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Mental health,  Motivation,  Personal Development,  Wellness

Overcoming Self-Doubt with a Positive Outlook

Self-Doubt creeps in on even the best of us at times. However, you can overcome it with the necessary action and a positive outlook in life.

No matter where you are in life right now, or how many mistakes you’ve made, opportunities you’ve missed, or what’s happened to you in life, you can overcome your self-doubt and start believing in yourself.

It’s within your power to do it and change your life for the better.

How can you overcome self-doubt and believe in yourself?

Before we get into that, what is self-doubt?

What Is Self-Doubt?

The dictionary defines self-doubt as, “the lack of confidence in oneself and one’s abilities.”

This is a very good definition, but it doesn’t fully demonstrate the problems caused by self-doubt and not believing in yourself. 

Ask yourself these questions:

  • What are the dangers of self-doubt?
  • How does self-doubt affect your life?
  • Where does self-doubt come from?
  • And most importantly, how do you overcome it?

Everyone has different issues, reasons for their self-doubt, and problems in life. You’re a unique person and there is no one-size-fits-all answer.

Don’t beat yourself up about it.

How Self-Doubt can Affect your life

There are many dangers in hanging on to self-doubt. If you’re constantly in self-doubt, it’s important to understand the type of damage you’re doing to yourself.

If it has affected your past and is affecting your present, it can devastate your future if you don’t deal with it.

Here’s why.

Self-Doubt Drains Motivation

When you don’t trust yourself, fear gets in the way of life. This leads to a severe lack of motivation to do more than you have to just to get by. It can affect your entire life and your relations with others.

Self-Doubt Leads to Procrastination

Done is better than perfect. Perfectionism will get in the way of you doing or finishing anything. As a result, it will set you up for failure. No one is perfect and perfection is not necessary to thrive in this life.

Self-Doubt Leads to Regret

Missed opportunities always lead to regret. Regret, when left unresolved, can lead to chronic stress and anxiety. This will then create a cycle of more self-doubt which creates more regret and so on.

Self-Doubt Keeps you Stuck

When you have no faith in yourself, it’s hard to even think about self-improvement. You think you have too much to improve because you can’t do anything, and maybe you even think you can’t achieve even if you try.

Self-Doubt Stifles Inspiration

When you don’t believe in yourself, it’s hard to get inspired to do anything new or to create anything new. Ending the self-doubt will bring out the creativity you already have.

As you can see and may have experienced yourself, self-doubt can be dangerous and these are all good reasons on their own to work toward overcoming self-doubt and learning to believe in yourself.

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Know Where Your Self-Doubt Originates

Knowing where and how you developed self-doubt can help lead to conquering it. You can build self-esteem and confidence by getting to the bottom of how it happened.

Whatever may have caused your self-doubt, you’ll be able to overcome it. It doesn’t matter if it’s something that developed over time or something you learned in childhood.

You can work toward building your belief in yourself.

Limiting Beliefs from Childhood

Unfortunately, many people learn to put off their dreams and limit their ideas due to people in society who are also stuck in their own self-doubting lives and can’t envision anything different.

This happens a lot in poverty-stricken communities where people can’t see beyond their own lives to the possibilities that are outside their world.

When children have larger than life ideas, parents may thwart their ideas with the intent to protect them.

But this is only due to their own lack of success and understanding of life.

This rubs off on the kids. But, the exciting thing to remember, though, is that some people are able to see beyond their boundaries and envision the possibilities and then take the action to see it through.

Past Experiences from Bad Relationships

It’s possible that you allowed your past experiences and bad relationships to get into your head and create self-doubting experiences.

It can be a relationship with your parents, friendships, partner, spouse, or even a child who is dragging you down and creating self-doubt in your life. These relationships are toxic.

It may be time to let go of these relationships if their presence fills you with fear of voicing out your opinion or ideas.

Toxic Work Environments and Experiences

If you’ve ever had a job that turned into a bad experience, it can stunt you for a lifetime if you let it. Sadly, many people do.

Some people allow criticism in the workplace to affect them so badly that they develop a fear of failure which causes them to not take risks.

If a person can’t accept that even good people experience bad things, they can’t learn from their mistakes and realize that they can do better next time.

