Have you ever had to face a life challenge? Have you ever been to a point where you couldn’t move forward, backward or even sideward? A point where you were stuck and didn’t know how to proceed. You felt terribly lost and might have even doubt yourself and your abilities. Well, let me say I have been there, and not just once. In fact, we all have been to a point where we needed to gain confidence and overcome struggles.
During our lives, we come across multiple of such times of struggle and self-doubt. No matter in what area of life, somehow, we all experience setbacks and have doubts about ourselves. But that is not the end, it’s totally human to struggle but once we do we have to actively take the approach to get out of that shit hole. And there is a way everyone, you and I, can overcome hard times and even learn from it and return as a more confident and happier self.
All it takes is figuring out how to start and that’s why you’re here I guess.
I’ve developed an effective and compiling strategy to get out of that quicksand of self-doubts and struggles. This very unique strategy you can apply each time you face a life challenge and return with more confident and motivation to pursuit your dreams.
So be prepared for some life changing shit happening in the next view minutes.
Ready? Okay, let’s first talk about self-doubt and how we can use it for learning.
Self-doubt, your opportunity to learn and become more confident.
Before we can even start mastering our doubts and struggles we need to understand that they are, what is holding us back from living our happiest, most fulfilling life. And we need to change our Mindset from seeing all the pain to recognising the opportunity for learning and growth.
They cause anxiety, confusion and sadness. And feeling all those things is clouding our ability to think objectively, to make good decisions and to see the benefit in having those setbacks, aka what we can learn to get more confident and master this situation and any similar occurring in future times. Because one thing I know for sure, everything happens for a reason and all those challenges are meant for us to learn from it to master an even more difficult situation in the future.
So, we need to figure out a way to remove those clouds and see clear again to evaluate the situation objectively.
Just this way we can expect an honest answer to the questions we must consider when finding a solution to our problem.
What went wrong? Why am I feeling bad about myself? What did I do or not do that put me in this situation? What exactly don’t I like on being here? And what can I do to make me feel better?
To really make a point here I want to tell you a story about myself.
After my world trip in 2016 I had a very hard time coming home. I felt in sort of a post travel depression.
I didn’t know where I belonged, what I wanted and who I am. It was something totally unfamiliar to me because I’ve always been confident about those things. Not knowing made me question myself. I wondered if I’d lost my ability to do anything right, I struggled with accepting my body that had become so much weaker over the months I haven’t worked out and I feared never finding a purpose of life.
In addition, I struggled with giving up the awesome travel life for a boring time at university. To sum it up, I didn’t really want to be where I was physically, mentally and emotionally. The worst though, I didn’t know how to deal with it. I had several break downs where I just stood there crying because I didn’t know a way to escape that cycle of loneliness and self-doubt.
Though despite all that darkness that covered those months there was one thing I knew, and this in the end helped me get out of that vicious cycle. I knew I just needed to find joy again. No matter what it was, I just needed something or someone to make me smile, something I could strive for, something that gave me purpose.
I found it in writing, I wrote down everything. I felt so much freer after scripting down my thoughts and feelings and it was fun to create a blog. After all I loved creating things and I liked the thought of maybe helping others with it. Also, by getting those thoughts off my chest I was able see my situation from another, more objective point of view and find a solution.
I realized booking a flight ticket would help me in the short run because then I had something to look forward too. I booked one and then not everything seemed hopeless anymore, I just needed to get over the next few months.
And this was the beginning, I had more motivation to get done the other shit because it was only a matter of time till I was traveling again.
So, one thing lead to the other and finally got me out of me standing in my own way of pursuing happiness.
Now after overcoming those struggles and doubts I’m a more confident me.
I’ve mastered this life challenge, so there is a likely chance I’ll, once another setback is hitting, handle it better and quicker than before. In addition, I’m now more aware of things that cause me self-doubt because through especially in hard times we learn a lot about ourselves. How we deal with certain situations, do we hide in bed or stoking it up and move on. And the whole process of overcoming struggle is about analysing your weaknesses and triggers and training yourself to become aware. And hopefully we can afterwards look back and see it as a life changing experience.
But how exactly do you get there? Well here’s a very effective 4 step strategy to overcome self-doubt and life challenges and gain confidence.
1. Realize what causes struggle or self-doubt.
Do you know what exactly causes this doubt or struggle you have? Maybe you think you do but in reality it’s something totally different and you haven’t quite thought it through.
So, as it is with every other problem we face in life, you must analyze it until the very detail. You need to know what exactly makes you feel that way, is it a person, a situation, a habit? What is it that triggers you and brings in that negativity.
What really helps with getting it right is writing down your thoughts or talking to someone about it. Just let all your emotions and thoughts out and see where it leads you. Once you do, you become more aware of what causes you that negative feelings. And to be honest it just feels damn good to let it out!
- How are you feeling? Use all the adjectives that come to your mind, don’t hold back.
