Sass Self-Doubt Out the Door (Bye!)

By Sumaiyah Mohamed

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Thoughts of not being “good” disturb my mind when I am at a low – not being a good mother, not a good worker, not doing a good job, not good at connecting with people, and I could go on, the list seeming to grow ever drearily, with my self-esteem getting increasingly bashed.

These pointers are what have helped me, alhamdulillah ❤

  • Identify automatic negative thoughts and challenge them! In the “not good mother/worker/at connecting with others” example, it is a classic case of black-and-white thinking. For instance, I can tell myself there is no “bad mother” – all mothers love their children and and want the best for their child, and love them to the best they can, the way they know how. We are all human. We have our unique strengths and also our flaws and shortcomings, which we can work on improving. So let’s think instead, “How can I develop goals to get to the place or state I would like to work to?” Slowing down to identify the automatic negative thoughts (ANTs) helps to SHOO them away! They may not even be true, so it helps to find evidence against them nasty ANTs.

 

  • Take on the Growth Mindset. A “fixed mindset” assumes that our character, intelligence, and creative ability are unchangeable and we can’t improve in any meaningful way. Striving for success and avoiding failure at all costs become a way of maintaining the sense of being smart or skilled. This is unlike the “growth mindset,” which thrives on challenge and sees failure not as evidence of unintelligence but as way to grow and to meaningfully increase our capabilities. 

“Why waste time proving over and over how great you are, when you could be getting better? Why hide deficiencies instead of overcoming them? Why look for friends or partners who will just shore up your self-esteem instead of ones who will also challenge you to grow? And why seek out the tried and true, instead of experiences that will stretch you? The passion for stretching yourself and sticking to it, even (or especially) when it’s not going well, is the hallmark of the growth mindset. This is the mindset that allows people to thrive during some of the most challenging times in their lives.” ― Carol Dweck

Sometimes, simply whispering to myself, “remember – growth mindset!” tells me that this challenge is good – it helps me learn and I can grow from this experience. I can develop techniques to be better. I can ask for help. I can do something to solve this problem. It kind of turns me into a solution seeker, instead of dwelling in the doubts.

 

  • Compare not with others! Usually , the reason I feel low is because I am comparing myself to another person – but it is unhealthy, unfair and unhelpful. We are both created beautifully by the Most Knowledgeable, The Great! Focus on my strengths – celebrate and be grateful for them, enhance them! And where I lack – work on improving myself slowly and incrementally.

“Comparison is the thief of joy.”Theodore Roosevelt

All in all, let’s kick self-doubt out of our mind. Go for our goals. Do it and prove self-doubt wrong. We got this.

“If you hear a voice within you say you cannot paint, then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.”Vincent van Gogh

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