How Do I Overcome Self-Doubt?
The answer is……
Lot’s of therapy. After being in therapy on and off for over a decade, I have learned many coping strategies. One of them being to process my negative thought patterns and find ways to re-direct them in a postive direction. So here is a look into my process…
So many days I feel like I am just not doing enough. Like I’m not doing enough to be a good mom and practice conscious parenting, something I am committed to. I am not doing enough as a social justice advocate because I am not sure anything I do is making any impact. I feel like I am not doing enough for my health because I eat crappy food, and I’ve gained weight (even though I know that weight does not equate to health, I’m still trying to decolonize my body self-image, watch @whollyhealed instagram stories for more on this topic). I feel like I am not doing enough in my job, because I get backed up and I haven’t been putting as much effort into my classes as I normally do. And yet, I am teaching 5 classes which have me exhausted and definitely overworked. All of this not feeling enough manifests in anger and frustration, and not at myself but at others, including my children and husband. When my son is struggling with potty training I feel like its my fault like I am doing something wrong, like I have done something to make him struggle. But I get mad at him because internally I am mad at myself. And then I feel guilty for all of it. It all fucking sucks I tell you. And all of this is not good for my mental health struggles. These thoughts trigger my anxiety which trigger my depression, because it makes me feel like I am better off not doing anything, which then makes me feel like I am not doing enough because I’m being lazy. And you see the vicious cycle I get stuck in. And then I’m not sure if this can ever really change.
But I have an opportunity right now, an opportunity to shift this thinking, especially because I am conscious of the fact that this a negative thought pattern. Enough therapy has taught me these thoughts about myself are not real. It is real that I am thinking them, but it doesn’t mean I am them. I am doing enough, by just being me. Yes, there are other people who do more, and yes, maybe even I can do more, but not at this moment. Not today, not tomorrow, maybe not even for months or years. Maybe someday I can do more and I will. But today I must focus on what is in front of me. Today getting up taking the kids to school even if I yelled at them the whole morning, even if they cried, even if I felt guilty and apologized after. That was enough for today. I will do the work I can in spite of how exhausted I am and whatever gets done will be enough. Whatever does not get done, I will be okay, I will still be me, I will still have value, and worth. I cannot focus on perfection, the curse I was given at birth. I need to begin to release perfectionism even though sometimes it calls to me like an old friend who knows all my secrets. I have to let go of my mistakes, not dwell on them as if I can fix anything about the past. I must take the lessons of my mistakes, while knowing I might make more, and move forward. AHHH!! This is the healing process and it is fucking hard! It is a constant battle, internally with myself. But I must also learn to have deep love for myself, deep compassion and empathy something I find hardest to do for myself.
The hardest part of all of this is that I feel like I don’t deserve to be happy because I am not doing enough. So to tell myself that even though you have made mistakes, and maybe even have hurt people in that process, you can hold yourself accountable, apologize, make it right and be happy all at the same time. I don’t only get to experience joy when I am perfect or when everything in my life is perfect, because perfection doesn’t exist but joy does. I will find the joy in my life, allow myself to sit in joy not in spite of my imperfections but because of my imperfections. I am human, and this is part of the human condition.
I will allow myself the full range of my humanity, from sorrow to happiness, from failure to success, from loving freely to admitting when I need to be loved. Come on universe, creator, God, bring on my life’s journey I think I’m ready for whatever today has to bring.