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2021: The Year of Overcoming Self-Doubt

by Shelby Brengle 9 months ago in healing

I Will Not Let Painful Memories Get in My Way

2021: The Year of Overcoming Self-Doubt
Photo by Paul Gilmore on Unsplash

There is a type of therapy called Eye Movement Desensitizing and Reprocessing (EDMR). It involves a therapist using typically a finger to guide a patient's eyes side to side rapidly while the patient focuses on a disturbing memory. The theory behind EDMR is that patients can separate certain memories from the negative emotions entwined with them and then be able to process the memories without feeling distressed. The separation comes from patients being distracted by their own rapid eye movements while they recall these memories.

I am in no position to recommend this type of therapy to anyone. First, I have never undergone EDMR, and second, I am not a professional in the field of psychology. However, I was recently reminded of EDMR when a video popped up somewhere (I do not remember if it was an advertisement or in my recommended videos on YouTube), and what stuck out to me was the ability to separate emotions from memories. There are many things in my life I would like to do, but when I think about trying something new or doing something differently, intrusive thoughts involving bad memories come to mind. These memories have included other people doubting my abilities and/or making me feel inferior. I wish I could just take my hand and swipe away these thoughts that invade my brain.

By Amanda Dalbjörn on Unsplash

As we go into this new year of 2021, I want to be able to move forward. I want to be able to take new steps and move my life at a more rapid pace. I have realized that these memories have hindered my ability to do this each year. While I haven't been completely inhibited, I would like this year to be a time to make big changes with more confidence.

This is why I have made a New Year's resolution to find ways to separate myself from bad memories. Doing so will leave me with less self-doubt and be a major step for me to move forward. Since I am not able to go through any kind of therapy at the moment, I plan to make concrete steps to address my memories and improve my mental health.

One step that has been helpful is freeform journaling. If I cannot shake a memory causing self-doubt from my mind, I can spew my thoughts in a journal until I can make sense of what is troubling me. It also feels as if I am physically removing the intrusive thoughts temporality by putting them on paper. I know one act of journaling is not a permanent solution, but if I can remove some self-doubt as I'm planning big things, than it is a productive and healthy step for me.

Along with journaling, I will use other ways to improve my mood and well-being so that I can have better self-esteem, which will hopefully give me enough confidence to make big decisions. These ways include things that have helped me (and many, many, many others) before such as eating healthier, exercising, and meditation. What I ultimately want is to be in a healthier state of mind where I can move on with my big decisions without being held back from self-doubt coming from other people's low expectations of me.

By Jan Kahánek on Unsplash

I know I'm being vague with describing these "big decisions", but they mainly involve moving, getting a new job, and making more adult decisions. I also know that I may never be 100% rid of self-doubt and that there will never be one golden moment where I know I am ready to make a big leap. The decisions themselves and the "right moment" are not the focus of my resolution. All I can do is improve my mental health and work on focusing less on painful memories so that I will be able to really trust myself with moving forward.


Shelby Brengle

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Shelby Brengle
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