When Your Anxiety Mixes With Self-Doubt

Emilio Küffer
Emilio Küffer

You don’t just feel like you’re not good enough. That’s the problem with having anxiety: It takes your smallest doubts and spirals them out of control until it completely breaks you down.

The break down won’t necessarily manifest itself physically. You will look completely fine. But your insides will rage. The fiery knots in your stomach will churn, because you will become hyper aware of your faults and tell yourself over and over and over that you are not good enough.

And then your voice will slip. It will raise an octave and crack because you can no longer speak properly – if at all. You know that this feeling of dread has gotten away from you. You’ve taken it 20 steps too far and aren’t likely to turn back.

The thoughts of failure that keep you on edge during the day and awake at night push to the front of your brain, causing your head to ache. The pain makes your eyes water, or maybe the tears are just a result of the doubt coursing through you.

It’s just self-doubt but it feels like so much more.

You are the kind of person who are does not believe people will see your worth. You find it unfathomable that a partner could stay with you because why would they choose to be with someone who internalizes pain until finally it explodes all over them, when they’ve done nothing wrong.

You’re a hard person to love.

Sometimes, you’re so stressed on the phone that you marvel at the fact that your parents or friends or spouse will still take your calls. Your fear constantly that you are too selfish and too wrapped up in your own problems.

You tell yourself you should be better.

It’s the same story at work. You put in 300% because how can you say you tried for your dreams and deserve them unless you worked as hard as you possibly could? And even if you are deserving, are you good enough?

The acid will burn in you stomach as you ruminate on your fear of failing. You’re short of breath. You inhale deeply, and try to calm your heartbeat. It doesn’t work.

This is what it’s like to feel inadequate. To feel like the right thing could just never happen to you. It’s terrifying. And it keeps happening because you aren’t being nice enough to yourself.

Most of these fears are entirely in your head. You’re bullying yourself. You need to train yourself to stop as soon as you start. Cut the fears off the minute they enter your head and force yourself to go about your day.

Tomorrow you could get your dream job or have the man you’ve been pursuing fall madly in love with you, and it still wouldn’t change your shaky self-confidence. Only you can do that. So prove to yourself that you can.

If you feel inadequate because you don’t like the way you look, remind yourself that you’re beautiful. Lean into your doubt just enough to prove yourself wrong. Take a shower. Put on your favorite shirt, or the lipstick you never wear and look at yourself in the mirror. Allow yourself to realize your own beauty.

If you think your work isn’t good enough, step away from it. Revisit it in an hour. Refocus yourself and then block out everything else and just do your work. Remind yourself how much you love it.

When you think you are undeserving of love, remember a time when you felt enveloped by someone’s affection. It doesn’t matter if you don’t speak to that person anymore. It doesn’t matter if that person has since passed away. Just think about that moment in which you knew their love for you ran deeper than you thought possible. Close your eyes, and remember what it was like to have that person beside you.

You are perfectly adequate. To say that you are good enough is an understatement. Starting believing that – it’s the truth. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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