Tuesday, July 23, 2019
Life Random Thoughts

Losing to Self-doubt #MondayMusings

It’s almost December mid. Another year almost ran its course and the next one is ready to pounce upon us. Year after year we say the same things, carry the same hopes, with maybe some slight changes in goals and plans, but in effect a new year is always welcomed as a reset button, though, there is no reset button. 

2018 was not so good to me. Oh, that’s not right! I wasn’t good in 2018. I managed to squeeze my positiveness out and slathered myself with self-doubt and self-pity. It was unintentional though. But at this point, all that is left is a highly insecured person with dwindling hope. 

Honestly, I don’t like this person. I wasn’t this person. I had high hopes for me and as it turned out nothing panned out the way I hoped for. It was my expectations that played the villain. Life is nothing but filled with learning at every turning, isn’t it? 

My main problem was I didn’t feel productive. I didn’t feel that I was doing anything important and by extension in my own eyes I fell short. Not having a job or career significantly magnified my worthless in my own eyes. 

If you think, now that I’ve figured out the problem, I have come up with a solution, then you are wrong. I wish! I know I have a blessed life. I know I am an able person. I know that my family can’t function if I disappear from the face of the earth. But those realizations aren’t enough. They are not helping me in turning around my outlook toward me.

I still don’t feel that I matter. 

I do think and plan things to help me get out of this cage. The plans, the ideas – they help me, for a little while.  And I feel sunshine again. But the moment I have to put those plans into action, I bail. All these years I’ve gathered so much of self-doubt inside my head that it has become impossible to do anything without that devil popping in on my every thought, every plan. And I never get consent from self-doubt to take action. 

Why am I talking about all these here? Because I’m hoping that confronting the fear from all angles would somehow help me. Even my writing suffered this year. When I had something important to say, I squashed it from being heard. I believe that I effectively took part in diminishing my value by not voicing, not writing, not planning and not acting. 

It’s easy to get into this trap and difficult to get out of it once you are in. 

I don’t have any valuable takeaways to share with you today, other than that I am a work in progress. Have you ever been in a situation like this? How important it is for you to feel important in your own eyes? What do you do to tackle self-doubt and self-pity? Please share your thoughts. 

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Linking with #MondayMusings hosted by Corinne at Everyday Gyaan.

Vinitha
<p>I am an ex-Software engineer turned into a SAHM with a love for words. I secretly wish to be called as a writer. You can read my affair with words at Void Thoughts(http://thevoidthoughts.com) and Reflections..(http://vinithadileep.com)</p>

26 thoughts on “Losing to Self-doubt #MondayMusings

  1. I hear you, Vinitha. I have known this void ceated due to the feeling of being unimportant because I have not been productive enough as I want to. And then there are other aspects of life too, which the internal voices make huge noise about. Yes life has not been absolutely fair. I have come to accept how much do I think I have healed, these voices are here to stay. I try to dumb down these voices, time and again. Last few months I was totally driven down by these voices and then it became on and off. I am still a work in progress but what little has worked for me in the last 2-3 weeks are-
    1. Writing about it (on the blog).
    2. Limiting the world’s access to my personal life to feel secure from judgement. I only have close friends on Facebook and Instagram. (You are there 🙂 )
    3. Diverting my mind by colouring pages.
    4. Keeping the mind occupied with blogging, reading other blogs even if I can manage 1 or 2 hours.

    I wanted to ask you about calligraphy. Could you manage to begin it? It can serve as a tool to diverting the mind for now. Feel free to chat, talk and share with me.

