14 Sep Making things happen sounds so simple, not if you have difficulties in believing in yourself
by Kim Friedman,
Nursing and Midwifery Council ( NMC) Registered Mental Health Nurse
Making things happen sounds so simple, not if you have difficulties in believing in yourself
“Low self-esteem is like driving through life with your hand brake on.” Maxwell Maltz
I would say its not just like having the hand break on it is like every traffic light you come across is red, that every lorry , bus , horse box, tractor is deliberately going slow in front of you and finally as you get a chance to overtake you get a flat tyre
And then you have your head in the steering wheel thinking how the hell am I going to get out of this . And that’s exactly where I was at my lowest point “They were all right , I can’t cope, I am a terrible mother” and I could hear myself being sucked up into what I call the catastrophic tornado. At this point I recognised I had no self-confidence and did not believe I could get out of this situation I was in and everything was against me.
How did I get to that place is my life story. At 19 I had my eldest daughter and two years later my son and at 23 I had my third child . With combination of having 2 small children and a newborn, having little money, and not wanting to be in the house I lived in, lead me to being diagnosed with Postnatal depression. I can only describe this as being the lowest point in my life when I remember thinking my beautiful 3 babies deserve a better mother than I could be .This is when i had come to a crossroad in my life, I didn’t have the energy or no how to change direction and I continued on the same path My core belief believing i was not good enough and I had failed was just being reinforced in this vicious cycle .
When you have a strong belief that you are not good enough to achieve it makes sense that people like me may seek what they see as the easier road, as if that’s the path they would prefer to travel or the only road they know . The truth is it is not. You do not learn anything from not challenging that belief and we do not improve our problem-solving skills when we avoid.
I can now show my clients that anything is possible . Some people might say that is not true and that humans are unable to breathe underwater . So, let’s look at this , what if you wore a snorkel or you had a oxygen tank strapped to your back. You might say I do not know how to dive underwater , then you would seek the right professional that can help you do that . I use that analogy as it is personal to me . I love water and swimming , but feared what was in the deep sea underneath me and this stopped me from jumping off a boat and instead I would clumsy get down into the sea by going down the ladder , but getting back up was even more awkward . Then one day I had the opportunity to be able to have scuba diving lessons. I then got to see what was underneath and found this amazing world of beautiful colored fish and this disconfirmed my fear , and I now love the opportunity to jump off the boat into the sea. Being somewhere hot is a bonus
The solution is that it comes in a variety of forms .The key thing to remember is to be curious , be open to other ways of finding out . If you do not try you will never know
What I have found out over the years is that nobody is born with limitless self-confidence. If someone seems to have incredible self-confidence, it’s because he or she has worked on building it for years or they are overcompensating because they don’t want people to find out their core belief that they have little confidence, however this can be exhausting and not genuine in the way we really feel.
Two situations in my life stick out for me . One being as a child feeling anxious about making friends with children in the park I did not know and being envious of their confidence. Then my mother saying to me” look at that swan gliding gracefully across the lake, full of confidence, majestic ,but if you could see what was going on under the water you will see her flapping her feet like mad , is she as confident as you thought?” Being 9 years of age, I did not understand what she meant. But later in life I came across a work colleague whom I thought was a very confident person , who I found in tears in the communal kitchen, where I discovered she was flapping her feet like mad underneath her mask for work . And found this was increasingly getting harder for her to do
It was many years later when I had struggled through my life and my children were going to school , that I realised I wanted to be good enough and get my ambition of being on the professional ladder. I took the long winding road in trying to get through the no entry signs and looking for alternative routes from training to be a nurse, cognitive behavioural therapist to then being able to achieve running my own business with my business partner and friend Carrie .
From this journey I learnt a strong lesson that the core of self-belief is realising that you – and only you – are the driver of your own success. This is where personal power is built: in ways of reframing your life , to be resilient in facing challenges ,changing the way you think about work, life , achieving and ambition .Believing in yourself is not about uninterrupted success. It is about finding your inner strength so that you can embrace the journey that is life, with all its ups and downs, and realize that each challenge brings new skills, understanding and strength. Doing this on your own can feel overwhelming and at times impossible We will help you find your inner strength, find ways to challenge the obstacles that are preventing you from achieving
You do not have to swim against the tide ……… There is an easier way
I am going to share with you 5 things to think about when you believe that you are not good enough to reach your life goals
1.List the facts.
With all the experience I have I would like to think I am a rational person. But there have been times when this has not been the case when I have had negative thoughts, I have needed real hardcore evidence . People telling me you are going to be alright never convinced me . This was because I was so good at coming up with beating myself up type thoughts (self-critical ) and discounting anything positive . Remember I had a core belief of not being good enough , so friends and family who were trying to be kind , I saw as “ well they would be saying this because they don’t want to upset me” and that would leave me reinforcing what I already thought. You can see a vicious cycle forming
So being able to just sit down with a sheet of paper and write down the facts that showed me what I had achieved . So, for example if I had noticed I was getting anxious about going to a meeting . It would help me to then look at the times I have sat in a room and was it as bad as I thought at the time. What did I gain from going? We will all have past reference where we have coped .This sounds so simplistic , and difficult at the same time. This is just one strategy that can help, and it is a start .
