One of the greatest enemies to an authentic, beautiful life is self-doubt. When we doubt our capacity to love, to say the right thing, to do good, and to be who we want to be, we live in fear of not being good enough. Doubt often makes us lose the ability to love ourselves. But we don’t have to give up! It is possible to overcome self-doubt and genuinely love ourselves. Practicing yoga, recognizing false beliefs, performing acts of love for yourself, journaling, and talking with a professional can awaken feelings of love for yourself while getting rid of self-doubt.
Yoga and Self-Doubt
Yoga philosophy teaches us that we have all the answers we need already inside of us, that we just need to get quiet and focus inwards. Self-doubt and insecurity creep up when we look externally, rather than internally, for how we should be. We let social media, our family, our coworkers, and those around us define the clothes we should wear, the behaviors we should adopt, and the beliefs we should hold. And if we don’t have these things, we’re not good enough – for that job, that relationship, that role, that home. Our self-love disintegrates before our eyes. But, if we look to ourselves to decide who we can be, then we replace doubt with confidence.
Practicing yoga on a consistent basis teaches you to see the light within yourself. By connecting with your inner self on the mat, you’ll begin to recognize when your mind is trying to tell you lies about your identity and your worth, and then you can reframe these thoughts. As you move through the yoga poses, pause to acknowledge your self-talk. If you’re drifting towards negative comments, use self-affirming language instead. Tell yourself, “I am strong. I am whole.” The mindfulness you establish in yoga will help you when you begin to doubt your choices and actions in the real world.
Practice pranayama to quiet any external voices and listen to your inner guide. Using your connection with your breath, you can get in touch with your feelings. All feelings can be informational, and by listening to them, you can learn why you’re feeling the way you are. Then, you can take steps to change those doubtful feelings. Yoga is a powerful tool to have in your fight against self-doubt – between the simple act of breathing and the mindful poses you step into. The next time you’re feeling inadequate, take a few minutes to quiet the world around you and breathe. You can also join Health Yoga Life’s online community of fellow yogis for inspiration and support. Find out more about our classes here.
Recognize False Beliefs
Self-doubt stems from believing lies about ourselves – whether those lies come from other people or from deep within ourselves. When you’re feeling hatred towards yourself or questioning your abilities to do something, it’s time to stop and think about why you’re feeling the way you are. Be honest with yourself. Why are you feeling shame, sadness, or emptiness? Recognize when your brain is recalling words of false beliefs from others or creating self-abandoning statements. Tell yourself these thoughts are not true, then reframe these negative thoughts into positive statements. You are worth it. You can do it. Once you recognize why your mind is trying to tell you lies, you can take steps to disprove these self-doubting feelings.
Show Yourself Love
One of the best ways to love yourself is to do something for yourself. It can be hard to feel love for ourselves sometimes – we’re complicated, moody, tiresome people. You know that saying “Fake it until you make it”? Feeling love for yourself is often like this. In order to feel like you love exactly who you are, you need to do something for yourself that shows you how valuable and special you are. Just as you would bake cookies for a friend having a bad day or gift flowers to your mom or aunt, treat yourself to something you enjoy and that makes you feel fulfilled. Take a yoga class. Get a massage. Eat a slice of cake. Paint a picture. Write a poem. By treating yourself as worthy of love, you’ll start to feel that love in return.
Journal Your Thoughts
Keeping a journal can help you gain clarity into the situations and feelings you’re experiencing. Often, we get so lost in our thoughts, that our self-doubts become inflated and we can’t see any truths. By recording what happens in your life and making lists of the positive things, you’ll be able to see things in a more level-headed way.
Talk with Someone
Sometimes a lack of self-love comes from toxic relationships, unresolved issues, and trauma from our past. If you’re struggling with negative thoughts about yourself that are impeding your ability to find joy in life and excel in every little thing you do, it can be so healing to talk with a licensed professional. They can show you that loving yourself is learning how to soothe your inner self, and they’ll enable you to recognize self-doubts when they crop up.
Overcome Self-Doubt by Practicing Love
Loving yourself is the key to loving others and being the best you can be. Self-doubt can ruin so many of the beautiful things in life. It causes us to miss out on new work opportunities, giving back to others, and living freely. Taking a few small steps today to increase your self-love will banish doubt and help you grow in confidence.