#159 Working with Feelings of Self Doubt and Inadequacy? Ditch Comparing Yourself to Others.
This is a subject I have avoided writing or speaking about. I think this avoidance was unconscious, but I am now highly aware of it. I am aware of it because at many a time in my life I have suffered from self doubt, imposter syndrome (I didn’t even know that existed until two years ago), and confidence issues.
This month is particularly bad for me. I could not understand why I would awaken to dread and sadness. I felt on many days no motivation at all. I know I am still healing from grief, but it was more than that. Something was nagging at me, and I realized it was my own self doubt.
I have my sailing retreats coming up, and I am excited for them, but there is still availability for my June one. The fact that I have spots available make me feel bad about myself. “You are a failure.“Another hit was a I post I put out called How To Build Your Own Toolbox, and it didn’t gain much traction. “People don’t care, maybe you should give up the podcast.” I asked a question on Facebook and received lack luster responses. “Maybe people are annoyed with me?“
As these feelings of self doubt were bubbling within me, I saw a post from a girl who had 30,000 likes about candles of all things. I heard about a friend that is having much success hosting her own retreat.
I was seeing so much happiness online, so much success of others, that it had me questioning my own.
Now, let me pause here and say that maybe deep down I know I am enough, I KNOW I am making progress in my life. I know I am in such a better place than a year ago or even a day ago. I know I have so much love, success, and joy surrounding me.
Even then, folks… I was/am comparing myself to others, and it got the better of me.
People believe what they see. We don’t know about the struggles human’s face. We don’t know how much it took them to announce something on the internet, or how they feel when they are offline. We don’t know their loneliness or feelings of doubt. We just see the facade.
We now live in a high success/high reward culture. It is not our fault for having these feelings of inadequacy. I swear the internet is made to make you feel inadequate, so don’t feel bad.
The real question is? How do we stop feeling this way? What steps can we take to feel confident, radiant, more creative, and the freakin unicorn that we are?!
“Don’t compare your life to others. There is no comparison between the Sun and the Moon. They shine when it’s their time.”
The moment we start comparing our lives to others, we begin to feel doubt, and uncertainty, that can lead to depression, sadness, and lack of confidence.
This is the reason I wanted to be a little vulnerable here on my show with this episode. I am not immune! I get mopey and down. I feel like I am not doing enough. I haven’t succeeded enough. I haven’t helped people enough. I feel this so often. The struggle is real, and I know there are many others that feel the same as I do.
So what do we do when these feeling arise?
Here are some suggestions when you feel down and find yourself in the comparison game.
- Shut down your internet. Take a break from doom scrolling by placing some restrictions on the amount of time you are online. Or tell the online world you are taking a week off. Being off the sauce will help you get a clear headed mind and show you the only person you are in comparison with… is yourself. More on that later.
- Take a long walk in nature- I am an avid believer of walking to shake off the blues, and a little fresh air will have you thinking more clearly. Look up and see the sky and know you are enough.
- Listen to some self growth podcasts or motivational speeches- Anything you can do to pull yourself out of doubt and into confidence is a win, and there are so many resources out there to use the internet for good.
- Take a shower and dress up- Really, Marta? Yes! This simple trick will have you feeling better in no time. Dressing up doesn’t have to mean putting on your nicest suit or ball gown. These days I have fallen into the trap of yoga pants and sports bra. (I mean I am a teacher) but it is nice to put on some clothing that makes you feel better. Dust off that jacket or dress and give yourself a compliment!
- Repeat positive affirmations- I truly believe that this helps. I mean think of all the negative self talk that swims around in our brains. Where does it lead us? To being low, feeling bad, and right back into that comparison game again. Positive affirmations can help adjust the way that you think to help you feel better in no time. We will touch on more in a minute.
