for the past few years, I have been blessed in more ways than I can count. But specifically I have been blessed in my health. I won’t go into details, but I will tell you that I am healthier right now than I have been at any given point in the past 20 years. I know without a doubt that I am being blessed for and through my service to her. Find ways to reach out to those around you. Besides the blessings of service, reaching out ALSO means finding others who might have struggled in the same ways you have! You can find strength and courage through a support group of friends who really GET you, and have walked in your shoes. This video really seems to explain this perfectly!
O- Obey the commandments
— Whatever religion you follow, follow it! You will feel great peace and joy in being true to the teachings you have focused your life around. Obedience brings great blessings, and helps you to find peace in your life.
U- Use the Scriptures as a tool
— Each verse you read can be applied to you specifically. Insert your name, and use the stories you have been taught to find answers. If you are Christian, I specifically encourage you to study the atonement of Jesus Christ. I have found great comfort in the knowledge that he suffered not only for my sins, but for my trials and my pain as well. He truly understands what you are going through and can help you like no one else can. Reach out for that help.
G- Give Doctors and Medication a chance
—Some walls we can break down ourselves, because we built them ourselves. Other walls are established through different means. Those who struggle with mental illness have walls that were built without their help. Those walls may have come from hormonal imbalance, side effects of medications, or a chemical imbalance in your body. If you struggle with Depression, Anxiety, ADHD, Etc and its not just an occasional problem, you need to seek the assistance of medical professionals. There are amazing medications out there, both homeopathic, and prescription that can offer amazing support to help you on your journey to true peace and happiness. I have so many friends who have struggled with this. It’s so hard to admit you aren’t able to do this alone, and it’s hard to admit you need help. But I encourage you to reach out for this support! If you are someone who has found you need medication, and it isn’t working, don’t be afraid to ask your doctor to adjust your dose or try different things. Sometimes it takes people YEARS to find the perfect combination that works for them. Keep searching, keep learning and keep trying! And for those of us who don’t struggle with these issues- our words can have a huge impact on those who do. Work to be supportive, and show love and understanding for your family and friends struggling with mental illness.
H- Have Quiet time each day
— Turn off the distractions…the TV, the Radio, etc, and make sure you get some quiet time to yourself each day where you can just be alone with your thoughts. We fill our heads and our homes with noise. There is always something “on” whether it’s the chatter of the TV or your earbuds with your favorite tunes playing in your ear. Turn it off. Yes, ALL OF IT! Not all day, but for awhile each day make a conscious effort to embrace the quiet. The peace. Its at these times that we can best hear ourselves, and those quiet moments offer more than you can imagine. Give it a chance!
Have anything to add? Specific advice that has helped you to break down your walls of doubt, insecurity or fear? Share!