Self-doubt is something we may not always acknowledge but that we will all have experienced at some point in our lives, even those who appear so confident. It can be triggered in a number of ways: a run of bad luck, things not going to plan, or just not being so sure of ourselves and our own capabilities.
It often manifests itself in the form of little voices in our heads that basically tell us that we aren’t good enough and overwhelm us. It can be an overpowering feeling that stops us from making decisions and in a way, paralyse us into not taking action. This is normally due to just one thing. Fear. And this fear will frequently fall into one of these categories: fear of failing, fear of being judged, fear of being rejected or fear of being hurt.
So when we get that feeling of uncertainty or lack of self-assurance, and depending on circumstances, we either freeze and don’t do anything, or let opportunities pass us by, or we try to push these little voices of doubt out of our heads by ‘thinking positive’. Unfortunately, this technique is rarely successful purely because, the more you fight self-doubt and the more it fights back. What we should be doing is to face it head on, so here are some tips to help you to overcome it.
Identify the deep root cause
It sounds obvious but we often miss this step. Self-doubt is often triggered because the situation we are facing appears familiar or in other words, your brain is being reminded of a previous similar experience that probably went wrong. So the key is to establish why you are actually feeling that way and recognise the fear you are fighting against.
Be realistic about your fear
As humans, we often like to amplify doubts and fears, because we are trying to protect ourselves. Are you just being paranoid? What advice would you give a friend if they were in your situation? And really, what is the worst that could happen? Remember that whatever fear you are facing, it is about how your future will be affected. However, the future doesn’t exist yet, so what are you actually scared of…
Remove negativity from your life
It is sometimes easier said than done, but setting your mind to only listen to positivity will remove a certain level of anxiety. Listening to constant moaning and people who only talk about what’s wrong in life and the world, will bring you down. So start hanging around those who support you and encourage you instead.
Think back to other times in your life when you doubted yourself, did it actually always turn out wrong? The chances are that it didn’t, but even if it did, it taught you a lesson. Remember that despite the fact it’s a cliché, everything happens for a reason. There aren’t such things as mistakes, it’s just the importance we place on them as opposed to giving them meaning. When bad things happen, we often wallow in them for far too long. For instance, if someone says something we don’t like, we will carry that around with us for a while, yet if someone pays us a compliment, we will forget that much quicker.
Trust & love yourself
You are responsible for your own happiness and nobody will ever be able to do that for you. Deep down, you know that everything will be ok in the end, but you need to actually acknowledge and embrace that feeling.