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3 ways to deal with self-doubts, negative mood, and lack of motivation

"Your faith can move mountains and your doubt can create them."

Irrespective of whether you slept unwell and as a result had a rough morning start, or are not in your best shape, or are stressed by external factors that you cannot control, such as people, colleagues, life - you might have moments where you felt great, excited, and strong yesterday, and then from one moment to the next, you suddenly feel doubtful, down, and distressed.

I call those moments as a "Saboteur" attack. We all have Saboteurs who judge, feel victimized, are hyper-rational or hyper-achiever, perfectionist, paranoid, just fearful. They also esp. come in when we had exactly those grateful, peaceful, and happy moments. You have to imagine that those Saboteurs, who enjoy to dominate our lives, of course, will revolt when you have put them in the back seat. So how to deal with them when they re-emerge and want to pull you down, doubt yourself, and lose faith in life? Here are 3 ways to deal with them effectively (please ask for professional help if this has the form of a long-term depression):

1. Observe what is going on mindfully - that is, without judgments, just documenting the "as-is"

As you may know, everything starts with awareness. Only when we are aware, we know what we have to deal with and can take measures to not be driven by something that we think is out of our control. We basically claim back our power to direct our life back to the course that serves us.

While we observe what is going on - please don`t beat yourself up for feeling bad, for having those doubts, for not having it together. These thoughts already made you feel worse, so try not to add even more pain to the pain. You can do this by just observing what is going on - even if it is very uncomfortable - as you would document a curious experiment`s developments. We move to the observer role, learning more about what else is happening around us.

2. Explore what triggered the Saboteur thoughts

We don`t have to understand the root cause of the Saboteur thoughts, which would be something to take on with a professional coach or therapist, but we can learn what has triggered us to suddenly be dominated by Saboteur thoughts, esp. when we were just in a blissful state. This insight can help us to preempt the Saboteur shift next time and also heal our wounds and close our blind spots.

Is it because you didn`t sleep enough? Is it because your diet contained food and drinks that are not supporting you? Is it because you saw something on social media that triggered you? Is it because you travelled to the past or the future instead of staying in the here and now? Is it because you are surrounded by the wrong people? Is it because your values are not met at work or generally in life? Is it because you feel drained, hustled, and didn`t have time to process your negative emotions?

Whatever it is, there is only your personal answer to this question - knowing your trigger points will give you a lot more clarity about yourself and the situation at hand.

3. Let go of resistance and accept the present moment (note: it doesn`t say give up)

This is probably the most difficult and yet the most transformative action we can take when in stress, doubts, or frustration. I recall how I felt stuck with resentments, anger, and victimization, until I coached a client and she taught me about acceptance (I love this about our work that our clients always teach us a lot). Acceptance means surrendering and trusting that this was meant to happen. As a result, it often leads to peace and power because less energy is spent on resisting. In fact, the more we resist, the more we confirm what we resist (crazy, right?!).

Acceptance doesn`t mean to give up and become indifferent - this is, I guess, why this topic can be a challenging one because it may have a cultural perception of weakness and resignation. But if you think of an ocean with its recurring waves - you wouldn`t also resist every wave. Because at some point, your energy will deplete and you will realize it may be an idea to also let go and flow with each wave. You will enjoy going with the flow and learn that it is actually easy to do so. It was just your decision to shift and take another action. The same applies here - you can accept whenever you`re ready. You can feel angry, hurt, and disappointed at what had happened - but at some point, I would like to invite you to then surrender and let it go. See what happens :) because you deserve peace, irrespective of what happens or doesn`t happen around you.

Love, from me to you,


Would you like to go deeper in a free Coaching session? Let me know by sending an email to – I very look forward to hearing from you! :) PS: Subscribe to my #mindfulmagic Newsletter to stay in touch for upcoming posts, free offers, and news :)

  • Inspiration: I Am Asian So What

  • Reflection: What has triggered my negative emotions and thoughts?

  • Intention: I surrender and accept the wave - I come back to this present moment.

Viet Linh Le is a female visionary, qualified coach with corporate experience, and multi-cultural founder of @vietnamwellbeing, with the mission to change our world by coaching the next-generation decision-makers. Find out more on

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