10 Steps To Exit The Negative Cycle of Your Low Self-Belief
We all know it can be hard to see the beginning and the end of your troubles. Thinking this is how it will be forever. Like a huge mountain blocking all your sunlight. Of course, exactly these thoughts make you feel pain and stress. But 'Forever stuck' can change into 'Sometimes'. And 'Sometimes' into 'Rarely' by replacing your unhelpful thoughts to helpful ones. And the best antidote for dreading to climb that huge mountain is to only focus on the next step.
Your first step is investigating how you’re wired and recognizing the negative cycle you're trapped in.
Then – like a dentist - carefully remove all the junk to free yourself from unnecessary pain.
Be sure to measure your growth like a scientist by looking back from zero-point to now. Even the smallest step is one in the right direction. Up up up you go!
And please keep in mind that you are a wonderful human being that needs to be loved. And this love-story starts with you loving you.
So what is it exactly you’re lovingly aiming for?
What is a healthy self-belief anyway?
What glorious future awaits you having built a healthy self-belief?
One where you feel good about yourself and worth the attention and respect of others.
Having a healthy self-belief means you have a loving and correct image of yourself. You feel strong, worthwhile, assertive, positive, confident and realistic about your wonderful qualities. You are able to have balanced and secure relationships and receive personal feedback without feeling hurt.
The moment you realize you’re very capable of playing your much-needed part in the world - just by being your lovely self - you can stop fighting for your life. And just be.
How To Exit The Negative Cycle Of Your Low Self-Belief:
STEP 1. Research How You’re Wired
By understanding where your self-defeating troubles come from you can make long-term changes based on knowledge.
After you’ve done the research, these are the 9 next steps you can take to exit the negative cycle of your low self-belief.
STEP 2. Recognize Your Daily Hurtful Emotions
Shame. Sadness. Guilt. Jealousy. Anger. Fear. Just to name a few.
Nobody deserves to feel them. But it seems to be what you think you need to be punished with.
Evolutionary these emotions have a function of course. As a species, you want to be accepted to survive and reproduce. That’s why you fear to be excluded from the group (work, family, friends, society) when you think you’ve done something ‘stupid’. Of course you will feel shame, anger or sadness! It’s your belief, your conviction, that you’re not good enough.
Please know that we all want to feel needed. And everyone has different strategies to avoid getting left out; blaming, ignoring, yelling, punishing, lying, pushing away, acting superior, staying low, and so on.
So when you structurally feel shame or sadness hit the alarm button and abort the mission! Know there is something up. Someone triggered the thought that you'll possibly be excluded from the group. Making you feel sad, scared or ashamed.
The best way to exit the negative cycle of your low self-belief is to STOP letting others trigger hurtful emotions by:
- recognizing your negative convictions and
- making your own accurate truth by believing helpful convictions.
STEP 3. Name Your Negative Convictions
When you feel hurtful emotions stop and think of what inner-thoughts are causing them. I am not working hard enough. Nobody likes me. I am ugly. It’s all my fault. I'm not capable. Who am I to do that?
Will these thoughts help you create your personal love story?
Maybe you’ve already tried changing your behaviour to feel better, acting confident or happy? Working your ass off? Or maybe you just stayed low to avoid feeling pain?
I really applaud your strong willpower to survive. And I recognize the strategy personally; on the outside you seem fine, but your inside is screaming otherwise.
Just ‘acting confident’ will continue feeding your deeply rooted negative convictions because you are not really believing it. It will remain hurtful until you change your beliefs.
Let’s make a deal. Starting today change your negative convictions to positive ones! This will automatically change your behaviour! And will make you BE proud and happy.
STEP 4. Factcheck As If, Or Because, Your Life Depends On It
I’d die if I start the day without coffee!
I’m not approaching that gorgeous man, I am not beautiful enough.
Losing weight is not in the cards for me, for my whole family is overweight.
Really? I mean is it really true what you are telling yourself?
Or is this just one of many hurtful things you tell yourself to avoid feeling pain or stress?
Byron Katie, one of my favourite self-help authors, says that questioning what you believe is an amazing gift to give yourself. For your thoughts might not be based on facts at all. Instead, they can be very hurtful thoughts you cultivated yourself.
Every time you are in a stressful situation she wants you to ask yourself these four questions:
- Is it true? (if no, go to question 3.)
- Can you absolutely know that it’s true?
- How do you react, what happens, when you believe that exact thought?
- Who or what would you be without this thought?
STEP 5. Change Your Negative Convictions to Positive Beliefs
Making assumptions based on your own negative convictions is one thing. But having your whole worthiness depend on what others think is another. Try making your own accurate and loving truth!
Learn to see the sunny side to your low self-belief and be your own guru, cheerleader and coach.