Your Immediate Environment

Where you are born makes a huge difference in how you view the world, where you fit in and, your potential in it.

Sometimes people can’t seem to escape their life circumstances because they were born either in a place without a lot of opportunities or in poverty.

While some people can’t escape the circumstances they were born into today, it doesn’t mean you can’t. It just means that due to lack of vision, most people only know what’s inside their own small part of the world.

Established Patterns and Habits

Often people experience self-doubt simply due to patterns they’ve established over time.

Past experiences can lead people to habits of self-destruction. These repeated behaviours lead to thoughts of failure and accepting life as it is. However, this is something you can overcome by changing your patterns and habits.

The process requires introspection to be able to see the truth about yourself, your choices, your relationships, and more about your life.

Why you Should Believe in Yourself

There are so many reasons you should believe in yourself. Once you start realizing that, believing in yourself becomes easier.

The idea that if you don’t believe in yourself no one else will is very true. As harsh as it seems, it’s a fact that you’ll need to deal with in your quest to develop your new belief in yourself.

You were born with everything you need to experience success in life.

Here are some reasons that you should believe in yourself so that you can rid your life of self-doubt. Truth is, this is something that must come from within.

Your success may look different from someone else’s success and that’s okay.

You Deserve It

You deserve to have a happy and successful life that you enjoy. To live an invigorating life, even if you are experiencing challenges that no one else can relate to, you can still overcome them and live a fulfilling life.

The Good Relationships

Take a look at the relationships that make you happy. Those where you are supported and you feel needed. They believe in you, and you believe in them.

How Far You’ve Come

You might not be where you want to be, but look at how far you’ve come. That means you’re doing something right. That’s a positive that you should focus on right now.

Celebrate Past Wins

If you’ve been successful at something, revel in that. Did you manage to get up this morning? That’s a win. Did you finish a task? That’s a win. If you need to get down to the very smallest win, that’s okay.

You’re Good Enough

Remember that you are good enough and deserve the life that you want to live. No one deserves it more than you do. In your uniqueness, you are worthy.

The truth is if you look from a distance at your problems, how important are they really? If you’ve made some bad choices that have resulted in going through a rough patch emotionally, financially, or spiritually, that’s okay – this is how you grow in life.

You grow in life through experiences. It is how you react to these struggles that make up who you are.

You may also like: How to Practice Mindfulness

How to Overcome Negative Thoughts

Let’s look at how to overcome negative thoughts so that you can better deal with self-doubt.

It is possible to train your mind to overcome and turn negative thoughts into positive thoughts or to at least stop the negative thoughts in their tracks.

Change the Focus

When you encounter a negative situation, try to immediately turn it into something positive by focusing on what you can learn from the situation. Even if all you learn is that you don’t want to do that again, that’s a positive thing.

Ask Whether It’s Really That Bad

Sometimes it’s easy to take something seriously when it shouldn’t be. Is it that much of a big deal if you pronounced a word wrong? Don’t hyper-focus on one mistake or one bad day.

Replace Negativity in Your Life

Whether it’s people, places, or things, it’s time to rid your life of negativity when you can. If you want to be more positive, find new friends, new activities, and things that make you happy and feel positive.

Don’t Overthink Things

Many people plagued with self-doubt tend to have trouble making decisions. Even if it’s just what to wear, what to eat, or what to buy. When you are making any decision, ask yourself whether this is going to matter any time from now. That way, you’ll be able to determine whether you need to spend more time on it or if you need to just make a decision to do it or not.

Talk to Someone about your Self-Doubt

Now, make sure the person you’re talking to is positive and doesn’t make you feel bad about yourself. This may be a professional, a life coach, or a friend – even someone from a support group.

Stop Thinking about It

Sometimes negative thoughts can ruin the experience you’re living. It’s better to try to shelve the negative thoughts during the experience and try to really live in the moment. Being in the present enables you to truly realize that things aren’t as bad as your mind is trying to tell you. When you look back on it, you will likely be able to pick out a lot more positives than negatives.

Work Out your Self-Doubt

Most of us have a lot of extra energy that needs to be burned off. Whenever you start experiencing negative thoughts, instead of wallowing in them, get some exercise. Go for a walk, go for a run, jump rope, go for a swim – anything that you can do that you like doing is a good thing to do instead of thinking negatively.