2.You cannot eat an entire elephant in one bite.
This phrase is so powerful and I first found this when I was working with someone whom loved elephants and I wanted a phrase that would resonate with the overwhelming problems they were having “ you can’t eat an entire elephant in one bite “ and this just tells us that we need to just take one smaller bite at a time
I have always liked a SMART goal where I can go through a target in a systematic and achievable way
Specific Goal- Being clear what goal you want to work towards
Measurable- How do I know when I have reached it?
Achievable – There is one thing I have noticed working with clients that the goals they make need to be theirs. Taking ownership of you achieving this is the ultimate reward
Realistic- Wanting to fly to the moon perhaps may not be a realistic goal for some of us as we probably don’t have a rocket in our back garden. At BraintrainersUK we believe in you and what you can achieve and will help you feel as though you have gone to the moon and back
Time Framed -We need that specific time frame to achieve our goals. Have you ever made a new year’s resolution in starting the gym in January and then made excuses ? This is like trying to get the football (your goal) in the back of the net, but you have moved the goal posts and that leaves you then never getting a score(achievement)
3.Beating myself up for what I did not do
A fairer way to judge our decisions by is ‘what did you know at the time’? Courts use this standard to judge people’s responsibility for an event. How can you hold someone responsible for something they did not know?
Questions to explore this hindsight bias
1.Given what you knew then, was it a reasonable or unreasonable decision at the time?
2.How could you have known something that you did not know?
3.If the horrible outcome had not happened, would we be talking about this decision that you made?
4.Have you ever made mistakes in your life?
Have you ever gone over the speed limit in your car?
Have you ever forgotten to finish a course of antibiotics?
If you were to ask someone this question of have you ever made a mistake in your life , I wonder what they would say ?
I know I have .
4. Looking through different glasses
When we are in the place where we are convinced that our thoughts are right, then stepping back and thinking about what another person we trust would say , or what advice would they give you.
When we are in that catastrophic tornado it can be difficult to get out of the whirlwind we find ourselves in
By using this technique STOP can help you to recognise those tornado moments emerging
Step Back- Take yourself away from the situation for a moment . You do not have to be caught up in the tornado
Take a breath- Use breathing techniques to reduce the anxiety. Diaphragmatic Breathing is a great way to bring the anxiety down and be able to then think in a clearer way. Giving yourself some space to then start to.
Observe- what is going on around you. Great example is when we walk through the town Centre with our eyes to the ground and have thoughts that people are looking at us . If we continue with this, then we are reinforcing the same thought and not finding out what is going on around us. Then we can start to look from a different Perspective
Perspective – Interestingly when we are in this situation, we might have a strong belief that our thoughts are accurate .Its learning the skill of looking from different perspectives , not just one -our perspective . This gives us a more balanced outlook
5. Self -Compassion
Why is it easier to be kind to others, but hard on yourself? When we do not believe in our-selves we are our worst critic. Which leads to beating yourself up, because that core belief I am not good enough , keeps coming up. One of the tricks for overcoming low self-confidence is to treat yourself just the way you would treat your best friend or loved one in being caring, gentle, and forgiving.
Meditation is one way and can help you to practice some kindness and love to yourself
Mindfulness is another form of meditation that involves paying deliberate attention to what is happening, as it happens. Mindfulness practice can help us to be more present with ourselves , our work, and our families. It can help us feel more connected, take stock, and be compassionate to ourselves and others
Our webinar on Believing in yourself is a great way in exploring this further . See more details on our website
Over the years I have worked with some amazing people and it has been a privilege to have shared that journey with them
“I enjoyed listening and thinking of why we do this job. I thought what we did in the workshop was great and would like to have another”
“The individual sessions changed my life”
“You provided exactly what i was wanting for our team today – I would like to continue the momentum of this with a wall in the staffroom, thank you”
BraintrainersUK are here to help you to reframe your thinking, to enable you have a different perspective on how to overcome what is a road- block for you is in reaching your goals
We are very excited about our upcoming webinar on Reframing your life in a 3-step approach
Helping you to reframe your thinking, to enable you to have a different perspective on hoe to overcome what is a roadblock for you in reaching your goals, and to believe in yourself.
This Live online webinar can help you to achieve that new career ,that gives you achievement, a higher paid job that you deserve ,to be able to believe in yourself to go for that promotion, and lead your team with confidence . We know that when you have someone walking along that journey with you then you are far more likely to reach that life goal . Both Carrie and I have walked in those shoes, juggling work, children and trying to get a life in between .
Email us : Info@braintrainersUK.co.uk Give us a call on : 07510223561
We are currently ( Sept 2020 ) offering a free 30-minute consultation to help you find the right service for you , or your company.
CBT Therapy from Registered NHS Mental Health Therapists
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