The most brutal enemy that you need to overcome is yourself. Your failures and your victories are both dependent on you, with the exception of things that are literally out of your control. Self-doubt holds you back from pursuing your passions, which is why it is so important to learn how to overcome self-doubt in your life.
What is self-doubt?
Self-doubt is when you are uncertain about your own abilities due to past experiences or maybe even past failures. When you struggle with self-doubt, you hold yourself back from unleashing your full potential.
Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will.
Types of self-doubt
Self-doubt typically comes up in 3 forms:
- Imposter syndrome. This is when you feel fake or like a fraud for doing something.
- Self-sabotage. This is when you stop yourself from reaching your own goals – whether intentional or not.
- Indecisiveness. This is when you struggle to make decisions for yourself due to a fear of not making the right decisions.
Common causes of self-doubt
Self-doubt is something that you gained throughout life. Think about it. When you were a toddler you had all the confidence in the world. But as you encounter bad experiences and various circumstances, your self-confidence starts to adapt based on those experiences.
Your self-doubt could have formed from the people you are around, experiences in school, and many other things. It’s also important to realize that you may have less belief in yourself because of something that happened in one area that you are now letting impact other areas of your life.
For example, if a past relationship ended poorly and that person attacked your self-worth… it’s possible that you would take that negative self-worth and apply it to something like your job.
Now let you know some common causes of self-doubt, let’s dive into some tips to help you overcome self-doubt in your life.
9 tips to overcome self-doubt
Identify your limiting beliefs
Your limiting beliefs are things that you believe about yourself that hold you back from doing certain things in life. Your limiting beliefs can be formed from a variety of things, but regardless of what caused them, it’s important to be aware of them.
It’s so much easier to make changes in your life, especially with your mindset, when you know what specific limiting beliefs are holding you back.
Be your own competition
Comparison is truly the thief of joy. If you’re constantly thinking about what other people are doing and how they are succeeding in life, then you will never be content with yourself and where you are in your journey.
Everyone has a different definition of success which is why it’s important to make sure that you set your own measure, and focus on comparing yourself only to yourself. focus on being 1% better each day.
Focus on internal validation
Who doesn’t love to feel reassured by others that we are on the right path? Of course, it feels good!
However, when you only focus on external validation then you slowly will lose faith in your own judgment and won’t make decisions based on what feels right to you instead of others.
Become aware of your thoughts
Self-awareness is key. it’s so important to be aware of the thoughts that you’re thinking throughout the day, especially because the majority of our thoughts are the same thoughts from the day before.
Because most of our thoughts are repeated, it’s important to make sure that we are thinking in a way that uplifts and encourages us. So my challenge for you is to start reframing your thoughts and beliefs about yourself. When you start to think negatively, rephrase your statement into a positive affirmation. This can help you increase your positive self-talk!
Give yourself grace (practice self-compassion)
It’s important to remember that you are only human, so it is completely natural to experience self-doubt throughout your life. No one is perfect and we all make mistakes throughout life. The important thing is that we don’t let those past mistakes prevent us from stepping into our calling. I challenge you to recognize your mistakes as learning opportunities instead of as failures!
And remember that you’re your own worst critic. If you wouldn’t tear down someone else for their mistakes, then why would you tear yourself down for yours? Treat yourself with the same kindness that you treat others! This is super important if you want to overcome self-doubt in your life.
Celebrate your past achievements
Something I have noticed is that many of us don’t seem to celebrate or recognize our past achievements and accomplishments if they seem small. This can lead to feeling like our accomplishments aren’t worthy of celebration unless they are a huge milestone in life… but that’s not the case.
When you celebrate the small wins, you remind yourself that you have the opportunity to do well!
Remember that you can change course at any time
You’re not a failure just because of a failed attempt. Something I learned from an important mentor is the importance of separating your results from yourself. Sometimes it’s the strategy that needs to change.
Trust your values
I’ve said this time and time again, but it is so important to know your values in life. Your values will help you know what you stand for and what is important to you, which can help when making decisions.
One of the negative effects of self-doubt is that you struggle to make decisions. Knowing and trusting your values can help you overcome that because when you know what you stand for it should be easier to make decisions that align with your values.
Surround yourself with positive people
It’s true when they say you are who you surround yourself with. And more importantly, the people you surround yourself with can uplift or discourage you in your endeavors. Make sure that your inner circle, your friends and family that you spend the most time with, are people that are supportive of you and will remind you of how capable you are.
Resources on self-doubt
Books on self-doubt
Videos on self-doubt
Below are two popular TED talks about how to overcome self-doubt.
Like I’ve mentioned before, self-doubt is a natural part of life. I’m proud of you for recognizing that you have self-doubt in the first place, and the next step is to over comment using the tips I shared above.
Which tip did you find the most helpful?