If you struggle with your confidence and self-worth, it’s likely that you are actually terrified of reaching for your dreams.
Why? Because in the twisted, convoluted logic of our brains, simply trying to keep us safe, if we never try that hard, then we never actually fail either.
Never mind the fact that not trying is, in fact, automatic failure. It’s still easier to excuse ourselves by saying, “yeah, well, I never really went for it”. That feels more comfortable than going all out for something and then really falling on our faces.
On the other hand … it’s pretty damn hard to get what you want if you don’t take any risks.
So many of us are stuck in this position, desperately longing for a path that provides us with purpose and meaning, but paralyzed under the burden of our anxiety and fear. I have been right there with you for most of my life. I couldn’t understand it – I’d finally get an opportunity and I would say no, because in the moment of decision, I was certain that I wasn’t actually up to the task. It’s a special kind of torture to spend all your time working towards something and then, when you have the possibility to move closer, be so terrified that you shove it away with both hands.
I’m not saying that I’m cured. A lack of self-confidence, especially one that you’ve spent a lifetime unconsciously reinforcing, does not just melt away. What I’m saying is that I’m finally aware of my self-defeating patterns, and I am learning about the neurological reasons behind them. They, like so much in my life, are related to trauma and wounding that dates all the way back to childhood.
The good news is that you can work on rewiring your brain and shifting your perspective. Don’t get me wrong, this will take work and the help of some trained professionals. First you have to cultivate a strong desire to change – to finally make your life what you’d like it to be. Then – and most importantly – you have absolutely got to take action. Without that, you have nothing. I thought I wanted to change for a long time, but I wasn’t moving towards actually doing so. Guess what? I stayed exactly where I was – stuck, miserable, and confused.
Doesn’t it feel terrible to have so little faith in your own ability to create the life you want?
You can pull yourself out of this rut. It’s going to take some strength, but you can do it. I firmly believe that if I can move out of the deep, dark chasm that I found myself in six months ago, you can do the same.
Loving yourself takes patience, compassion and a deep desire for change. It’s not easy, but it is arguably the only work actually worth doing. A life lived in a state of self-loathing isn’t much of a life at all, and yet so many of us wallow there indefinitely.
I believe in you.
All you have to do is take one step towards progress. Then another. Then another. Move one step at a time into a better life for yourself.
Don’t overwhelm yourself into paralysis. Step by step, my friend. Gentle gentle.
You are loved. You’ve got this.