Updated: Dec 19, 2021
Ever feel like you’re not doing enough or not good enough? This can be easy to identify when we notice our constant self-criticism in our thoughts. Or it may disguise itself as feeling as though you ‘never have enough time in the day’. This is a common feeling that many of us have, particularly when we are experiencing a negative mindset, embarking on a new career or experiencing a change in our lives. However, we can still find ways to deal with this feeling so that it does not stop us from being our true selves and living life to our full potential.
Pay attention to your thoughts
We can create moments of stillness throughout the day (even if it is only a few minutes) to notice our thoughts. When we are busy trying to meet everyone else’s expectations, we often live life in autopilot and sometimes don’t even realise how mean we are towards ourselves. Negative self-talk is a habit and in order to change a habit, we need to first become aware of it. Think about the way you criticize yourself. Would you talk to a friend in the same way? How would you react if someone spoke to you the way you speak to yourself? Asking yourself these questions can help you realise how ridiculous this behaviour is and start to break the pattern. Think of an affirmation or mantra that you can repeat over and over the break this habit of negative self-talk.
Learn more about mediation techniques here.
Stop the comparison
As a yoga entrepreneur, this is definitely something I have struggled with in the past and it sometimes rears its ugly head even now. We see what everyone else is doing (thankyou social media!) and think that we are not doing enough. We all know that social media shows only the good parts of someone’s reality. Don’t compare your journey to someone else’s. We rarely see where they have struggled, how long they have been struggling for, and other problems they have faced along the way. If you feel jealous of someone else’s achievements or good fortune, you may not be aware of the story behind this person’s accomplishments. Just notice and acknowledge the feeling (it is a normal part of being human). It may be a sign that you need to reassess your own goals or desires. Recognise that we are all in different stages of our life journey.
Recognise small wins
Stop looking at what you are not doing right, have not achieved yet, or a skill you have not yet mastered. Instead, give yourself credit for your small wins. Achievement of a bigger desire or outcome comprises a series of smaller goals. It may just be that you got the kids ready for school today on time, without to yelling. Maybe you have mastered a smaller skill in the workplace or life. Perhaps you have said your affirmations every morning for an entire week. Recognising these small, but important wins, will give you a feeling of accomplishment, motivation and allow you to focus on your strengths rather than what you lack.
This is such a simple but effective technique to change your perception of yourself and your life. When we view the world through the lens of abundance rather than scarcity, we attract more positive energy. If we always focus on our problems, we will get more problems. Our thoughts create our reality. If we want to live an amazing and fulfilling life, we need to be that person who is living an amazing and fulfilling life right now. When we practise gratitude regularly, we realise that we already have what we need to achieve our true potential.
Surround yourself with people who will lift you up, not put you down.
If your self-esteem and confidence is low, maybe you need to stop the negative self- talk and practise more gratitude. Or, perhaps it is just the people you surround yourself with. Are they competitive, critical or nasty? Do they constantly talk negatively about others behind their backs? It is very difficult for flowers to grow without sunlight and water. You need to spend your time with people who love you, you can trust, and those who celebrate your strengths. It may be time to re-evaluate your relationships with others. Be mindful, though, that most people don’t intend to be toxic. You may not need to cut off all of your friends and family without warning. Changing how you interact with those around you or even having a simple conversation to let the person know how you feel may be all you need to maintain a healthy tribe of people who support you.
To create a new habit, consistency is the key. It is better to start small and do it every day, rather than set an unrealistic goal and never achieve it. Habits are hard to break, particularly if we have been doing the same thing for years. Start with one of the above activities and only when it becomes automatic or second nature you can build on the habit or incorporate a new one into your daily routine. You can strengthen your confidence and self-esteem by practising small but consistent habits over time. Don’t forget that self-doubt is a normal feeling. It is what you do with this feeling that ultimately forms your view of yourself.