Recently, I have been getting more and more weighed down by negative thoughts—thoughts of self-doubt and of worthlessness and just general bad vibes. Yes, I take on a lot of responsibilities, and I’m generally pretty good at what I do. I’m a hard worker and I’m driven and passionate. I make time for the responsibilities that I take on even when I don't want to. But what if that’s not good enough? What if I’m never good enough? I have so many ideas and things that I want to do, but I don’t know how to make those dreams into realities. These thoughts make it infinitely more difficult to motivate myself to do basically anything at all.

As easy as it is to fall into this mindset, it’s so important not to let yourself get bogged down by these negative thoughts and ideas. You have to believe in yourself—or, failing that, one of the best ways to succeed is to fake it until you make it. You have to persevere, Rome wasn’t built in a day, more cliché sayings, etc…

How can we stop ourselves from falling into this harmful cycle of negativity?

First of all, we need to stop comparing ourselves to others. Every single individual has something unique to offer to the world. if we were all exactly the same, life would be boring. Also: someone else being better at something than you are doesn’t make you worthless. It doesn’t change the fact that you are good (very good, in fact) at doing that particular thing. It just means that there is someone who is better at that thing than you. That’s always going to be the case, with everything. Someone is going to come along, maybe tomorrow or maybe in twenty years, who is better than you at the thing you think that you’re the best at. So what? That doesn’t make you any less good or worthy than you are. Why does it need to be a competition? Why are we always pushing ourselves to be THE best? Sure, it’s great to be driven, but it’s important not to put so much pressure on ourselves that we can’t even recognize our successes anymore.

Secondly, we need to stop seeing other people’s successes as our failures. We need to be secure enough in ourselves to not be threatened by others—we should be celebrating their successes with them! Getting jealous only fuels further negativity. In order to do this, we must first celebrate ourselves. To accomplish that, we must eradicate any thoughts or feelings of self-doubt.

Finally, realize that you are good enough. We need to stop doubting ourselves. The only thing that self-doubt accomplishes is delaying (sometimes infinitely so) the things that we want to accomplish. Not being the best at something is not the same as not being good enough. You are good enough. I cannot stress that enough.

Ask yourself this: am I happy doing what I’m doing? In fifty years when I look back on my life, am I going to be content? If so, keep on keeping on. If not, maybe you do need to change things. But if what you do makes you genuinely happy, keep doing it. Do it for yourself, because at the end of the day, sometimes you have to live a little selfishly to be happy.