No matter how confident we feel, we can get stuck in mental mind traps. Does your mind ever seem to play tricks on you, leaving you feeling insecure and upset? Once we fall victim to this toxic way of thinking, it’s easy to get derailed. Are any of these small irrational thoughts making you unhappy? If so, it’s time to nip them in the bud.
It’s easy to feel discouraged when watching a peer become successful, especially if you’re feeling unappreciated. Theodore Roosevelt once said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” Remember, others’ successes are not your failures. Everyone has a completely different set of circumstances. Stay focused on your own journey.
You can spend a lot of energy focusing on how you wish things were instead of how they are. Getting caught up thinking about how things could be can be a nice daydream, but don’t let it escalate into an escape from reality. Try to see your situation objectively, as though you are a 3rd party hearing the facts. This can help you see things more clearly and make informed choices.
Second guessing yourself
When you’re feeling doubtful about a big decision, it can be hard to trust your gut. You could drive yourself crazy going through every possible scenario. Ask one or two trusted peers for advice, then once you’ve made a choice, stick to it. It all comes down to trusting yourself, you know better than anybody else when it comes to your life.
Not being present
Are you stuck on something in the past, or hung up worrying about the future? Understandable, but there is nothing you can do. Don’t let your worries take you out of being in the moment. Staying present can lead to more fulfilling relationships and a happier life. You can’t control the future, so enjoy the now and deal with the rest as it comes.
Mad mind chatter
We all occasionally suffer from this voice telling us that we are not good enough—don’t let it keep you up at night! Learn to recognize the voice of insecurity so you can turn it off when it starts up. Instead, celebrate your successes and appreciate how far you’ve come.
When the voice of fear is saying “hold back,” see it for what it is. Your fear may be grounded in a false belief about what will happen if you put yourself forward. With reflection, you might find that your fear has been stripped of its power and that stepping up doesn’t seem as intimidating as before.
Adapted from The Confidence Myth: Why Women Undervalue Their Skills and How to Get Over It!, by Helene Lerner, Berrett-Koehler, 2015.