When you’re depressed it’s hard to have any self confidence, and the less confident you are, the more you can get depressed. Asking yourself some simple questions, however, can boost your self confidence, and help you beat depression by changing your point of view.
“Why not me? Why not us?”
U.S. football fans may have heard these questions a lot lately. They are the questions quarterback Russell Wilson asked himself at the very beginning of this past season, when he gazed out at an impossible looking target called The Superbowl.
To listen to the sportscasters tell it, Wilson came to the Seattle Seahawks after being chosen pretty far down in the draft picks. As a rookie, there were no guarantees that he would even get the quarterback job. He was considered too small, and not powerful enough to lead a winning team.
“I’ve been told a ton of times if I was just two inches taller, I’d be a great prospect,’’ Wilson told writer Peter King back in July 2012.
Now those two inches mean nothing. Wilson has led the Seahawks to their first ever Superbowl win, up against one of the best quarterbacks and teams to ever play the game. All because he worked hard and kept asking himself “why not me, why not us?”
Ask “Says who?”
When you’re depressed it can feel like the sun will never rise again. And when you ask yourself “why not” questions, you mumble something like, “because I’m useless” or “because I can’t.” Whatever despondent answers you tell yourself, you can use them to start a new round of questions. Questions that might really make you think.
“Because I’m _____”, whatever. Fill in the blank with whatever your depression says is wrong with you. Then ask, “says who?” Did your parents tell you you’d never be pretty? Did you teachers say you were too lazy or just not smart enough to succeed? Did you get passed over for a promotion? Did you flunk gym? Have you stored up every criticism you’ve ever received and formed your self-image from what other people said?
If you think “because I could never _____,” well, why not? Have you ever tried? If you tried and think you failed, what is it that makes you feel you could never try again?
To beat your depression and get your confidence moving upward, you can’t just blow these questions off with flippant retorts. You need to look deep and try to find what created your poor self image, then make an honest assessment about its truth.
Ask “What do I really want today, and what will I want tomorrow?”
If you are in the throes of depression, curled up in a corner somewhere, what you want today may simply be to be left alone so you can sulk in peace. If so, then admit it. But what about tomorrow? How long do you really want to stay this way? If you give it some thought, isn’t there something you’d rather do that’s a lot more fun?
Believe it or not, after a while depression can get kind of boring. So, if you could do anything you wanted tomorrow, what would it be?
Questions alone won’t cure depression, but they might get you out of bed. And, if you can get up, you can do anything. If you can take one step, you have all the strength you need. Alone that first step will not beat your depression, but it is the step that gets you going, and gives you the confidence to go on.
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