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7 Ways You Can Use To Stop Doubting Yourself


Here are 7 Ways You Can Use To Stop Doubting Yourself

1. Know that you are not alone.

It may seem like we are all alone when we are full of doubt about ourselves and our abilities. We look at other people and it looks like everyone else has it all figured out. Look at them, enjoying success after success. It looks so effortless for everyone else, but not for us. Why are we the only one’s struggling? We ask ourselves: Why can’t I seem to make any good decisions in my life? Am I the only one who seems to be screwing up all the time?

I’m sure that everyone can relate to these moments of self-doubt.

And, that’s the important part to remember – that these feelings are all fallacies. No one has everything figured out. We all make mistakes and make poor decisions at various times in our lives. I don’t care who you are or what you’ve done in your life – every human being has moments of doubts and feelings of insecurity. Just knowing that everyone else is scared some of the time and doesn’t know what to do can make you feel better about your own fears.

Unless you can see into the future (you can’t, can you? if so, let me know tonight’s lottery numbers and I’ll split the winnings with you!), you’re just like everyone else. We’re all just trying our best to make the most of our lives. Some days are better than others and some days are worse. Sometimes we feel confident and ready to conquer the world and sometimes we don’t feel like getting out of bed in the morning. Just knowing that other people feel the same doubts as we do helps put it all into perspective.

Remember that you are not infallible, and neither is anyone else.

2. Look to your past for accomplishments.

Reflect on your life. What are you most proud of? What accomplishments have you done in your life that you can point to and say – “I did that. Little ole me did that!”.

Writing down a list of your accomplishments or your most proud moments is a great resource to have when you are full of self-doubt. Refer to this list when you are feeling particularly down and need a pick-me-up. Know that if you were able to accomplish something special in your life, so you can do it again. Start adding to the list and keep adding to it anything that you are proud of.

Don’t worry if you don’t have any big audacious accomplishments listed. Are you proud that you finished your high-school education? Add that to your list. Did you accomplish everything at work this week? Then add that to the list. Remember, that this is personal list that no one else has to see.

Re-read the list when you think that you’ll never get past your feelings of self-doubt. If you did something to be proud of in the past, know that you can do it again in the future. This will boost your confidence and your belief that if you are somebody to be proud of.

3. Let go of your expectations.

A lot of self-doubt comes from our expectations of ourselves and of others. If you are expecting everything in your life to go smoothly and not to make any mistakes, well then you’ll be in for a very rude awakening. You are not infallible and you will screw up at times. Accept it.

When things go differently than what you expected, it can cause you to doubt yourself. For instance, you asked out that girl and and you expected her to say ‘Yes!’, but instead she said ‘No way’. You thought you nailed the interview and got the job but they haven’t called you back. You submitted what you thought was a killer guest-post that would send thousands of readers your way and instead it got rejected or you never even got a response.

Examine your expectations in these situations and see if there are other possible explanations for each outcome. Maybe it’s not you – the girl already has a boyfriend, the HR person is on vacation for two weeks and hasn’t called any candidates back, or your guest-post was on a similar topic as one they posted last week.

When we let go of our expectations, we allow things to happen naturally. You’re separating your feelings of expectations (and possible disappointment) from the actual situation. Let go of your expectation and accept things as they come. Maybe things will turn out to be better than what you expected.

You can hope for the best but also know that the world doesn’t revolve around you. Don’t take things personally.

Child's hand

4. Surround yourself with people you love and who love you.

Human beings are social creatures. We all crave acceptance, especially by people we love. Ensure that you are around people who unconditionally love you and with whom you love. There’s nothing like being with people who accept you for who you are to build up your confidence.

Talk to people who have your best interests at heart. Use them as sounding boards for when you are experiencing self-doubt. Let them know that you are scared.

Of course, you have to be wary of pessimistic people in your life. If they bring you down and worsen your self-doubt, spend time with those who love you and provide you with positive re-enforcement.

No one wants to be with people who make you feel worse about yourself. So, limit your time with those negative people and spend time with people who love you for who you are, warts and all.

5. Just Do It.

Sometimes you just have to scream louder than that little voice in our heads that are saying that we can’t do something or are not good enough. Tell that little voice to STFU and then just do what you would do if you didn’t have any self-doubt and were overflowing with confidence.

Don’t over-think things.

Just Do It. Use this as your mantra every time you are paralyzed with self-doubt. It will get you unstuck and build momentum to keep you moving forward in life. Do your best in each situation, but remember to Just Do It. It doesn’t have to be perfect. No one is perfect all of the time.

