Mental health journey | Comparison | Gain self confidence

Dear Therapist: Zahra Diwan on confidence, comparisons and feeling stagnant

  • Something for self-worth and self-confidence when everyone is critical of you?
  • Make a self worth/ confidence pie chart- In the pie chart write down on areas of your life that make you feel worthy if your pie chart contains only one aspect of your life like work or a relationship and think about other areas that can feed into your confidence and sense of self. 
  • Identify your own strengths and positives: Reflect and write down what you are good at; good things that people have said about you. Positive internal dialogue is an important step in improving your self-confidence and self-worth. It will be difficult in the beginning but with regular effort you will start to feel more positive and build your self-esteem as well. When you have identified your strengths, you can start taking on small tasks that will build on your skills. You can keep these tasks to yourself and discuss it with people only when you are comfortable to do so. 
  • Improve your physical health: When you have a set food, sleep and exercise schedule along with a good hygiene routine, you will have an increase of hormones such as endorphins which will help boost your confidence. If others are critical of you, that in no way means that you should not look after yourself. It is also important for you to take some time to yourself and engage in activities that help you relax. 
  • Worthy for existing: It is okay to not be perfect and not feel good about yourself. It is okay to not feel confident all the time and feel low about criticism. Think about how you can feel worthy without conditions attached to yourself. For example I am worthy only if I get that promotion or am loved by a certain person. You can be worthy for being you and existing.

  • How to stop comparing yourself with others?
  • Become aware of and avoid your triggers: Start noticing the situations that start the pattern of comparison (social media can be a very major trigger). Make a list of who and what you compare yourself to, write how it actually affects you. Try to catch yourself the next time you do it and replace it with another activity or contact if it does not add meaning to your life. 
  • Remind yourself that other people’s outward appearance cannot be compared to what is inside you: Unless you are really close to someone, you cannot know the realities of their life via mediums like social media. People spend a lot of time cultivating the versions of themselves that they show to other people in social settings. It is important to keep reminding yourself that you do not actually know what is happening in their life. 

  • Feeling of Stagnancy?
  • Slow down: Feelings of stagnancy often arise when people are stuck in a race which causes them stress and has no end destination. Therefore, it is very important for you to take a step back and pause. It might be very difficult to assess the situation accurately when you are too close to it. You may not be able to understand what’s really meaningful to you so take a step back and evaluate that.
  • Get to know yourself: This can be a difficult road to travel especially if you are feeling stagnant. However, exploring new things without judgement might be able to relieve the feeling of stagnancy. You may eventually come across something completely new that may rekindle interia for you
  • Meet The Author:
  • Zahra is and always will be the optimist, the hoper of far-flung hopes and the dreamer of improbable dreams.She believes that imagination and stories are the greatest resources for humanity. She loves everything science fiction and likes learning about philosophy and history along with mental health of course. She cares for herself by treating herself with dark chocolate, walks and painting her versions of starry nights and yin and yang koi fish symbols.
    -Zahra Diwan, Psychologist

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