    1. Honestly, I am occupied and busy but this constant feeling stays at the back of my mind ready to jump in anytime. I realize that it would take a lot of work to stop treating me as an afterthought and start giving credit to the works I accomplish. One of the things which I do is compare myself with others, it is pure accidental and completely unintentional, but it is damaging me more than I understand. Looks like I have to keep singing my praises to get over this rejected feeling.
      I like your tips, they are totally doable. After reading your comment I made an effort and got my hands on my old coloring book. I am also doing some zentangle arts which isn’t spectacular but keeps me calm.
      yes, I started doing that calligraphy kit and loving it.
      See, diversion is not the problem. I enjoy when I do things, it’s later I go back to the annoying feeling. Like a background music this stuff plays in my head.
      I think not blogging as much also served a cause to these feelings. So I am going to get organized and just do the things which I love. Talking helps too. I know how to get hold of you. 🙂 <3

  2. Yes, it happens. the feeling of nothingness, feeling you are of no use. Have been through this often,I sail in the same boat. working moms turned sahm, feeling of a gap. But try and find a hobby, go for walks, join an activity, scribble, doodle, sketch, write you are great at it.

    1. I love and do all these activities which you mentioned, Pragun. But, as you told, the change is sometimes difficult to process even though this change has become my life. It’s funny. For me it’s mostly my time is running out and I must realize my dreams right now kind of a rush pushes me to the panic mode. Even when I do, I account me for nothing. That’s where I have to change. Thank you for taking time to read and for sharing your views, pragun!

      1. I understand, try and start new year on new note, I go thru this often. in my case i feel helpless for my mom too who stays all alone and this all adds on to the unproductive meter. But life goes on and it will go on. we can crib, cry shout if it helps. Yes as humans we resist change and for women it’s never ending adjustment cycle.

  3. You are brave to acknowledge and voice your fears and insecurities in such an articulate manner Vini. Hugs to you for being able to do that. And hugs to you for getting through it too.

    What I gather from your thoughts that staying at home and being the home maker is making you feel unproductive!!!!!!!!

    Thats one of the toughest jobs to do – I manage work life and my home on my own as I dont have a choice. I need to do both and it gets so taxing at times. Thats when I start to feel likea failure.

    I have huge admiration for women who manage home and hearth – home cooked meals are such a blessing for me and I respect and love the ones who invite me over for it.

    So I will say look at what you are doing, rather than what you are not! Be grateful for what you are able to do – build on this and I think it will give you some clarity at the way you look at yourself.

    1. Oh, I am no homemaker, Shalini. I just take care of things at home, that’s all. But I can never see myself as a homemaker even though I stay at home. The term homemaker is loaded with responsibilities and elegance and whatnot’s. I am not that efficient. But yes, the switch which happened 11 years ago, is still staring at me and I feel an uneasy void.
      Now I must disclose that I worked as a coding instructor for 6 months this year and is freelancing as a writer and a software tester from the beginning of this year. But still I am not able to feel that I am good enough. Isn’t that ridiculous? It’s only recently I started to tell people that I am a writer. Isn’t that annoying? I have been actively blogging since 2014 and was writing since I was a school going girl.
      I just want to confront me and acknowledge all the works I am doing. And blogging about this demon seem to be appropriate. It is important to know one’s worth. It should start from the self. I am trying. 🙂
      Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Shalini. It means a lot to me. <3 🙂

  4. Ah yes. I have been the queen of self doubt for a long time, still battle with those demons sometimes, in fact. All I know is it is a journey; it takes time to quieter those voices. There are a few things that helped me:
    1. Journaling: both just writing out the emotions and self inquiry using different prompts, techniques, and the tarot & oracle for psycho-analysis.
    2. My art practice: learning art, showing up even when I sucked at it, trying and trying and taking tons of ecourses to improve my skills.
    3. Mindfulness and somatic healing techniques.

