Self-doubt and anxiety are two of the most common mental afflictions in the world. It is hard to grow as a person when one is nervous and unsure of themselves all the time. That’s why everybody should learn techniques for reducing doubt and improving self-worth.
Reasons for Self Doubt
Low self-esteem and self-doubt go hand-in-hand. Low esteem can often be traced back to childhood (https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/self-esteem), where faulty parenting practices can have long-term deleterious effects.
People with low self-esteem will often use negative words to refer to themselves. This is especially true with their internal thoughts.
Often a person’s thoughts towards themselves can be brutal and unfair. The thoughts would be far too rude to speak out loud. For some reason, human psychology allows that kind of self-talk to occur within people even though it is blocked from external use. It is better to avoid negative talk in all of its forms.
Identifying Risk and Reward
The critical thing for the anxious person to understand is how to measure risk and reward. Human psychology is flawed in ways that make people unwilling to lose. Humans want to win, whether it’s a game of chess or a competition for a job promotion.
When winning has real consequences, it makes sense to want it. On the other hand, there are many areas of life where the idea of losing is not paired with negative consequences.
By learning to identify risk and reward with new actions, it is possible to override natural inclinations towards anxiety and self-doubt. Many desired actions do not have meaningful risk associated with them.
Techniques to Reduce Anxiety
There are many simple techniques that have been proven to reduce anxiety for large numbers of people. Using even one of these techniques can be enough to change a person’s life.
Meditation has become a popular practice in recent years, but its history goes back for millennia. There are different forms of meditation, and most involve sitting still while paying close attention to something.
This locus of attention can be the feeling of breathing, a mantra or sound repeated in one’s mind, or other physical sensations in the body. It can be anything else, too. Meditation is a broad practice that is known to give people relief from anxiety (https://www.verywellmind.com/the-benefits-of-meditation-for-generalized-anxiety-disorder-4143127).
Taking long walks is a good way to reduce anxiety. Leaving the cell phone at home is a double-win since many people experience increased anxiety from exposure to technology. The practice of taking a walk each morning before looking at the phone can allow one to start most days in a good state of mind.
Increasing the amount of sleep that a person gets can reduce their anxiety. Insomnia is linked to a huge increase in the likelihood of clinical anxiety (https://www.sleepfoundation.org/excessive-sleepiness/health-impact/complex-relationship-between-sleep-depression-anxiety). Prioritizing a full night of sleep every night is a smart move for everybody.
On the Path to Self-Improvement
Self-Doubt and anxiety are stumbling blocks on the path to self-improvement. It’s important to be vigilant and use every technique available to reduce these emotional patterns and continue growing as a person. Meditation, sleep, and walking are all good techniques to use for reducing anxiety. With these, life can be experienced in a calm and relaxed way.
Brandon Webb is a former U.S. Navy SEAL, Sniper, and finished his time in the Navy as the Naval Special Warfare Sniper Course Manager. A passionate Entrepreneur (SOFREP.com & Crateclub.us) and a New York Times bestselling author. He is a member of YPO New York City and, Harvard Business School OPM 56.