- Create a list of Daily Wins- I heard this recently on a podcast and LOVED it. I started making it a habit, because more often than not we forget the things we accomplish in the day. We focus on the negative rather than the positive, and too often we get side tracked by outside stimulation that we don’t remember our wins. YOU HAVE MANY WINS! I mean, you got out of the bed, right? WIN! Write that down. It can be small or big. They all matter. Try writing your wins before you go to bed at night. Don’t compare each day to the other. Each one will be different but equally important in your growth.
Also, I wanted to touch on not just comparing yourself to others, but the fact that we have a tendency for self comparison. You are not beholden to things you have done in the past. I have done some incredible things in my 40 years, and sometimes instead of being proud of them, I find myself comparing the present self to what I have done! Isn’t that nuts?! I know it is nuts, and still… it happens. The mind is tricky.
All the successes I have had, at one point or another I have thought to myself… “Ok, yeah you hosted that game show, You gonna do another? Make it bigger?’ “You did that treasure dive… You dove the Atocha for treasure…What comes next, Marta? How are you gonna top that?” I know I am not the only one here.
Humans are funny, aren’t they? You have to laugh sometimes. I personally have to steady myself often. How do I do this? Let’s go back to positive affirmations. Which ones should you use? I will go over five of some of my favorites, but feel free to find inspiration for yours anywhere. Write them down frequently.
- YOU ARE ENOUGH. Rinse and repeat over, and over, and over again. I use this affirmation in my yoga teaching constantly because it is a phrase that is so important. It is one we have a hard time believing. You are enough, you don’t need to be more.
- YOU ARE EXACTLY WHERE YOU NEED TO BE TO GET WHERE YOU ARE GOING. Not the past, not the future. Now. All you have is now and you are doing it. You are where you need to be.
- “YOU ARE VERY POWERFUL PROVIDED YOU KNOW HOW POWERFUL YOU ARE” – Yogi Bhajan. One of my favorite quotes to remind you that you have all the power over your life. Even the smallest of changes make a huge impact. See that glass of water? Drink it. Feel better. 🙂
- I AM WORTHY OF GOOD THINGS HAPPENING TO ME. Sometimes we stand in our own way, and beat ourselves up. This happens very often, and is a whole other podcast on it’s own. Just know that you ARE worthy. No matter your past, regrets you have, or the things you have done. Everyone is capable and deserving of good things.
- I AM NOT ALONE- This is a big one. Too often we can feel alienated from others. We feel people don’t understand what we are going through. That they seem happy, and have no clue of the dread or grief that is inside us. Please know that everyone has felt this way at some point in their life, and with the state of the world currently, they have probably felt it more often than not. Repeating this phrase, at least to me makes me feel a whole lot better.
Remember to be gentle with yourself, and know also that this wave will pass. If you enjoyed this, check out one of my past episodes talking about building yourself a toolbox when you feel low. It really helps me, and hope it helps you too!
I would love to know about what you would like to hear about next! Shoot me an email and say hello 🙂 Thank you for sharing this space with me and tuning in. Feel free to review on iTunes or wherever you listen to your podcasts.
Yoga Sailing Retreat 2023
Thailand April 8th
Croatia August 26th
Sardinia- Sept 2nd
I would love to explore with you. Come sail the seas with me. It is going to be incredible and space is limited. For more information or to book your spot head to Med Sailing Holidays
I invite you to come join my Sunday evening Stress Relief classes. I started them for myself, and then turned them into a pay what you can class. I would love for you to join me each Sunday at 8pm EST 🙂
ALSO if you can’t roll with me overseas this year, stay local! My friend Elizabeth Craig and I are hosting a women only Transformation Retreat near Pittsburgh. Sept 8-11th. Registration is now open!
As always I am not a doctor or Guru. By listening to this podcast or reading this blog, you agree not to use this podcast or blog as medical advice to treat any medical condition in either yourself or others, including but not limited to patients that you are treating. Consult your own physician for any medical issues that you may be having. This entire disclaimer also applies to any guests or contributors to the podcast or blog.