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It doesn’t matter who you are, where you’re from, or how old you are, you probably have faced doubts at some point in life. In individualistic countries like the US, there has been some sort of self-doubt like: “Am I good enough?” “Am I pretty enough?” “Am I talented enough?” and these thoughts are very harmful and toxic. They not only limit us to just a few opportunities but also promote self-handicapping.

     Sometimes when we let some great opportunities pass us by, we try to reason that by speaking along the lines of: “That job would have opened many doors for me. Too bad I wasn’t good nor talented enough for it.” Do you see how that can qualify as self-victimization? Well, self-victimization and self-doubts can be seen as friends because they go hand in hand. Whenever you doubt yourself, you get more prone to see yourself as the victim in a situation. In reality, we are only real victims in a few far and between situations. Why? Because every action and reaction we have can change things.

     For example, the societal norm is that we shouldn’t yell at our bosses or even say things that might make him or her angry. However, sometimes we want to share our opinions with the boss which can be in terms of setting boundaries, relating that we don’t like something, and so on. Then, we doubt that we can do it as it’s rare for people to speak their minds to their boss. That’s the problem, we can speak our minds. We just need to do it with clarity and compassion, without raising our tone of voice. You can say: “I think your idea is very good, but I have an idea of my own. Can I share it?” That way, you are insulting anyone and are being assertive in a very mild way.

     Besides that, whenever we feel that we aren’t pretty enough, well dressed enough, or eloquent enough, we need to stop. Those are all limiting thoughts and we have to be aware even if someone doesn’t think we’re pretty, that doesn’t matter. There will always be someone who’ll like us for who we are and think we’re pretty with or without makeup. To my mind, trying to fit into social standards and beating ourselves up for not being able to fit into a particular group is a waste of time. We shouldn’t change anything about ourselves if it’s for purposes of impressing others and fitting into groups you wouldn’t otherwise fit. 

     However, I’m a big advocate for changes that are done for ourselves. For instance, if you want to be skinnier or gain a few pounds to feel good in your body, go for it. Or even, if you want to learn a language or become more independent, then study or practice doing things on your own instead of always asking for help. But remember that we all need help sometimes and it’s no shame to ask for it. Furthermore, if you want to change something in your life to make things more positive, I would start with stopping limiting thoughts from taking over your life. 

     Beginning with self-doubt, why would you need to doubt yourself? Isn’t it much nicer to be assertive in your decisions and bare with the consequences however good or bad they are? Secondly, it would be nice to also stop pressuring and have such high expectations for ourselves. I can say from experience that self-pressure and having high expectations doesn’t take you anywhere. Instead, it makes you frustrated and makes it easier for us to start hating ourselves. But we want the opposite, right? So, don’t let fear dictate your life, you only get one and it’s way better to live it positively.

     Try to fill the place in which you hold all the negative thoughts about yourself with positive thoughts like: “You are good enough” “You are pretty enough” “You are talented enough” and “You deserve to be loved and respected.” You’d be impressed to see the difference it makes. Especially because if you think about it, what’s the use of doubting ourselves and our decisions if we’ll have to live with them for the rest of our lives? Is it worth it? I lived 22 years falling in and out love with myself because I let fear and limiting thoughts decide how my life would go. It always felt like I wasn’t in control of my own mind or life at all. But then, I realized that I could be in control and make changes to how I saw life, how I treated myself and in turn, others, too. 

     For that reason, I began to love myself and love the way that makes me feel. I was glowing and those around me could also see it. How beautiful it was to fully let go of fear, frustration, resentment and self-doubt. I feel more like myself by owning my decisions and baring with the consequences of them. Sometimes they are small, in others, they are large. However, each of them matter and have the potential to affect both you and those around you.

     So, what do we do when self-doubt and self-pressure arises? Well, there are a few things to do. First, realize that those thoughts are negative, counteractive and won’t take you anywhere. Then, try to think of the equivalent for them in a positive way. After some consistency, you’ll see that you won’t judge yourself and your decisions nearly as much as you did before. By then, you’ll feel good and might go from a place of self-hate to a place of self-love. In which, fear and doubts won’t affect you as much because you’ll notice how much better it is to rely on love, respect and support. The three things that you can give yourself as well as others and vice-versa. Be grateful to yourself and make yourself your own best friend.

24, Sagittarius, Brazilian. University of Tampa 2022’ I'm a language geek, adventure seeker, bookworm and future writer/journalist. g.maistrobrasolin@spartans.ut.edu
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