Is your inner monologue bringing you down? Here’s how to turn your thinking around:
1. Take a just-the-facts approach. Challenge irrational beliefs that chip away at your confidence. If you think everyone is laughing at you, demand evidence. Are they actually laughing? Could they be laughing at something else?
2. Don’t be perfect. It isn’t possible—but you knew that. So why worry if someone doesn’t like you or you’re not masterful and competent in every situation?
3. When something bad happens, don’t automatically think the worst (“I failed the test because I’m stupid”). There are usually many reasons things go sour. Look at all of them objectively and focus on those you can change (“Next time, I’ll do better if I study harder”).
4. If self-examination does reveal a personal weakness, keep the implications from spiraling (“I can’t do anything well”). And remember: Recognizing that you’re weak in one area doesn’t make you a weak person. Instead, it can help you identify where to invest more effort and guide you to your strengths.
5. Loosen your grip on the controls. Inevitably, things don’t always go your way. Accept that the world isn’t under your control and strive to be calm in the face of adversity. That way, two problems—the upsetting situation and your reaction to it—are whittled to just one.
Adapted From 1,801 Home Remedies (Reader’s Digest)