    If you need a listening ear, I’m here <3

    1. Thank you for sharing your tricks, Shinjini. I do some zentagle art and recently started to try my hand at calligraphy. Journaling reamins an all time favorite. I write in my gratitude journal. Will continue to do these. Thanks a lot for sharing your thoughts. 🙂

  5. I wrote out a long comment that vanished. 🙁 What puzzles me is that you are doing a lot of things, are gainfully occupied and yet you have self doubt. Most stay-at-home women feel a void because they aren’t doing anything apart from household chores which can feel monotonous and worthless. I find no joy in cleaning or folding clothes or decluttering and most times feel very inefficient in these. But then I tell myself that I am an accomplished mom, writer, professional with so many interests, a confident personality, a trustworthy friend and sibling, a good wife etc.

    This is a simple exercise and I told my son to do it a few months back. See if it helps you with self confidence. Stand in front of the mirror, look into your eyes, smile and say I love you to yourself. And then say I am totally worth it with a swag. Do it twice a day. Try it for a week and tell me.

    As an aside, there is no harm in approaching a therapist too. I approached one last year and it helped me a lot. One thing I’ve learned is that circumstances are beyond our control, but it is what is in our minds that generally really makes life worth living or not. Perspective matters the most and sometimes we just need a professional to help us stumble upon it. Good luck, Vinitha.

    1. Thank you for the thoughtful words, Rachna. I understand that above all the not getting to talk to people on a daily basis is the root cause of my problems. Had I worked outside home I would’ve met with others and had casual talks. But working from home deprives one of all that joy.
      Thank you for sharing that exercise with me. I am doing it. It is hard for me to look into my eyes, albeit on the mirror, because I don’t spend time looking at me at all. However, I realize that’s a problem too. I am working on myself, saying positive words and praising when I accomplish even a simple task. I feel stupid though, because I used to appreciate myself before. It’s all lost now and I’m starting over.
      I hear you about seeing a therapist. I am cent percent certain that it would help. I always wanted to see one just so I can talk my heart out without the fear of judgement. Will visit one sooner or later, hopefully.
      Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Rachna, that too, two times. Means a lot to me. <3

    1. Thank you for the messages, Esha. You have been very kind and patient with me. I am lucky to have found a friend in you. <3

  6. Ever since I left my job at a school, I have felt useless, worthless etc etc. I was taking care of a mentally ill senior citizen and a hyperactive dog, and yet I felt useless because I wasn’t earning money. And, those words “not earning money” –are responsible for this feeling that you are experiencing Vini. Also, I may be wrong, but the kind of feelings you have expressed here speak about depression which you might not have thought seriously about. I would suggest you visit a therapist soon. it helped me and I am sure it will help you too.
    However, you ARE working, isn’t it?And, yet you don’t think highly of yourself…and that’s why you need help. Please, visit a therapist ASAP.
    Also, write your feelings in your diary or this blog. Just let it all out. Read books–no, not self-help, but fiction– the suspense thrillers which hold your attention and force you to forget what’s going on in your world. That’s what I am doing, and the mind stays occupied.
    And, yes…you need to improve your self-talk. Give yourself positive feedback about yourself, however lousy you may feel. Self talk has a lot of power to change the way you think about yourself and the world. I have been doing it so I know it can help.
    But, please visit a therapist.

    The new look of your blog looks cool! 🙂
    Love and hugs!

    1. I don’t think it is fair to draw a comparison between you and me, because you have been through a lot and you did your part in an exceptionally wonderful manner, Shilpa. You have no reason to feel worthless. But I agree the non-earning part will leave one with a worthless feel, though, it shouldn’t considering the amount of work we accomplish on a daily basis. It’s this mind playing games with us.I agree, these thoughts have triggered depression in me where I feel at a loss and insecure. At this moment I am okay. But I know that at a later point it will strike again. I have wrote down some encouraging words which are giving me an at peace feeling at this moment to read later when the blues hit me again. The knowledge of having something to hold in is helping me.
      And yes, I am hitting me with positive words and making plans that is helping me. I read books everyday even if it is only for half an hour a day.
      And of course, talking to you guys have been helping me a lot. For that I am so proud of myself because it is through my writings I found you. 🙂
      Thank you for being my friend and being here whenever I need you, Shilpa. Hugs. <3

    1. The state mind oscillates between failure and victory leaving one in pain and joy. It is rather confusing though, the affairs of mind. 🙂

  7. FIrst, big hugs. Second, I am not sure what I can add to the already wonderful comments and suggestions above. But here’s what works for me.

