This is the most effective way to cure self-doubt

Negative affectivity (NA) is a personality variable that subsumes anger, guilt, fear, contempt, and disgust.

In addition to demonstrating a generally pessimistic world-view, individuals high in NA express poor-self concept—an impairment shown to denude every venture of the potential for success.

Any and all of the aforementioned elements frustrate consistent output. In fact, a new study published in the International Journal of Anxiety, Stress, and Coping has identified NA as a toxic productivity inhibitor.

“Negative affect associated with stress and anxiety is linked to higher levels of procrastination. Although there is a relationship between procrastination and affect, little is known about the direction of this relationship,” the authors write in the new paper. “These findings demonstrate that negative emotions motivate procrastination behavior. Implications for helping students cope with and regulate NA are discussed.”

In this context, procrastination was the result of warped perception. Unlike self-esteem, self-concept is derived from a collection of responses toward an individual. Every victory, defeat, and social interaction supplies one shard to an existential mirror.

As proposed by the study, the best way to correct crippling self-loathing is by replacing fractured shards with tangible pieces of categorical evidence (not affirmations) and polishing the clouded ones.

Ladders suggests starting with a list composed of your competencies and shortcomings. Next, ask two outside parties to do the same for you; the first can be any one of your choices but make sure that the second is a principled (preferably professional) unbiased resource. Finally, compare the three lists to author a final index of all the reoccurring— qualities-good and bad.

Chances are you’ll end up with an objective list of assets and liabilities. This process will help you mitigate self-destructive moods and improve upon your strengths.

“Fostering acceptance and tolerance of negative emotions among college students could help students better regulate [negative affect] . . . and, in turn, improve their productivity,” the authors of the new study said in a press statement. 

Longitudinal data on negative affect’s influence on productivity

Shira Pollack and Joanna Herres, of The College of New Jersey, began their research with a two-phase study that employed undergraduate students.

In the first leg of analysis, participants were asked to complete an online survey while a smaller portion of the recruited pool was tasked with participating in a ten-day daily-diary study. Both exercises were designed to gauge the presence of positive and negative affects in each respondent alongside the degree of self-reported procrastination.

Initially, the primary objective was to determine which element facilitated the other i.e was NA a predictor for procrastination or vise versa. Further trials proved the relationship to be fairly pinched. Not only was NA not symptomatic of procrastination, but positive affect (PA) yielded no obvious association with productivity: NA was the only reliable determinate of next-day procrastination.

When students felt themselves become mired in self-doubt the following day proved profoundly unfruitful.

“As I have explained in other posts, these results are exactly what we would expect. Not only might we use procrastination to try and make ourselves feel better (mood repair), but feeling badly also undermines our ability to self-regulate. It’s difficult to pursue our goals effectively when we’re feeling lousy,” Timothy A Pychyl Ph.D commented in response to the new study. 

Pollack and Herres forward Acceptance and Commitment therapy, Affect Regulation Training, Emotion focus training, and mindfulness exercises to attenuate poor-self concept, writing that they

“May facilitate a positive, non-judgmental attitude toward aversive emotional experiences, while increasing tolerance for negative affective states. Acceptance strategies could help improve students’ productivity by shifting their frame of mind away from their distress while energizing and motivating them to focus on meeting long term goals.”

The new study, title, Prior Day Negative Affect Influences Current Day Procrastination: A Lagged Daily Diary Analysis, was co-authored by Shira Pollack and Joanna Herres.