One of the most prominent thought patterns during times of anxiety is self-doubt. I second guess almost everything I do, and most things other people do where it concerns me.
Should I ask her if she wants to hang out with me? She probably doesn’t. Has she been avoiding me? I probably shouldn’t call her.
What should I get him for his birthday? He’ll hate that. That’s a terrible idea. Why can’t I think of anything good?
That was so not the right decision. This will mess everything up. I should have waited. I should have asked someone else what they thought. What if this makes a mess out of everything?
Usually figuring out what I should get people for Christmas is an awful ordeal full of going back and forth and thinking that everyone will hate their presents. This year, since I was more depressed than anxious, I had no problem. I never once questioned my decision on a gift. It was awesome. Now my anxiety is back and I’m planning my wedding. It’s going well but my internal dialogue is constant questioning of the wording in every single email I send, and each decision I make, each pin I put on my Pinterest board.
How I tackle self-doubt:
- I talk a lot to my support people about what’s going through my head. They’re good at letting me know when my decisions were perfectly fine, and what I can do to manage the other ones that I should change or whatever.
- For long-term decisions, I remind myself that I made that choice by going through all the options, and using the information available to me. I remind myself of the other 80% of the time when I think that decision was a good choice. Doubting a decision for a couple moments shouldn’t negate hours of reasoning.
- I remind myself that I’m not my anxiety. These thoughts are not rational, and I don’t have to listen to them. I acknowledge them, tell them I don’t need them and try to move on.
Do you ever have to deal with nagging self-doubt? How do you manage it?