Get on with life. Stop letting your feelings of self-doubt keep you from enjoying everything that life has to offer.


6. Ask great questions.

Start asking yourself some great questions, such as:

What’s the worst that could happen? If the worst case scenario happened, could I handle it? How likely is the worst-case scenario to happen? Is it a realistic outcome?

Is this problem that I’m experiencing all encompassing or is it in one area in my life?

Are there any areas that I feel super-confident in? Can I use some of that feeling in other parts of my life where I’m feeling some self-doubt?

What’s the best possible outcome of this situation and how can I make sure that this happens?

What do I need to do to solve this issue?

Just by using the logical part of our mind, we can activate our reasoning power. This is another great way that we can get unstuck and start moving past our self-doubts.

7. Ask for help.

There’s no shame in asking for help. It’s a sign of strength to know that you need help and you reach out for it. Ask other people for help when you are feeling too much pressure and are feeling overwhelmed by your self-doubt.

If self-doubt has been an all-encompassing issue in your life for many years, then gather your courage and seek professional help. It’s normal to have doubts about yourself and your abilities, but if it’s affecting everything in your life, then you need to talk to someone who has the experience and the tools to help you.

Know that getting help doesn’t have to be forever, either. Just a few sessions with a trained therapist can work wonders. Then you can move past yours self-doubts and get on with your life.

I hope that some of these 7 ways of overcoming your self-doubt has helped. They have helped me when I’m feeling fearful and am full of self-doubt.

What other ways have you used to overcome your own feelings of self-doubt? Let us know by leaving a comment below. Thanks!

Related Posts:

1. Create Your Future Using a Vision Board
2. How to Motivate Yourself in Times of Stress
3. Warning: These Emotions May Be Affecting You More Than You Think
4. Why You Need to Write in Your Goals Book Daily
5. How Zero-Based Thinking Can Help Your Future

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23 comments… add one

  • Helpful words here. I have found that dealing with self-doubt is a daily “thing to do,” not a one-time thing and that’s a good thing really…it keeps us in touch with ourselves and that is a foundation for growth.

    Especially like your reminder to not take things personally. Funny how those of us who deal with self-doubt have to be reminded that the world doesn’t revolve around us! Thanks for the nudge.
    .-= Marion Youngblood´s last blog ..What Is Most Important To You =-.

    • You’re so right, Marion. We have to be constantly viligant against our self-doubt. You can’t think that you have it licked forever because you’ll fall into a false sense of security that way.

  • Great tips, Karen. #2 reminds me of my favorite story of the artist John Singer Sargent. He would keep his own favorite painting of a still life of flowers in his studio. He would never sell it when someone made an offer. When asked why, he said that whenever he was struggling or doubting himself he would look at that painting and say, “Sargent, you did that.”

    • Great example, Rob! I look back at my published thesis for my university degree and am still so proud of myself that I wrote it.

      Having reminders about why we are so awesome can certainly help when we don’t feel that way :-)

  • Such great advice and sometimes hard to remember to implement. On days where I walk around feeling like have accomplished nearly enough, my significant other will say “but what about that thing you just did? or all that traffic you got on your blog the other day?” Then, I feel ridiculous.

    So having someone around to help me “snap out of it” works really well!

    • It’s so important to have cheerleaders in your life, Yolanda, especially when you can’t see past your own feelings of self-doubt. It’s always nice to be reminded by others about our accomplishments in the past/present and what we can accomplish in the future.

      Thanks for sharing,

  • hello karen
    i guess embracing the fact that we are humans prone to making mistakes is important in dealing with self doubt.
    celebrating our past/present achievements motivates us to do or accomplish more. as for having people around, i believe networking promotes strong bonds, positive relationships which in turn provides support physically, mentally, socially..
    just doing it ,involves taking action as well acknowledging the risks involved.
    i loved this post.
    take care and enjoy the rest of the day
    .-= ayo´s last blog ..The Benefits Of Flexible Optimism =-.

    • Hi Ayo,

      When I’m feeling that I can’t do something, I think to certain situations in my past where I have overcome something that I was sure I was going to fail at. It gives me motivation and confidence to figure how the next step in my journey.

      I’m glad that you loved this post and I hope your day has been an excellent one.


