Overcoming Self-Doubt: How To Tune Out Your Inner Tormentor


Introducing My Tormentor

After years of living with him, I think I’ve finally found a way to quiet down the jerk who plants little seeds of doubt in my brain after almost every single decision I make. The jerk’s name is Horace, and he loves to make me doubt myself. When you spend every waking hour with someone, you tend to figure out how to push their buttons. And Horace has honed and shaped his button-pushing craft carefully over the years, choosing the exact right moment to start me down a dangerous path of negativity.

There is no actual way to eliminate Horace, and the vile he so cheerfully spreads; which makes him basically invincible. I can just picture the guy in a manure-brown polyester suit, pacing around a dimly lit office space, as he watches a live stream of my random thoughts. He’s calculating my weakest point, and pouncing on any positivity by yelling at the top of his lungs something to the effect of, “NOPE! You could NEVER be a writer people would take seriously. Sure, you can do some stuff, but everyone really just feels bad that you think you’re good. Dummy.”

The good news is I recently discovered a few weak spots in his armor, and that little hope of freedom from his tyranny was all I needed to start chipping away at his power over me.

Call Out Your Tormentor

So one day, Horace was being the usual downer, and didn’t seem to be letting up. When it started affecting how I acted toward my children, I knew I had to do something. My husband offered to keep an eye on the kids while I meditated for a while. So I headed off to bed, fully prepared to do battle with Horace.

With my ear buds in and the door locked, I laid on my back in my warm and inviting bed. I started by listening to the sound of rain. Then, I closed my eyes, opened my hands and feet, took a few cleansing and determined deep breathes, and cleared my mind of all outside distractions. This is the position that empowers me most, where I do my best thinking and strongest fighting.

In my mind, we’re each sitting at a desk, facing the other, in an open, yet controlled environment (that gives off a bit of a police station vibe). His mustachioed mouth holds a permanent sneer, and his dark eyes are focused, ready to ridicule.

I start with a thought about something I feel most secure about in my life, to see how Horace would respond.

“I sure love my husband and the good relationship we have,” I toss out, casually.

“Ahhhh,” Horace sighs, shaking his head. Then, using his best “friend-who-thinks-they-have-your-best-interests-in-mind-so-they-repeatedly-insult-you” voice, he adds, “You know, you rely on your husband wayyy too much. Maybe it’s time to start thinking about his death, huh? I just think if you continuously dwell on the fact that he could die at any minute, you’ll be more likely to recover once that day does come.”

He sits back in his chair. And it’s my turn.

Use Your Good To Conquer Your Bad

“Well, you may be right,” I concede, “But, you know, we actually have a fairly healthy relationship right now. We each have our own hobbies and interests we explore, and when we get together, we’re just so happy to finally be near each other. It’s such a great feeling to love someone with my whole heart, instead of constantly thinking about the bad aspects of the relationship. We’re really doing well.”

“Yeah, but you’re, like, the worst person,” he snaps back. Clearly upset with my calm and controlled response, he’s jumping to my biggest and baddest insecurity.

This is when I have take a deep breath, and rely on my core strength to keep the sadness from consuming me. Once I’ve done that, I’m ready.

“I know you want me to think that, but, unfortunately, there is not much evidence to substantiate your claim. So, thanks for your opinion, but I’m actually happy right now. I know you take a sincere interest in my life, and I can appreciate that. But you’ve proven to be a master of negativity, and I certainly commend your efforts, but your antagonistic ways have no affect on me now.” Then, I smile politely, and walk out.

Boom. *Mic Drop*

You Are In Charge of Your Life

Here’s what I’d like you to take away from my experience:

  • Imagine meeting with and defeating your inner tormentor.
  • Meditate regularly.
  • Fill your life with positive things.
  • Trust your instincts.

Self-doubt will creep in from time to time, and that pesky tormentor will keep bugging you. Just remember that you are in control of your life and the things that affect you. Don’t give anyone that makes you feel worthless an extra second of your time. Politely dismiss their concerns, find what brings you happiness, and choose to be cheerful.


melanie-mckinnon-profile-pictureMelanie McKinnon is a wife, mother of 3 plus 1 in heaven, and a barre fitness instructor. She loves writing, Diet Pepsi, hugging her kids and dating her husband. On her blog, Melanie Meditates, you will find subscription box reviews, her experience with anxiety, depression and loss, stories about her life as a mother, and some tips for maintaining sanity. She hopes to encourage and inspire anyone fighting a daily battle. Email: hello{at}melaniemeditates {dot}com

Visit and like Melanie’s Facebook Page, keep up with her on Instagram, follow her on Twitter, and pin with her on Pinterest!

4 thoughts on “Overcoming Self-Doubt: How To Tune Out Your Inner Tormentor

  1. These are great ideas! I once heard a pastor say that when the enemy accuses us we need to turn his lies to become “memorials to the grace of God” when we begin to thank Christ for freeing us from sin, making us whole, setting us free, washed clean etc etc, then his tool for evil inspires us to praise the Lord. How’s that for turning the tables! Never forgot that one! thanks Melanie!

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