Realize When It’s Really Fear

Sometimes negativity will creep in when you’re doing something a little bit uncomfortable or pushing your comfort zone a bit.

“Everything you ever wanted is on the other side of fear.”

George Addair

Remind yourself that when you are experiencing negative thoughts associated with fear, you can overcome it.

Journaling to overcome self-doubt

Tips for Dealing with Self-Doubt

Now, let’s go over some important ways to deal with self-doubt when it happens.

Feeling self-doubt is not the problem. Letting self-doubt control you, make your decisions for you, and rule your life is the problem.

You’re Not Alone

Everyone experiences self-doubt at times, you are not alone in your feelings. It’s how you react to it that matters.

Keep a Journal

One way to overcome self-doubt is to keep a journal to help remind yourself of accomplishments that you have experienced. You can talk about the self-doubt you felt and how you pushed through it. Be honest and open but try to focus on the positives of each situation and what you learned from it.

Don’t Compare Yourself to Others

The worst thing you can do is to make comparisons of your life to someone else’s. This only breeds more self-doubt and even jealousy. You only know the truth about your own situation.

Practice Gratitude

Every single event in life has something to be grateful for. Even the worst things can be turned around to be a lesson that can help you in the next situation in your life.

Surround Yourself with Positive People

Take the time to pick out people you already know to make you feel good about yourself. If you don’t have those people in your life, it’s time to seek them out. The important thing is to start being around positive people more.

Learn from Mistakes

When you make a mistake, instead of beating yourself up, accept it and learn from it. Journaling about it with a focus on what you learned and how you’ll do it differently if that comes up again can be very helpful.

Know When to Walk Away

There are times when giving up is not a failure. There are many times in life when you try something but it’s just not working for you and it’s time to walk away. If it’s causing you too much stress that cannot be overcome, it’s time to leave it and move on.

Get out of Your Comfort Zone

One thing to realize about life is that it’s okay to be uncomfortable sometimes. You won’t grow if you stay in your comfort zone. Put things into perspective so that you know you’re making good choices.

Assess Your Strengths and Weaknesses

One way to deal with self-doubt is to honestly figure out where your strengths and weaknesses lie. Then, develop your strength and even improve upon your weaknesses when you can. There is always a way around a weakness. The strengths you possess naturally can also be improved upon almost painlessly.

Get an Accountability Partner

When you are trying to overcome self-doubt and start believing in yourself, it can help to have someone around who can offer accountability.

This can be a life coach, a counsellor, a friend or a group. A life coach is a great way to help build your self-image and overcome self-doubt so that you can believe in yourself because they have the training and know their role.

These strategies for dealing with self-doubt will not work for you if you don’t implement them. The issues with self-doubt are so serious that they can make you stuck in a life that you don’t want and aren’t loving.

This can lead to anxiety, depression, and that can spiral into a bad situation.

You may also like: The Essence of Life

If you really want to experience true joy in life, believe in yourself, and get rid of the debilitating self-doubt you’re experiencing, start implementing now.

Don’t delay or make excuses.

Lady smiling in the mirror to overcoem self-doubt

Kick Self-Doubt to the Curb

Now that you’ve read all of that, you are probably wondering where to start, so use this last part to get yourself organized and ready for change.

If you really want to overcome self-doubt and start believing in yourself, it will take action on your part. So, just get started.

You can learn all that you want to learn about ridding yourself of self-doubt and building your belief in yourself, but if you don’t act and do something, you won’t see the success you desire.

Even if it’s the smallest thing, like reading this blog post or taking a course, or finding a group, that’s doing something. Small things can lead to big results.

Hopefully, you’ve learned a lot of information that is going to help you build your self-image, help you get rid of self-doubt, and move toward believing in yourself again quickly.

Remember that nothing is gained without putting one foot in front of the other. But also remember that you are capable, you can do it, and you deserve to do it too.

You are worth it!

Love, Everyday


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  • Josie

    I feel that a lot of people experience some level of self doubt in several facets of their lives. I know I have self doubt creep up on me when I want to do a video blog, but we still show up in person everyday – why not on camera?

    • nmasipa

      That’s so true. Vidéo has been one area of self-doubt for me for so long. But I’ve started showing up.

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