Don’t believe me? Well that’s too damn bad. Because it’s the truth.
Honestly I’m not sure if I’m talking to an audience when I say that, or if I’m merely speaking to myself. There are so many instances where I need to say or hear that message, sometimes even more than once per day. And maybe you can relate to some of them. Or maybe you are well aware of your importance and can’t grasp how someone else can’t see their value. That’s fine too.
Depression can be an ugly beast. When I start to lose sight of my value, I start to cast doubt on myself. I second guess decisions, even when I know they were right. I replay conversations or other social interactions in my head. I doubt my abilities and expertise in certain areas. I get standoffish and distant with the people around me. I avoid decisions and conflict because I “don’t want to deal with it.” The list goes on really. It’s almost like a mould. It starts off small and inconspicuous, and slowly but surely starts to infiltrate everything around it.
The triggers for self doubt can be small or large. And if you’re in an depressive slump, there might not be any triggers at all. Maybe you were late getting that project finished up for your boss and he was really displeased with you. Maybe you accidentally cut off some lady while you were driving and she honked the horn and yelled angrily. Or maybe you just had a crappy sleep last night and woke up on the wrong side of the bed. I know any one of those things would completely set me off, that’s for sure.
“Has my performance been slipping at work lately? Am I doing well enough?”
“How did I not see that lady in my blind spot? I really deserved that.”
“I’m really tired and just not feeling right today”
In situations like that it’s important to remember self compassion. And this is really one of those moments where I need to learn to practice what I preach. You know how they say that you’re your own worst enemy? Boy, is that ever a true statement. But if you’re having a moment of self doubt, or just a rough day, try to say something positive to yourself. Even if you don’t believe it. Just do it. Having trouble getting started? Here’s a couple:
- You opinions and feelings matter just as much as everyone else’s.
- You deserve to be happy.
- Everybody makes mistakes sometimes. It’s part of being human.
- You are important, valued, and worthy.
These are referred to as positive affirmations. I’ve been told by several mental health professionals that reiterating these thoughts to yourself can have benefits. But it does take time, and it has to be done consistently. If you experience self doubt or feel unimportant regularly then I encourage you to try this! Because over time your thought patterns will shift and you’ll start to believe the affirmations more.
Everyone needs a little positivity in their life. So give it a try. What have you got to lose?