Don't hold yourself back from happiness.
Every single person alive feels insecure from time to time. Your self-esteem takes a hit from the ups and downs of life. We've all been there.
But has your degree of insecurity reached a chronic level?
Perhaps things in your life changed drastically or a relationship ended and now you feel left behind, lonely, and afraid you'll never ever catch up, enjoy life or find true love again. Meanwhile, all of your friends seem busy, have moved away, or have settled down with great partners.
Lonely. Scared. Defeated. These are a few dark feelings that wrap around you as you think about yet another weekend ... alone. And then your head fills with the usual wave of relentless, self-defeating thoughts until you feel so lousy you can barely move.
Here's the thing — life won't get better (and you won't FEEL better) until you stop those toxic thoughts in their tracks. Your circumstances won't change until your mindset does. Because when your mind shifts, you suddenly gain new perspective and see new possibilities and options for improving your current situation.
So, which toxic thoughts need to go ASAP? Here are 8 insecure thoughts that are holding you back and will keep you stuck unless you shut them down:
1. "Something is wrong with me."
Actually, nothing’s wrong with you. Life is just complicated and paces out differently for each individual person. Instead of comparing yourself to where others are (or what they have), compare yourself to you only. Keep your eye on your goals and let your journey to reaching them be as unique as you are.
2. "Everyone else has someone — no one is single but me."
Yes, people have paired up, but that doesn't mean everyone is in love. If most of your friends are in relationships, it’s time to develop some new friendships. The best cure for loneliness is cultivating relationships of any sort. Connections don't have to be romantic to become deeply satisfying. So join a MeetUp, invite a fun co-worker out for lunch, get involved in a community project where you can meet new people.
3. "I’m not attractive enough."
Simply put, attractiveness is more about confidence and self-care than it is about 'looks.' Beautiful women and handsome men end up alone, too, you know. So looks alone won't make you happy. Instead of focusing on new primping skills, how can you take better care of yourself in a nurturing way? Invest time in activities you love that light you up. Sleep more. Laugh more. Happy, confident people are the ones others want to get to know.
4. "I’m behind, and I can’t keep up."
Life is not a race, and there is no master timer. Yes, others around you (co-workers, friends) may seemingly be on top of their game, kicking butt in certain areas of life. But finding joy in the journey also matters. Stop worrying about keeping up and start focusing on the journey you're on. It's the secret to cultivating happiness and contentment.
5. "I won't be happy until I'm in a relationship."
It sounds cliché, but no one can make you happy but you. If you think only 'love' can make you feel better about your life, you aren’t looking for a relationship ... you're looking for an escape.
Being 'relationship ready' means a willingness and ability to look out for yourself, someone else, and the relationship you co-create. It's not just about wanting your own needs met.
6. "Everyone thinks I’m a loser for being alone."
People judge you for what you do, how you behave, and also tend to mirror back how you feel about yourself. If you're miserable alone, that's what they'll see. If you love your life, they'll notice that instead. So, engage with others around you. Don't act reserved or spend all your time hiding at home or behind your phone.
7. "It’s pointless trying to date — all the good ones are taken."
Many good people are already taken ... and just as many are not. But you won’t meet the good ones still out there if you aren’t out there where they are. Love and friendship will not find you if you're always sitting home alone. Go out in public. Do things you enjoy. Putting yourself out there increases the chances of meeting someone who shares your interests.
8. "There’s nothing I can do."
There is ALWAYS something you can do, but that doesn’t mean it’s what you want to do. Changing your life for the better usually means stepping outside your comfort zone. We know what steps to take, but stay stuck anyway. Then we feel guilty or ashamed about being stuck, which makes us feel more anxious.
If taking action scares you, be more gentle with yourself about it but, DO NOT let yourself off the hook. The best outlet for your anxiety is taking smart action towards your goals.
Thoughts are powerful drivers of emotion, and lucky for us every thought (including these eight toxic ones) are changeable. Shifting your thoughts and then backing those new thoughts up with positive action is the most powerful way to manage uncomfortable feelings, keep loneliness at bay, and step into a life you love living.
When you notice your thoughts drifting back into the abyss, take a moment to remind yourself that thoughts are not fixed things. You have a choices in front of you. Engage your choices and pick a new thought.
Choices are our secret weapon against despair.
Even if they aren’t the choices we want, we always have them, and doing something with them is how we start to feel better. If having more people in your life is what you want, resist thinking it's impossible or hopeless to find them, and instead get out there and make it happen.
Taking brave action towards a solution is what transforms anxiety into progress and confidence.
Looking for help facing a difficult situation or relationship challenge? Check out Alicia Clark's website for inspiration, resources, and help.