The irony is - we are more likely to make ourselves feel like a failure than others.
It's highly rare and unfortunate for someone to tell us repeatedly, that we are not good enough. Just think, who is more likely to launch into a monologue of failure about how "we can never do anything right", about "how we are a failure" or "not good enough". Is it third parties or is it ourselves?
The sad thing is that more often than not, the negative speak is coming from our own minds.
The positive side is that all of this negative self-talk - it's not real, is it? In reality, it's just a story that we replay, over and over, until it beats us down into submission.
The thoughts aren’t true. There’s no objective panel of judges in the sky who have judged us unworthy. We just made up this story, and we pick out evidence to match the narrative. When someone says something remotely critical, we take it to heart, and offer it up as yet more proof that we’re not good enough. Sound familiar?
Well, news break. The story isn't true. The worst part is, we are preventing our own success by constantly beating ourselves down. We hide from the truth. We are too scared to hope for success in case we fail. We are too anxious to put ourselves out there and do our best in case our best isn't good enough. This is in essence, choosing a life of negativity and self-doubt instead of challenge, liberation and success. If you take a step back and analyse how you feel when you fail, compared to how you feel everyday living in your own shadow - I guarantee failing sometimes is a better way to live.
How can we stop feeling like a failure?
So how do we stop believing this untrue narrative that simply serves to knock our confidence?
The first practice, recommended by Leo Babauta in his blog for Zen habits, is to write out a mantra and repeat it. His personal mantra is, “The world craves you and your gift.” He explains that this simple mantra, keeps him grounded in times of high-stress. He advises to say it over and over until you believe it. Whilst repeating it may feel artificial at first, it works.
The second practice is to be self-aware.
What does this mean?
Notice when you are negatively talking to yourself. Remember how it makes you feel. Float outside of your body and objectively see how this type of talk is ruining your chances of success. Put a firm stop to it.
Think in that exact moment *what would it be like, in this particular moment, if I didn't have this negative self-talk?*
It would for sure be better, right?
Just by simply, saying this to yourself you can snap yourself out of your negative spiral and focus on what's important.
Don't let you hold you back. Make the change now.
For more great insights on this topic read Leo's blog here on Zen Habits.