- Why are you feeling this way? Write down what has changed in your situation and why this situation is so negative.
- Are there any times of the day, situations or people that make the feeling get stronger?
- Or in contrary what are situations and times where it isn’t that strong?
- Now focus on the brighter side. Write down all the amazing things that are still in your life. Write down what you love about yourself. I know there are some things, eventhough you think there aren’t!
- Also, write down what would make you feel better, what do you want instead?
There are really no limitations, just treat it like a diary. Write everything down that comes to your mind. The goal is to just let out that emotions and clear up your head.
2. Be aware and choose not to feel that negative feeling.
Okay now once you overcame those first moments of grieve, it’s time to act upon your negative feelings. Always remember you’ve got a choice. You don’t have to feel this way.
So, it’s time to be aware of that feelings and actively choose to not let that negativity in.
Are you kidding, Tara, how should that work!?
Tell yourself the following sentences:
(Insert your Name) it’s enough! You can’t just sit there crying about (insert self-doubt/struggle) and not making any attempt to fix it. You won’t get (insert what you want instead) by sitting here beating yourself up!
If you want to feel better, do something! There is always a way and you know it! Just remember this time when you overcame (insert previous struggle/self-doubt). I know it sucks but it could be worse. (Insert what would make it worse). Now let’s see what we can take from that situation and try to fix it!
Once you gave yourself that pep talk you can now focus on…
3. Finding a solution.
There are multiple ways to find solutions and really no one is right or wrong. You might even already have your own strategy to handle problems, that’s awesome then go apply it.
However, if you’re still new to this here’s what I suggest you should do.
Ask yourself what’s the problem. You should find the answer in your diary. You might say something like I hate my belly fat, nobody likes me, I don’t want to study or my laptop broke and all my data is lost.
In terms of external struggles, like the laptop problem or the “not wanting to study thing”, your next step is to evaluate the pros and cons.
How bad is it? What’s the worst that can happen? What are my options? What are the pains and gains of each option?
When considering those questions, it is important to know that most things in life, at least those that bring happiness and success are not coming to you easy. You have to work for them and effort requires sacrifice. We all have to sacrifice in some way along the way of pursuiting happiness. Though by negotiating the pros and cons of every option we have, we can choose the terms to which we take that sacrifice. So, think of how to fix it and decide for the option that you can live with the most. Because we want that compromise to be as low as possible.
In case of the laptop that might be rewriting the content, you can remember and buying an external hard drive to secure data in the future. In terms of the study problem you might make an agreement with yourself, that could look like this:
You’re going to study the next three years but you’ll save money to travel in semester break and after university. You might even apply for a study abroad or choose a subject that’s more interesting to you.
Make sure to really think this trough to prevent future struggles and doubts. Clearly we can’t completely prevent future struggles, thats the risk/secrifice we take when pursuiting happiness. But no worries, if another struggle crosses your way, remember you actively chose this path, so no reason to beat yourself up. Just find a way to make it more joyful. (We come to this in a bit).
In terms of internal struggle aka self-doubt you’d come to finding a solution right away by looking at your problem and researching ways to solve it.
The important thing here is, and I can just repeat becaus it goes with facing all problems, you need to make the effort to challenge it. You won’t get a stronger, leaner body if you don’t work out and you won’t find friends if you don’t socialize. In addition I want to add here, if there is anything external, like people or situations that cause you self-doubt, try to minimize contact with them. Try to cut those things out of your life as good as possible. Because you don’t want that negativity in your life, right?!
And in case you choose to not bring this effort than remember, you chose this path and there’s no reason for you to whine because you could have gone, and still go another path! All you need to do is bring that little effort to make your life better.
4. Find joy in mastering your life challenges.
Once you found a solution and choose what to do, it’s time to make it fun. I know, mostly mastering struggles and self-doubts isn’t really fun. It means we must do things we don’t like or feel uncomfortable doing. And we must still find motivation to push through those rough times till we get to the brighter side, aka the things that make us happy.
In other words, we need to compromise. Or like Mark Manson would say:
Happiness requires struggle! – Mark Manson
Though no one said it can’t be fun. Or at least we can try our best to make it fun. That’s why I rather think of happiness looking like this:
Happiness = Effort x Sacrifice x Mindset
Here I want to suggest, finding other parts of your life that are joyful and make you happy and spent as much time as possible on them. Then take that energy and happiness you get from those parts into the not so joyful ones.
Finding those happy parts is where it all comes down to Mindset. If you see all black and white, you will never be happy. To feel some happiness, at least in some parts of your life, you need to change your Mindset and belief that there is joy and a way to become happy even if everything seems impossible.
I belief everyone has at least one thing that makes him or her happy, so go find it!
I hope that 4 steps will help you in overcoming your life challenge or self-doubt. If so and you liked what you read, I’d be so happy if you would share this post so more people can master their struggles. Also, don’t forget to like and subscribe to not miss any new stuff that can help you become a better you.