Where is it going wrong?
Want to prove yourself
Many of us want to prove ourselves but are very insecure about ourselves. So was I. As a student and starter in the labor market, I was extremely insecure. At university I thought: that when I get my diploma, I’ll probably feel better. When that didn’t happen, I thought: if I have a nice job later, everything will be fine. But that good self-confidence failed to materialize. I started the search. It was quite a struggle, with deep valleys. I found out that it’s not about all those external factors (degree, nice job), but that it’s about believing in yourself.
Being busy all the time is the norm
These days, ‘always being busy’ is the norm. We always manage to fill that agenda nicely. Even on vacation, we often act busy. We don’t want to miss anything of all the sights. Because if we come back and a colleague or friend asks “Have you seen this and that?”, we don’t want to be fooled…
We fall by the bushes
We even fall over at bushes. The percentage of people with burnout or depression is increasing. There is not much scientific research about numbers. A survey of thousands of young people shows that 25% of young people have burnout and 50% expect to get one. The WHO (World Health Organisation) even predicts that by 2030 people worldwide will suffer from nothing more than depression.
Losing faith in yourself
Suppose it happens to you, that you can’t keep up anymore. Then it feels like a huge failure and the uncertainty increases considerably. You may be thinking, “See, I can’t do it.” And you make yourself even smaller. You can completely lose faith in yourself. And eventually even think that you are no longer worth the effort.
From uncertainty to fully believing in yourself
1. Positive thoughts
Depression is often the result of a negative spiral, of negative thoughts. With those negative thoughts, we can really get ourselves down. But when negative thoughts have such a strong power, so do positive thoughts. That is why we can also bring ourselves into a positive spiral.
Our brain has traditionally been focused on the things that are not going well. You can train yourself to focus more on the positive things. For example, in the car, on the bike, or at dinner you can first name 3 positive things of the day. Usually, we first focus on that one bad comment from a friend or that one task that doesn’t go well and we forget that everything went well.
2. Focus on your qualities
A quote from Einstein describes this beautifully: “Everyone is a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will think its whole life that it is stupid”. In our society, you are often judged on what you cannot do. In personal development plans of companies, it is usually stated that there are still areas for improvement and then you have to get better at that.
But to become a genius yourself, it is much better to focus on the strong points. And make it even stronger. Usually you enjoy that more than focusing on something you are less good at.
3. You are good the way you are
We often think that it is only good when we have found a good job. When we have proven ourselves. If we got a promotion. If we have found a stable relationship. When we have a great partner that everyone likes.
Note the word ‘if’. Only if….then it’s good. But it does not work like that. You are already just right the way you are. That does not mean that you are not allowed to develop yourself in anything or that you do not make mistakes. It means you are already worth it. You are already a beautiful person, despite all your lazy and angry moods. You can be there!
4. Nice and imperfect
This also means that we do not have to meet all the requirements that are placed on us from outside. We can choose for ourselves what we want or don’t want. Perhaps in other people’s eyes ‘nicely imperfect’ and perfectly imperfect for ourselves!
Say ‘no’ to an assignment once in a while. Save up all invitations for social events and only choose the best. By setting more boundaries, you suddenly have more time left. Then do more of what you are good at. Do more of what gives you energy. Then you rebuild your confidence in yourself.
By doing more of what you are good at and doing more of what gives you energy, you will have more faith in yourself. All this will also give you more joy in your life. Who would not want that?