A lot of us harbor innate self-doubt that can be both crippling and frustrating —for everyone. Feeling insecure is totally human and totally normal. I mean, my only emotion in middle school was insecurity (and angst, obviously)! But insecurity follows us well into adulthood, and I can attest to that. Too often do I want to know what other people think of me, my writing, my outfit, my nails, my body, my hair, or my photos. It’s like there’s this holdover from my insufferable teen years that make it so I never feel “good” enough, even though I logically get that I’m pretty awesome (if I do say so myself).

We make it worse by asking our friends or our significant others questions that only perpetuate our fears. Questions that we probably know the answers to deep down. Why are we are in constant need of validation?

Today we’re going to push ourselves to stop asking those debilitating questions. We don’t need another human to tell us something we should already know in our hearts. Because you are amazing, no questions asked. Here is a list of questions that should never be asked again:

1. “Do you still love me?”

I get that we are tempted to ask our partners this question sometimes. It feels pretty awesome when they reply, “of course I love you, boo! You’re the best!” But you shouldn’t feel like you need to check up on the status of your relationship. Your partner loves you. And if he/she doesn’t, then screw them. You don’t need to be asking “do you still love me,” when the answer should always be clear as day.

2. “Is she prettier than me?”

It’s annoyingly natural to compare ourselves to our exes’ new girlfriends, especially when we do so based on attractiveness. While it’s totally common (I’m guilty of this, guys!), it’s not healthy. I know I shouldn’t be looking at photos and feeling envious, because what good will that do? Nothing good for your psyche that’s for sure. If your ex’s new girlfriend is pretty, then so what? That doesn’t make you any less beautiful, or any less magnificent as a person. No more comparing and feeling awful about yourself.

3. Should I just stop talking now?

So you talk a lot. So maybe you had one too many espresso shots and you can’t shut up. So you feel particularly energetic and enthusiastic. So what? Cradle that energy and if anyone makes you feel badly about it, they can bugger off.

4. “Does this need more salt?”

Coming from someone who questions her cooking skills because I basically didn’t have any until a year ago, I know not to feel too inadequate about the food I make because I’m not a professional chef. If someone needs more seasoning, point them to your spice cabinet.

5. “Does this make me look fat?”

If I had a nickel for every friend who felt one-hundred percent comfortable and sexy in a new outfit, I would be super broke. We always find something wrong. Always. Asking if something makes you look fat is just feeding into negativity and the problematic way we see ourselves. You should be questioning, “is this shade of blue worthy of my bodacious babe self?” or “does this skirt make my legs look amazing or WHAT?” You own your style, your style does not own you. This also feeds into our body-shaming culture, which tries to fit the concept of beauty into a narrow, oppressive box. If we’re not rethinking those damaging beauty standards, we’re feeding into them. And that’s not good for anyone.

6. “Did I sound weird when I said that?”

Even if it’s 5AM and you haven’t had coffee and you feel like the presentation you gave at work was more like gibberish than real language with real purpose, do not question yourself or call attention to the fact that, hey, you might have sounded weird. We all sound weird sometimes.

7. “Am I doing a good job?”

This is something I struggle with because I’m the type of person who wants to ALWAYS do a good job and if I feel like that’s not happening, my entire world crumbles and it’s stressful. A better question than “am I doing a good job?” is “are there any areas where I could improve?” Because this already implies you’re trying —you just want to challenge yourself and grow, which is what all bosses like to see. If you’re putting in one-hundred percent, that’s what should make you happy and proud.

8. “Do you think I could pull off short hair?”

Although asking your hairdresser this question might be a good idea, don’t base your hair style off your friends’ and partners’ opinions if they are not hair professionals. If you want to chop off your hair, do it! If you want to dye it violet, go crazy. You don’t need anyone’s approval.

9. “Does that make sense?”

I feel like I ask this ALL THE TIME when I’m teaching. But then after class is over, I kick myself because asking students, “does that make sense?” makes me sound like I’m not confident in what I’m teaching. “Do you have any questions?” is a better question to use if you’re ever feeling like there is a disconnect in communication.

10. “Do you think he/she likes me?”

The first stage of crushing is the most agonizing. You wonder if they notice you. You wonder if they think you’re pretty. You wonder if they’re thinking about you, too. Been there, done that. However, don’t fall into the trap of wondering if they like you or not. Wonder if they will be good for YOU. Because ultimately, even if the guy or girl you fancy doesn’t dig you back, don’t ever use another person’s feelings about you as validation of your existence and your excellence. YOU are excellent. And amazing. Know that.

(Image via, Giphy, via)