What is the benefit of self-doubt

Exercises against crippling self-doubt


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To a certain extent, people can emancipate themselves from the desire for recognition. "Whether we are satisfied with ourselves or not depends less on objective success than on our subjective attitude," says Astrid Schütz. And you can work on that. "The most central thing is benevolence towards yourself," says the behavioral therapist Friederike Potreck-Rose from Freiburg. Professors, entrepreneurs, doctors, students and mothers who want to return to work after a long break come to her. People who think they are not good enough. Who paralyze themselves with self-doubt and have become sick from it.

For months Potreck-Rose practices with her patients to exchange the daily self-devaluation for affection. In one of the first exercises you should first feel how you are sitting on a chair. Are your feet firmly on the ground? Has one leg been crossed and the weight evenly distributed on the seat? "Acknowledging yourself begins with being aware of yourself," says Potreck-Rose. "Many people with low self-esteem pant after others to please everyone and don't see themselves anymore." The therapist teaches her patients to imagine a benevolent companion who appeals to them well and puts the inner critic in their place. She helps them to find a standard that is honest and appropriate and practices with them how to do themselves good: do sports, eat healthily, see friends. Because only those who value themselves can also accept recognition from others.

Fixed patterns of thinking and feeling can be changed, but it is not easy. "It involves hard work and for many people can only be achieved with support," says Potreck-Rose. The best support is benevolent relationships. Whether family, friendship or therapy: an appreciative, interested exchange helps to realistically assess and accept yourself.

Most of them know that recognition is important - but they don't know how to do it. "The secret of correct praise is a mixture of recognizing what is good and then describing it as precisely as possible," says Johanna Graf, a psychologist at the University of Munich. She has developed a training course that teaches couples, parents and managers how to praise and other relationship skills in seminars. Your course participants should try, for example, to catch the partner doing something good for them or the employee getting involved. The subsequent praise should be as detailed as possible: What do I find worthy of recognition? What exactly am I grateful for? The best way to learn this, says Graf, is in the role of the recipient: "As soon as you hear a few positive details about yourself and your behavior, you grow and grow."

Katrin stuff

impressed how different everyone reacts to confirmation and trained to become independent from the praise of others. One of the people she talked to explained to her that this was not easy: after many years, a yogi on the mountain would only be able to free oneself from striving for recognition.

Kim Raisner uses this in a targeted manner. Since the athlete ended her active career, she has been the national coach of women in modern pentathlon. "I tell my athletes exactly what they are doing well, but also where they can be even better. Praise during training must be realistic - otherwise it will wear off." In order to correctly assess performance, Raisner has to know a lot about her protégés: What are their individual weaknesses and strengths? Do you have stress at home or an exam at university?

The strategy works. Her student Lena Schöneborn was the first German to win the gold medal in modern pentathlon at the Olympic Games in Beijing. A year later, Raisner was named Trainer of the Year by the German Olympic Sports Confederation.

References to the article can be found here.