Six simple steps to help mums ditch self doubt and reduce stress
“I should be doing that...everyone else seems to manage it. I’m the only one feeling like this??!! So and so is a natural…I’m not good enough!!!!”
This sort of thinking (yep I’ve been guilty of it too) is not doing us any favours and it also doesn’t reflect reality. It’s unbalanced and it can keep you stuck and feeling miserable. It’s really hard to positively change things when we’re constantly beating ourselves with a stick. So how do we stop it?
Ask yourself - do you show reality, warts and all, to the outside world? I certainly don’t. I strive to be genuine, to be the real me, but I’d be lying if I said I put it all out there. I used to be really anti Facebook as I felt that it fuelled an unbalanced unrealistic view of the world - that it had become a marketing platform for our lives. Whilst I’m over that now (clearly) I think it’s still important to notice how we sometimes believe what we see.
Realise it’s not the whole picture. I slapped make-up on with a trowel this morning and when I posed for the profile pictures for my website I was wearing a pair of tracky bums and my daughter was virtually hanging off my legs. Trust me you’re not seeing the whole picture.
You’re inevitably discounting your own strengths – the things you do well. Think about 3 things right now that you’ve achieved or can do well. Now think about 3 things that are going well in your life right now. Do this whenever that inner critic kicks in about something you haven’t got or can’t do (yet).
Employ a growth mind set. When we talk to our kids we encourage them to learn, to practice, to grow as human beings. We’d never say, well that’s that then you’ll never read, ride a bike, play tennis. The importance of developing a mind-set where talent is something you earn and get better at rather than something you’re born with is key to being resilient, successful and happy. It’s about accepting our shortcomings and mistakes and using them to grow and get better. Most importantly our value and worth are not connected to our success…there’s a difference between being deficit in a skill and being deficit as a person. If this all sounds logical but you struggle to really embrace this yourself read MINDSET by Dr Carol Dweck. She suggests that developing the right mind-set is a key aspect of being successful in life. It can affect our children’s development, the ability of athletes to achieve the unachievable and even a global corporate’s chances of growing in a competitive marketplace. The way we appraise things, how we view success and failure can really affect how we get on in the world.
So what’s the real take away here? Be inspired rather than discouraged - see whatever it is you feel you don’t have or can’t do and ask yourself is it something I want to work on?
Change the language you use. If you use phrases like I should do, need to, ought to etc have you considered that you’re removing the idea that you have a choice? This can create inner conflict, resistance and stress as you’re telling yourself you HAVE to do something rather than you can or want to do something. Think about it, if you’re attempting to motivate your kids to do their homework or tidy their room which of the following statements do you think will cause less of a hooha “are you going to do your homework now or after tea?” or “you need to do your homework”? I’d wager that the first one is more likely to achieve the response you’re after. The fact they will do their homework is not up for debate but giving some choice over when it will occur can allow the message to be absorbed with less resistance. The same thing applies when we talk to ourselves – “I should be doing what x is doing” suggests that we are not in control of our lives.
Oh and finally, look at your own Facebook feed. Think about what you put out to the wider world. Swap positions with your FB friends for a moment and see it from the perspective of your audience. Does it look like you’re always doing something fun? Something creative with the kids? Do you only post when you’re on holiday? There’s nothing wrong with that….just notice that it’s not the whole picture.