There is a scene in Bridget Jones’s Diary that could have given Bridget a bit of an ego, but it did exactly the opposite. Two handsome men literally fight it out in a street brawl, vying for her affections. To be honest, they had an old vendetta to settle too. After all, Daniel Cleaver did sleep with Mark Darcy’s fiance on their wedding day. Only, Bridget was misled to believe that Mark had been the one to ruin Daniel‘s marriage.
To the tune of The Weathergirls’ “It’s Raining Men”, the fight unfolds in comedic Bridget fanfare until Mark knocks Daniel flat on his backside, Bridget berates Mark for being so aggressive, and Mark walks away rejected, leaving Daniel alone to win Bridget’s heart.
Daniel doesn’t exactly seal the deal when he says, “If I can’t make it with you, then I can’t make it with anyone.”
Now that’s a way to make a woman feel special!
Bridget was immediately filled with doubt, and who could blame her? Her self-worth was challenged; she was relegated to second best; she was asked to settle. We all struggle with some version of self-doubt, limiting beliefs that prevent us from reaching our full potential.
I say we should take those negative thoughts out into a street brawl of our own.
Whether we had a difficult childhood, experienced a traumatic event, were hurt by someone we loved, or are fed these thoughts by Debbie Downers in our daily lives, we too often veer towards the negative instead of thriving on the positive things that, yes, if we look closely enough, are all around us.
I admit this month was a doozy for me. I faced self-doubt, and honestly straight-out fear, because of people who threatened me, people who coerced me into work I did not want to do, and people who made me feel less than adequate as a mom and wife. And gosh darn it, the vet had to euthanize my 13-year-old miniature dachshund when she suddenly took ill. My heart is broken.
How could I not ask myself if there was something more I could have done?
Self-doubt makes you question everything, but sometimes calling something out for what it is — irrational thinking — takes away its power.
I’m calling you out, doubt!
When you find yourself listening to your own negative self-talk or worse, the negativity people thrust upon you, stop.
Breathe. Think. Recalibrate.
Would I talk to a friend this way? Would a real friend talk to me this way?
Then dig deeper. What are these thoughts based on — hard facts or assumptions and projection? What is actually happening in this situation? Is there a way I can reframe it in a positive, or at least a more neutral, way?
Catching yourself before the negativity spiral takes over will help you turn the tide.
Bridget stopped her doubt spiral when she says to Daniel, “That’s not a good enough offer for me. I’m not willing to gamble my whole life on someone who’s, well, not quite sure. It’s like you said, I’m still looking for something more extraordinary than that.”
Bridget shows us how to respect ourselves. That we are worth it. That we are extraordinary. That we deserve every chance at happiness.
It’s time to take Bridget’s lead and wait for a better offer.