Making things happen sounds so simple, not if you have difficulties in believing in yourself

CBT Therapy by Registered NHS Therapists

by Kim Friedman,

BACP Registered Cognitive Behavioral Therapist

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


CBT Therapy by Registered NHS TherapistsI 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.


CBT Therapy by Registered NHS TherapistsI 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


CBT Therapy by Registered NHS TherapistsWhat 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


CBT Therapy by Registered NHS TherapistsIt 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


CBT Therapy by Registered NHS Therapists   



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


CBT Therapy by Registered NHS Therapists1.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 .


CBT Therapy by Registered NHS Therapists2.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)



CBT Therapy by Registered NHS Therapists3.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 .


CBT Therapy by Registered NHS Therapists4. 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



CBT Therapy by Registered NHS Therapists5. 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



CBT Specialists BrainTrainersUK


Over the years I have worked with some  amazing people and it has been a privilege to have shared that journey with them



Kim Friedman CBT Therapy by Registered NHS Therapists“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


CBT Therapy by Registered NHS TherapistsWe 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  .


CBT Therapy by Registered NHS Therapists
Email us : 
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.


BrainTrainersUK CBT

CBT Therapy from Registered NHS Mental Health Therapists

HPC, BACP & NMC Registered and Accredited Therapists

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