Like millions of other Black women in this country, I have struggled with anxiety and depression frm time to time. I’ve shard a lot of tips and advice about overcoming both in the blog.
Being depressed and generally feeling down in the dumps can totally demolish your self-confidence. You need to feel confident to make wise decisions that are in alignment with your Spirit. You need to be confident to have healthy relationships, try new things, see things through and generally feel good about yourself.
For the past several months, I have felt more or less even keel. I’ve had some lows. But, they haven’t been those terrible lows to where you don’t feel like getting out of the bed. They’ve been very moderate lows. However, overall, I’ve felt balanced, in control and confident lately by implementing two very simple exercises.
I heard about these tips on the Success Sculpting radio show and decided I would implement them. I was drawn to these exercises because they were incredibly easy and I figured I didn’t have anything to lose – only something to gain.
Step One: Refelct on What Went Well
Journal or think about seven things that went well during the day
We can be extremely hard on ourselves. We create monster to-do lists on a daily basis that are just outrageous and not possible. We take on too much. We beat ourselves up about all the things we didn’t get done or didn’t do the “right way.” We replay all the ways we messed up the day, which leads us to thinking about all the mistakes we’ve ever made, which leads to us thinking that we’re mistake prone, which leads us to believing that “why even try.” Boom! Depression sets in. Then, anxiety kicks in because we begin to obsess over possibly, maybe messing up the next day with all our mistake and inability to get things done. Whew! What a headache.
I was drawn to this exercise because I saw the value in simply acknowledging what went RIGHT after all. Our ego tends to lean towards what went wrong and the inner critical voice is so loud, it can drown out the positive voice.
I begin acknowledging everything both big and small that went well. Here are some examples of what I started to acknowledge as home run;
No item is too small or insignificant to go on this list. Although all you have to do is acknowledge seven, once you get on a roll remember what all went right, you’ll likely go on and on. I do this exercise right before going to sleep. I think of what all went right until I drift off to sleep. It feels great and peaceful to go to sleep thinking about all the things that went well. Really, all you need to start is just seven. Even when you feel like crap. That’s an even better time to recall seven things that went right or that you did well.
Step Two: Practice Being Grateful
The second step to this confidence boosting tactic is to think of three things that you’re grateful for.
Do this as soon as you wake up. As soon as your feet hit the floor, reach over for that bottle of water that you put near your bed before sleeping and begin to enter into gratitude. All you need is three things. I’m addicted to gratitude so I think of lots of things I’m grateful for as I begin my day. I think of all those things until I get into the swing of the day brushing my teeth, getting dressed and so on.
Practicing gratitude is a fantastic way to start the day. I can’t wait to pull open my curtains in my home office to either let in the sun or see the cleansing rain. I can give thanks for nature, sun, and an opportunity to have a great day.
I kid you not. After doing this for just a week, I felt phenomenal. I kid you not. After doing this for a while, I begin to get a real handle on depression and feel a greater sense of control in my life.
BONUS: Reflect on How Far You've Come
I added an occasional bout of reflection to this regimen. I look back to where I was a year ago or five years ago and compare it to where I am now. I reflect on past conflicts that seemed so real, so urgent, so encompassing to me at the moment. I reflect on those moments and situations now and realize how trivial and non-essential they were. I took my lessons but perception is everything. When I was in the midst of the “problem” I couldn’t see past it. I felt overwhelmed by it. Now, that I’m clear out of it and looking back, my faith and hope is renewed. I know that no matter how low my mood is or how depressed or sad I may be, if I keep pressing forward, I will have an opportunity to look back and snag the lesson and leave the rest. It’s incredibly empowering.
I seriously invite you to incorporate this simple yet highly affecting self-confidence booster into our life. And, drop me a line down in the comments to let me know how you’re feeling.
Written by: Freya Morani