    Self-doubt plagues us all. Every single one of us. Some of us talk about it, either on the blog or in person with close friends. Some of us pretend it doesn’t exist, but it does. The thing I find really helps me (and on a daily basis) is to write down a gratitude note at the end of the day. Simple act- 3 things that I am truly grateful for.

    It’s a very simple but very powerful habit and it works for me. Being alone in my line of work can be extremely de-motivating. Most of the time, I am the one motivating myself as well as other people, to find their purpose or blog’s purpose. But it can be exhausting. I also believe that being online tends to exacerbate that feeling, so I stay offline when I am not working/blogging.

    Again, no concrete answers or advice here, Vinitha 🙂 Just sharing lots of hugs and telling you that you are worth it, you are amazing, you are a good writer. Always remember that.

    1. Thanks, Shailaja. I do write on my gratitude journal. But I can’t write when I feel down. I do sit down with the journal but I fail to come up with anything positive other than the usual Teas, or Books or TV, when I feel low.
      It must be difficult for you to do all those which you do and keep motivating others also. You are doing such a great work, Shailaja.
      I am working on myself, replacing negatives with positive thoughts and trying to keep myself as a priority. The moment I feel that I have to give up on my dreams for my family, I feel the presence of negative thoughts and self-doubt again. I am getting to know myself again these days.
      Thank you for stopping by and leaving encouraging words, Shailaja. 🙂 <3

  8. I’m sorry you are going through a tough time! It sounds to me you’re struggling to find a sense of purpose or meaning and that can be quite disconcerting and make it feel like you are not being useful in any way. The other thing I get from your post is you’re possible depressed and/or anxious. It’s tough and I’ve been there personally and seen people professionally for the same. It’s not about being so busy that you have no time to reflect but gradually doing things you enjoy. You will find meaning eventually but also try and build it into each day through simple means. It takes time, sometimes longer than others. It might help to see a therapist and get some professional help. Apart from that, I found reading books like Brene Brown’s work or Matt Haig’s Reasons to stay alive, and Viktor Frankl’s Man’s search for meaning all helped me think deeper about things and try to find ways. I don’t know the answers as I’m still on the same journey of finding and building meaning and purpose but do know that we’re here for you

    1. The feeling of worthlessness has triggered depression. I am working on feeling positive again. I used to be annoyingly positive, so all these thoughts and not feeling good enough is a surprise to me. But I am acknowledging that this the reality. I taking small steps, keeping small goals to get to where I want. And I see it is helping me slowly.
      Thank you for the book suggestions, Sanch. I was meaning to read Brene Brown in the near future. Will look up the books.
      Thank you for reaching out to me, Sanch. Means a lot to me. <3 🙂

  9. It’s just a phase, Vinitha. I promise! My years from 2014 to 17 were really bad and honestly, I’m not so sure as to what the problems were. But as you said, I wasn’t feeling productive, I felt useless. But all the while, I was slowly working on improving my mental health. Every tiny step helps, I should say. Also, you know that I’m here for you, okay? Lots of love <3

    1. Honestly, I can’t believe that you had three bad years! But it does happen for reasons that seem perfectly nonsense. And if one is not feeling good, nothing else matters, the reasons don’t matter. Putting yourself back in the useful lane of life is a matter perspective mostly than being actually doing useful things, because we all are being productive and useful already, just that we don’t see that, right? I’m also working on myself, Shalini. Reminding me to stay positive and finding reasons to stay positive. Slowly I am getting there, putting these negative feelings away.
      Thank you for sharing your feelings with me, Shalini. I know you are here and thank you for that. 🙂 <3

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