The best way to battle fear and doubt is knowing who you are, and there’s a simple way to change how you think about it.
The Need for Validation
Do you ever have a really crappy day that just unravels everything you believe about who you are and why you’re here? Some days are easy and other days seem like you can walk ten miles through rain, sleet, and snow and still feel you’re further back than when you started.
When I’m dealing with depression I sometimes find it hard to get centered around what’s real and what isn’t. All the voices past and present come to tell me what I’m not and why I can’t accomplish anything. Some days it just seems overwhelming to stay on top of it and believe in who I am versus worrying that maybe I’m not what I think I am.
It’s at times like that we look for backup: someone to champion for us, encourage us, and tell us that we’re good enough and we’re worthwhile. A lot of this comes from knowing who you are, but sometimes it doesn’t seem like it’s enough.
We often look at others to tell us who we are. We want to get validation for our beliefs about ourselves and who we believe ourselves to be. What we’re really saying is “who am I, and does it match who I think I am?”
There’s another way.
A Different Approach
The next time you find yourself looking to someone else to define who you are and what you’re about, try this: instead of wondering “am I x”, say “I am x”.
Instead of asking “am I coming across as confident” tell yourself “I am confident” and display that confidence. Instead of asking “am I a good person” tell yourself “I am a good person” and do the things a good person would do. And instead of asking “am I a writer” tell yourself “I am a writer” and sit down and write.
It’s not always easy and there are days it just may seem overwhelming. You don’t have to be perfect at it. But every time you do it becomes one more time you practice. It becomes one more time you get better. It becomes one more time you really start knowing who you are.
Why? Because you are making yourself into who you really want to be.