Author Eckhart Tolle, of The Power Of Now, says ‘it’s like a noisy refrigerator running in the background that you don’t hear any longer because you’ve become accustomed to it. When the refrigerator breaks down we notice the silence, and become aware there was a noisy refrigerator in the background. Your negative thoughts are the noisy refrigerator.
Be silent, look around and listen, be here now. There is nothing more important than the present moment. As you consciously enter the present moment the thinking mind with its negative thoughts recedes.’
Then room will grow for positive and helpful thoughts like:
I am safe – I expect the best to happen – I trust myself – I am happy – Life’s good – I can make mistakes – My body is my best friend – There’s beauty all around me – I am wanted and worthy – I am enough – I have enough energy – My good is good enough – I forgive myself – I open my eyes for my pain and sadness – I have many qualities – I love myself – I am present, here and now – My future is safe – I love my body – I am a good person – I celebrate my sensuality – when I’m tired I rest - I am attractive to others - I forgive – I am thankful for all my blessings – my love is unconditional – I allow patience in my heart – I am open to giving and receiving love- I know what my soul needs – I set clear boundaries – I play an important role in this world.
STEP 6. Close Your Door To Negativity!
Surround yourself with people who care for your well being and distance yourself from toxic situations or people.
I know, you can’t always avoid unfriendly comments: I really didn’t like the party you gave or I don't like that new outfit on you.
Avoid saying: That’s rude, how dare you say that! Who do you think you are? Responding to criticism will let negativity in. And that’s unhelpful. Of course, you heard what they said, but you’re not letting it in!
Try saying: Thanks for sharing that. That’s an interesting opinion. I had a great time at my party or I am very happy with the way I look.
It’s just someone positioning him- or herself above you to feel better and get elevated. He or she decided to hover above you. And –before this article – you might have chosen to linger below. Not anymore though. I hope you’ve discovered there’s a third option – which is actually the only healthy one: making your own loving and accurate truth.
Instead of thinking: If you get to know me you might not love me. You say: I am lonely, wanna hang out?
No one can reject you. Not without your consent. Unless you choose to let it hurt you. Don’t let the criticism in.
STEP 7. To Step Out Of The Negative Cycle Of Your Low Self-belief: Forgive Others.
Especially the ones who trigger you, scare you, annoy you, stress you out or make you cry. People who place themselves above you by being authoritative or rude. Or below you thinking he or she is worth less than you.
This survival strategy of overrating or undermining oneself might shortly serve the purpose of feeling safe but will keep you far away from your true self. It’s actually your main source of daily stress.
But it shouldn’t be.
We all want to belong. But their unique lessons are not yours. Their pain is also not yours. So forgive the other for hurting you. And maybe distance yourself from them for a while so you have time to heal.
STEP 8. Be Yourself And Open Up
You are wonderful and you know it! Let people experience the real you.
Look people in the eye, instead of looking away after a few seconds. That’s just the old you being afraid of what judgement you’ll read in their eyes.
Try it out on friends and with people passing in the street. Catch their eyes. Open up. Smile. Say hello. Just give it a go! Really you’ll find that people will respond to you in a beautiful way.
STEP 9. Practise Yoga And Meditate
To soften your troubled mind it's important to get calmness and harmony back in your life. And like all things in life harmony comes through balance.
Balance is always there. Even unhealthy balance is balance. It's like yin and yang, two sides of the same coin. If you stay in an unbalanced situation too long, like structurally feeling stress at work, your body will urge you to slow down. Making you feel headaches, back-pain or exhausted. The scale will tip over to one side.
Yoga and meditation can be part of your own love story. Undermining thoughts about yourself, other people, things that happened in the past and things that might happen in the future will recede.
Yoga and meditation help you experience the present moment. Calming your body by focusing on your breath and mind.
Your breath and mind are like two fish in the same school. When one moves the other moves too. So to calm the mind you must learn to calm your breath. And to calm your breath you must calm your body.
I am sure you can find a practise that suits your needs.
Personally, Yin Yoga has helped me through my burnout, being a very slow practise where you sit or lie still in a easy position for several minutes. Relaxing all your muscles and mind. And letting the energy flow again.
STEP 10. Explore your desires and longings
The most important way to find out what your desires are is to find the activities that make you smile and shine.
You might not have recognized them as desires throughout your life, but there really are some topics or activities that dominate your free time and conversations. The ones that you are overlooking because they seem too ordinary or obvious. Those are the ones worth to explore.
Maybe you lived your life mostly working on someone else's dream? Try following these 5 steps to discover and pursue your own dream!
Having reached the end of this article on how to exit the negative cycle to your low self-belief, I hope all of the above has triggered something positive in you, a spark of energy, hope or light.
Be the investigator, dentist, scientist and guru. It's all in you. And most of all, take the steps and give it time. For the new road you're paving needs work and time to become a solid highway.
I know you did get stuck in a moment that you can’t seem to get out of. But know that it's just a moment, this time will pass.