It’s a hard truth that we all must face: self-doubt never completely goes away. Sometimes it can seem like a shadow, always hovering in the background of our minds, ready to rear its ugly head at any moment. Other times it feels like an active force inside us, sabotaging our ability to move forward with confidence and success. But no matter how big or small your own self-doubt may be, there are always ways you can overcome it—and those ways start with acknowledging the problem. From there you can get down to tackling the issues making self-doubt less of a factor in your world.
6 Steps to Overcoming Self-doubt
Acknowledge your feelings
- Acknowledge your feelings.
- Don’t be afraid of them.
- Don’t judge them or yourself for having them.
- Don’t try to ignore them, push them away, or make them go away by rationalizing them away (e.g., “I am not feeling self-doubt!”).
- Don’t give in to the temptation to rationalize yourself out of the situation (e.g., “I am a fraud and I don’t deserve this opportunity”).
Talk back to your self-doubts
When you’re facing challenges, it’s normal to doubt yourself. In fact, self-doubt is a normal part of the human condition. Even if you’re an expert at what you do, there will always be some areas where your skills are lacking or your experience is limited. Self-doubt can be helpful in making sure that when we try something new, we know how much effort and time we need to put into it before taking on something bigger and more challenging.
Self-doubt isn’t an indication that you’re weak or unintelligent; it’s actually a sign of intelligence! People who don’t have self-doubt tend not to challenge themselves as much as those who do because they lack the openness to new ideas and ways of thinking about things (i.e., feedback).
Take action, even if you don’t feel ready
You’ve done all the research, you know what you have to do, but still… you don’t feel ready. You may not even be sure how to get started. That’s okay! Just jump in and do something—even if it isn’t perfect. The most important thing is that you take action and keep moving forward.
Here are some tips for getting started:
- Take one small step at a time—and then another step after that! Don’t try to think of everything at once or everything will feel overwhelming. Just take one small step towards your goal every day (or even just an hour) until it becomes second nature for you to complete that task on a regular basis.
- Ask questions if anything feels unclear or confusing along the way so your self-doubt doesn’t creep back up again later down the line when things get more difficult for whatever reason (e.g., because of a lack of experience).
- Communicate with people who understand where they’re coming from too—this will help reduce feelings of isolation or depression-related issues down the road when feelings like these inevitably arise anyway due as part of normal human experience over time!”
Reinforce positive thoughts about yourself
There are several ways you can do this. For example, when you think about yourself, remember how resilient and resourceful you’ve been in the past. When someone offers support, be sure to remind them how grateful you are for their help. In addition to recognizing all of the good things in your life, it’s also important to keep an eye on what could go right tomorrow: focus on possible solutions instead of problems. It’s not as hard as you think to transform yourself into more positive thinking. It just takes practice and awareness.
If a friend has a problem with another person or thing (like a difficult boss or an unreliable car), try offering solutions or options that have worked well for others in similar situations. Finally, take time every day to focus on the positive aspects that surround us—the sun shining through trees as we walk down our street; raindrops falling as they drip off leaves onto the pavement; the food we enjoy eating together with friends over dinner—and remind ourselves that these moments don’t last forever (but they do matter).
Write yourself a letter of recommendation
Write yourself a letter of recommendation. This is an exercise where you write about yourself from another perspective: mentor, friend, family member, or even stranger. Think about what they would say about your strengths and weaknesses, skills, and areas for growth.
Try to imagine their reactions when reading your resume/CV or application form. You can also write this letter from your future self (what do you want to accomplish in the next 5 years?) or your past self (how did you feel when starting out?). Finally, try writing this letter from your own perspective – after all these years of experience and knowledge gained.
Remind yourself that you can do it
Remind yourself that you can do it. You have overcome many challenges before and you will be able to overcome this one as well. You are capable of doing anything you set your mind to, so don’t doubt your ability to overcome this challenge!
No matter how you approach it, acknowledging and facing your self-doubt is always the first step to overcoming it
Acknowledge your feelings. Recognize that you’re feeling self-doubt, and don’t be afraid to admit it. If you can get past the initial discomfort of coming to this realization, I promise that it will help you in your journey to overcome self-doubt.
Face your fears head-on. Once you’ve acknowledged them, here’s the next step: face them! Don’t let fear prevent you from doing anything else in life; instead, take action regardless of how uncomfortable those feelings make feeling nervous or afraid seem at first glance — they’re only temporary. In fact, getting over them could turn out to be one of the best things ever if only because it means facing up against something scary but ultimately worthwhile in order for things to go smoothly (and even better) later down the road once again 🙂
As you can see, there are many ways to overcome self-doubt. The important thing is to acknowledge it and take action, even if that action is just talking back to your own self-doubts. Even if your first step is acknowledging that you have some negative thoughts about yourself, then it’s a start. It’s an important first step toward facing your fears and reaching new heights in life.
Keetria is an entrepreneur, wellness advocate, and brand strategy coach for creatives & entrepreneurs with 16 years of public relations expertise working with some of the world’s leading brands, startups, media personalities, and entertainers. If you would like to work together, don’t hesitate to reach out!