IR: Pandemic Reality – Self-doubt
This is the third in a four-part series about our integrative reality, and some suggestions for how to deal with it, during the never-ending pandemic – self-doubt.
As we emerge from lockdowns and third waves, a common theme I’m seeing on social media revolves around self-doubt with an underlying fear. The fear is understandable, there are so many unknowns when you’re dealing with a global pandemic, but the self-doubt is new. It’s mostly couched in self-deprecating language such as “I don’t know if I have any real clothes anymore”, but it’s about doubting ourselves after 18 long months of a weird normal.
I imagine this is something we’re all experiencing this in different aspects of our lives: it may not be re-integrating into a modified society; it may be that you’ve gained weight or can’t stand your job anymore but don’t know what to do next. Whatever it is there’s likely a moment where you feel like just abandoning it all to avoid any underlying fear. Unfortunately, getting back into society is not an option not to do. So, how can you identify and then deal with your self-doubt?
One of the exercises I like to use when there are external forces impacting my inner peace is to regain control by isolating exactly what is in your control. For example, how other people judge you is not in your control. Finding clothes that fit is. Wanting to continue to work from home but feeling unable to ask is within your control. The reaction of your boss is not. Once you’ve identified what’s within your control it’s easier to focus in on improving your outlook towards the main issue.
Since you can control your immediate (and future) actions, start with the essence of what you can *do* to rectify your feelings. For example. Spend 10 minutes picking out outfits just to get your mind wired in a different direction. Start writing or bullet-pointing an email to your manager. Action oriented vs. passive thoughts. This may not completely improve your feelings, but what it will do is keep you grounded in the present with concrete steps towards a future state, whatever that may be.
Some self-doubt requires therapy, and none of this is a replacement for mental health professionals, but can help with the day-to-day feelings of mild fear and self-doubt we all have. When you’re action-oriented and task oriented try diffusing a citrus essential oil to help elevate your mood and focus your mind.
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Photo credit: "doubt-full [he loves me - he loves me not]" by TheAlieness GiselaGiardino²³ is licensed with CC BY-SA 2.0.