Overcoming Feelings of Inadequacy: a Girl's Guide to Crushing Self-Doubt

Isn't it funny how understanding, supportive, and encouraging we are to those we love and how callous we tend to be with ourselves? We make make one mistake (be it big or small) and for days (sometimes weeks, or even years) we're beating ourselves up about it? "How could I have been so stupid? Careless? Irresponsible? Selfish?" Or maybe we come up with an idea and immediately begin an internal dialogue to talk ourselves out of our greatness: "I could never pull that off! It's too big a task. I'm not smarter enough. Fast enough. Pretty enough." Take your pick - we've all been there.

Truth is, these internal dialogues are destructive to our own mental health. These negative thoughts we cultivate stick with us, we begin to believe them and they impact our self-image--keeping us from pursuing opportunities we otherwise should and stunting our growth. Here are 5 practices that help me crush self-doubt before it crushes me. 

1. Put your thoughts in check with daily affirmations: drill positive thoughts into your brain until you believe them. Think of about 3 or 4 phrases of encouragement that you need to hear from yourself and/or want to believe about yourself. Look yourself in the mirror (I like to do this first thing in the morning and repeat if my thoughts start testing me throughout the day) and repeat these phrases 3 or 4 times while looking yourself in the face. Make this a habit and watch your thoughts transform. 

2. Practice self-awareness: in order to do this you'll need to be brutally honest with yourself. If you find feelings of jealousy or inadequacy creeping up, take a moment to analyze what you're feeling and why you're feeling that way. Odds are, you don't feel that you're doing the best you can in one way or another. Use this realization to fuel your own personal growth!

3. Cut down your social media use: it's no secret that we tend to get caught up in the life of others via social media. Everyone looks happy and healthy and it's easy to feel like you're the only one in a slump. There's any easy solution to this--cut down the social media use and instead, use that time to do something that makes you feel good about yourself (whatever that may be). 

4. Do something that inspires you: you'll be sure to feel like the best version of yourself when you're in your zone. Whether you're a movie lover, artist, creator, reader, athlete, or chef, do whatever it is that feeds your soul! It's as simple as that. 

5. Be gentle with yourself: we're only human (which is basically synonymous with imperfect). Be as kind and loving to yourself as you would your best friend. You're all you have and beating yourself up (even though we're all guilty of it) won't do you any good, trust me. Practice compassion. 

Love + Light, 

Tacha J 

Natacha John