941-462-4807 meg@megyounglcsw.com

self doubt confidence As a recently divorced mother of young adult children, “Patty” felt defeated and panicy. She finally divorced her emotionally abusive husband, but was now getting anger directed at her from her kids. She was sure she made the right choice logically, but still felt some doubt and suffered from panic attacks. This self-doubt seeped into other areas of her life and eventually so did the panic.
Can you relate to Patty? Unfortunately, when we live life full of self-doubt and panic, it affects our lives in so many ways. There are obvious downsides, but self doubt and panic lead to relationship difficulties, boundary setting issues (not saying no when you want to, doing things you’d rather not, not setting limits at home or work), sleep problems, struggles with eating properly, and doing potentially risky behaviors such as drinking alcohol to escape.
For Patty, a recent client of mine, it played out in her life by having her kids treat her the way her ex-husband did due to not being able to set boundaries with them. From there, she began a downward spiral of self-doubt, fear and panic attacks which affected her work performance as well. Her boss started noticing the change in her.
At the time, she was fearful, frustrated, hopeless, and not sure what to do to get her life back in control. Unfortunately, all this did was lead to more self-doubts and panic attacks. You can see the cycle she was in. It was a horrible feeling for her. She left her husband thinking life would be better, and at first not only was it not better, but it felt worse.
Eventually Patty wound up in a place of despair and confusion. She knew she made the right choice about divorcing her ex husband, but she still second guessed her decision at times. She felt guilty with her children – should she have left sooner? But how could she have? At first he seemed perfect, then he had too much control over her and she didn’t feel strong enough to leave.
The truth is, a lot of people struggle with whether they made the right decision in a situation, especially if that decision has potentially big repercussions. It is ok to feel confused, hurt, scared, and unsure as you work through the decisions and start to gain confidence in yourself. Nobody goes from self-doubt to confidence overnight and nobody gets there without some internal struggle.
It may be true that you feel lost, confused and frustrated which may have led to other behaviors and decisions that caused you to second guess yourself, which in turn led back to feelings of being lost, confused, and frustrated. This is not an uncommon cycle. However, when we see others overcome something similar, it can inspire us to make the changes we need to achieve confidence and control of ourselves. When we take similar steps, it is entirely possible to gain confidence and control over our own lives.
Keep reading to see how one court professional started seeing happiness, confidence, and self esteem
Before scheduling a session, Patty’s life looked bleak to her. Although she knew she had a lot going for her, she couldn’t pull those positive thoughts together and see the full impact of how well her life was going. She often found herself feeling lonely, confused, hurt, and angry. These feelings were hard to let go of at work even, and her work suffered for it. Her boss noticed the emotional drain she was exuding, and although he never spoke to her about her work performance, she knew she wasn’t producing the same level of work as she was prior to her divorce.
Living this way – where she was unable to live happily at home or work – impacted Patty’s ability to move forward in life. She was stuck living in the past as her kids were now treating her with disrespect and anger. Every time this happened, it brought on panic, confusion, and fear. It also brought back all the feelings and memories from her experiences with her ex husband. How could she move forward when she kept going into the past? She couldn’t get past these feelings.
Before scheduling a session, Patty struggled with her friendships as well. She wanted to hang out with people, but every time she did, she worried something would end up happening or someone would say something that would set off her anxiety and she would end up crying or in a panic attack. She slowly decreased her time spent with friends which added to her feelings of inadequacy.
Right before scheduling a session, Patty had an argument with her son which cause a huge panic attack and consumption of more alcohol that she normally had. Patty realized she hit her breaking point. If she didn’t do something about this situation…and soon…something terrible would happen or she wouldn’t be able to come back from this. She scheduled a session because she wanted to know how to handle her children’s behaviors. She knew they were hurting and taking it out on her, but she didn’t know how to set the proper boundaries with them, which was making her fall apart.
When Patty came to her first session, she expressed fear, anxiety, hopelessness, but had strength inside that was obvious to me. Together in the first session, we explored her life from childhood up to now and how her experiences have impacted her throughout her life. We did some outcome measures that we would review after a few sessions to measure the difference that was made through the course of treatment. We discussed what can be accomplished through therapy and how she wants to see herself and her life. By the time she left the first session, she felt hopeful that things will improve and she will gain strength and confidence in herself.
As we continued therapy, Patty started to realize that she had more work to do on herself before she could help her children. She realized there was more to the situation than she originally thought and by working on her own stuff she would not only do better with her children, but in her work life as well. This was a huge realization for Patty as she never thought of herself as needing help for anything, much less for herself. When she came to therapy, she knew she needed to work on herself, but she did not realize the impact her experiences had on her and how they were affecting her today.
We created a treatment plan to address and change her negative self beliefs so she could act with intention instead of through emotion (especially guilt). We decided a combination of CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) and EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) were the modalities to use to get her where she wanted to be as quickly as possible.
We started seeing results quickly with EMDR and she reported feeling strong at the end of each session. I started noticing a change in the tone and pitch of her voice and in the way she walked. She noticed an increased ability to handle stressful events at work and noticed she was laughing more with her co-workers.
After several weeks of therapy, it became obvious to Patty and myself that Patty had reached a positive place in her life. We followed up on some of the outcome measures we did at the beginning of treatment. Patty no longer met the criteria for PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). At this point she actually did not meet the criteria for any diagnosable mental health concern. She reported feeling confident she could continue to help her children and by our final session, she had a few weeks of holding boundaries and following through with what she told her children.
It was a tough journey for Patty; she did a lot of work to get where she did in the timeframe that she did. Patty expressed some hesitation before scheduling with me as I do not take her insurance. She believed that I was the best person to help her get where she wanted to be, however, and at the end of our time together expressed that her “financial investment” in herself was worth every penny she spent. She was not in therapy for endless years and saw results relatively quickly.
Strength, goal-attainment, and confidence are common experiences my clients have by the end of treatment
Although you currently struggle with self-doubt, you have the potential to live a life of emotional security and stability. We are all on a journey through life and each one of us will need help and support at some point during that journey. Asking for help is a sign of strength and intelligence. It is knowing when you do not have what you need to make something work in the most effective way and knowing that someone else has the ability to make that something work effectively.
Now that you’ve seen how it worked for one of my other clients, there is a possibility for you to also gain strength and see the positive change you’ve been longing for in yourself and your life. Achieving this confidence and control can be very enlightening. It takes you on a journey you may not have ever thought you would be on, but the results are tremendously freeing. It is a journey that is intense at first, but has long lasting results that will give you what you want for years to come.
You absolutely can see the same effects as Patty in a short amount of time. Everyone’s journey is different. Whether your journey takes you through a couple weeks of coaching or several months of therapy, your journey is your own. When you choose strength, you will grow as a person into the person you want to be. My blog: How to Determine if Therapy or Coaching is Right for Me to Feel Better as Quickly as Possible is another great blog to take a look at.
Meg Young, LCSW, PLLC can help you along your journey as I specialize in adults just like you – Critical Care Givers (First responders, court professionals, medical professionals, counselors) – who have experienced a bit too much and are now feeling the effects of that. As a licensed therapist, I am fully trained and competent in providing therapy to anyone who calls me, but my passion; my calling in life; is to help those who help others; I help first responders, medical and court professionals move from internal turmoil to internal control through online and in person counseling and coaching.
Choose strength and call today for your first appointment.