  • Great advice here… especially the part about looking into your past. Whenever I feel discouraged, I always look back at all the adversities I’ve overcomed, the things I’ve achieved, and I start to feel motivated again. Most of the time I just feel lose track of how much I’ve actually gotten done in life ^_^
    .-= Henway´s last blog ..OxyPowder Review =-.

    • Thanks, Henway. We tend to forget our past accomplishments, especially when we are fearful of the challenge that is right in front of us. Remembering that we have the power to overcome our self-doubt is vitally important in those situations.

  • Hi Karen,

    Nice post my friend! These are some nice tips. Number 2 is really crucial, writing down our past accomplishements really helps us to stop doubting ourselves. I use this all the time. Also, surrounding ourselves with people we love and people who are positive really helps as they help us focus on what we are good at. Thanks for sharing
    .-= Dia´s last blog ..Seven principles for goal setting =-.

    • Thanks, Dia. Not only is it important to remember how awesome we are, but to let others know so that they can help support us and remind us when we are full of self-doubt. :-) That’s a great point to bring up.

  • Karen,

    One of my favorite pieces of advice is, “Don’t over-think things”

    I am big on goals and planning, so it may seem odd that I do not like, “overthinking”. I do not feel that planning and goal setting are overthinking though, they are just working out the particulars of how to attack something. If planning or goal setting get in the way of action, it is better to go on without them.

    The worst thing that happens when you try something is that you fail. That may sound like a horror to some people, but successful people fail all the time. The difference between a successful person and a person who isn’t (IMO) is that a successful person gets up, brushes himself -or herself- off after failure and tries a new tactic.

    Over-thinking just lets worry and fear in. You may change your ideas or plans because of these reactions, but often your First ideas are your best ideas
    .-= Steve´s last blog ..3 Vital Steps to Choosing a Hot Niche for a New Blog =-.

    • Hey Steve,

      I agree that sometimes we make things so complicated and that we use that complexity to stay with the status quo. You bring up some excellent reminders that many choices are not life-threatening – what’s the worst that can happen? We fail. Big deal :-) We then know what NOT to do and we can change our tactics in the future.

      Thanks so much for dropping by and sharing your thoughts,

  • I like the “just do it” option. Sometimes it is best to stop making excuses and make it happen before you talk yourself out of it. If it is something you thought you wanted to do, then you obviously wanted it to happen.
    .-= Brandon@Make Money Blogging´s last blog ..FREE- Ghostly Acres Grunge Web Template =-.

    • Hey Brandon,

      Yes, we can become our own biggest stumbling blocks in the way of our success. I’m a firm believer of going with my intuition and proceeding when things feel right. It’s not always 100% successful, but at least I tried :-)


  • Karen, this is such good advice. No matter how positive we are, we all suffer from doubt at times. These tips are a great way to break through the doubt.

    One thing I sometimes do when I have a difficult decision or situation is think about what I would do if I could do no wrong in my decision making. It’s surprising how often we go for ‘safe’ when ‘scary’ gets much better results.
    .-= Matthew Needham´s last blog ..Leadership advice from Darth Vader =-.

    • No risk, no reward. I agree, Matthew. Some of my biggest risk in life have been rewarded handsomely. Other risks didn’t reward as well, but at least I don’t have to live with regret of not taking any action.

      Thanks for dropping by,

  • Just do it is huge because if you’re planning, that’s great, but when you finally do something whether you completely mess up or not, you’ve done something and can then look back on your accomplishments once you’ve succeeded.

    This reminds me of my getting my car out of the snow post. :)

    • Hi Eric,

      At some time you have to put down the pen and paper and put your shoes on and get outside. No one can plan for everything, so it’s important to just trust your plan as is and then deal with whatever happens along your journey.


  • Hi Karen,
    Thanks for these tips.
    I use my self doubts as as a motivation to prove myself doubt wrong.
    Just like i would do to prove a doubter wrong only this time the doubter is my alter ego.

    How are you doing?

    • Hey Olusegun,

      I’m doing well, thanks. I hope you day has been a fantastic one :-)

      We can remember and use those moments of self-doubt, for when we have overcome our challenges. Knowing that we had doubts in the past and yet they didn’t stop us from moving forward with our plans, means that we can do it again with whatever life has brought before us.

      Thanks so much for stopping by,

  • Nice Words. I sometimes realize all the things i have in my life to be thankful for ESPECIALLY when there are others who are living very challenging lives in other parts of the world. I remind myself of my health. Being able to see and just talk is a blessing. Also to be happy of what I DO have in my life.


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