Have you ever been in a situation where everything seems to be perfectly on track, you are about to achieve a goal that you’ve been working towards, but then all of a sudden you are filled with self-doubt? Can you really achieve this? Was the work all worth it? What if I fall at the last hurdle?
If you nodded in agreement, know that you are not alone! Would it surprise you to know that research shows over 85% of people worldwide suffer from self-doubt at various times in their lives?
Before I get into how to overcome self-doubt, let’s look at what self-doubt is and how it shows up in our lives.
Self-doubt is a common human experience. It is that nagging voice that has us questioning our abilities, our worthiness and our potential for success and fulfilment. Letting that nagging voice, or as one of my mentors liked to call it, the inner roommate, keep telling us that we are not good enough, not qualified enough or not capable enough can hold us back from pursuing our passions and embracing our authentic selves.
Have you experienced any of the following:
1. Not pursuing careers you know would light you up
2. Turning down opportunities that would see your life take a different direction
3. Saying no to invitations that would broaden your horizons and networks
4. Not speaking up in meetings or social situations
5. Needing to know every last detail in order to make a decision
These are just some of the ways that self-doubt can show up in our lives. Feeling doubt in ourselves can stop us from living the life we want to and have us settling for less than we want or deserve.
Are you ready to let go of self-doubt and embrace your unique qualities so that you can step into your true potential and create a life that aligns with your deepest desires and aspirations? If so, carry on reading to find out seven ways you can overcome your self-doubt.
1. Recognise Imposter Syndrome:
Imposter Syndrome is a one of the most common forms of self-doubt. You may feel this way if you’ve taken on a job at a higher seniority level than you’ve had before. You may feel this way when entering a room of your peers. Feeling like a fraud despite the evidence of our achievements and capabilities can lead to us hiding ourselves from people who can see our abilities much more clearly.
Many high-achieving individuals experience Imposter Syndrome. The first step in overcoming the self-doubt is acknowledging and understanding that it exists rather than trying to ignore it. Feelings of inadequacy are not rooted in reality but are a result of internalised beliefs and societal pressures. Looking at and dismantling these beliefs and pressures can help to overcome the feelings of Imposter Syndrome.
2. Challenge Negative Self-Talk:
Remember the inner roommate I mentioned earlier? Self-doubt often manifests as negative self-talk, where we (our inner roommate) constantly criticises and undermines ourselves.
It is important to practice self-compassion and remind yourself of your strengths, accomplishments, and unique qualities. To overcome self-doubt, it is crucial to challenge these negative thoughts and replace them with positive and affirming beliefs. This can work in the short-term and help to build some confidence, but I would also encourage you to look at where these beliefs are coming from. Is there further inner work needed to truly put these beliefs to bed once and for all?
3. Cultivate Self-Awareness and Acceptance:
In points 1 and 2 above, I’ve mentioned looking at and dismantling beliefs that have led to your self-doubt. This is developing self-awareness to really understand your fears, insecurities, and limiting beliefs.
Using journaling, mindfulness practices, and self-reflection can help you to gain clarity about your thought patterns and triggers for self-doubt. It can be difficult at first, because we may not be used to acknowledging parts of ourselves that we have spent our lives hiding or ignoring.
Self-awareness is not necessarily about fixing or eliminating certain beliefs. It is about cultivating self-acceptance by embracing your strengths, weaknesses, and imperfections. Recognising that everyone has moments of self-doubt, but that it doesn't define your worth or potential is a healthy way to allow self-doubt to foster growth.
4. Set Realistic Goals and Celebrate Progress:
Self-doubt can come from wanting to be perfect in what we are doing or trying to achieve. When we don’t achieve what we set out to, we can start to question our abilities. We forget to enjoy the process or journey and can focus too much on the outcome.
Setting realistic goals and breaking them down into manageable steps can help alleviate self-doubt. Focus on the progress rather than perfection. Celebrating each small achievement along the way will reinforce your belief in your abilities and boost your confidence. By acknowledging your progress, you build a positive momentum that will help you to overcome self-doubt and stay motivated.
5. Surround Yourself with Supportive People:
The power of a supportive network should not be underestimated in overcoming self-doubt. When our inner roommate is running the show, it can be helpful to have people who believe in us to encourage our growth, and provide constructive feedback.
Seek mentors, friends, or coaches who can offer guidance, perspective, and support. Their belief in your abilities can help quieten the inner roommate, counteract self-doubt and remind you of your true potential.
6. Embrace Failure and Learn from Setbacks:
At the beginning of this blog post I asked if you’d ever been in a situation where everything seems to be perfectly on track, you are about to achieve a goal that you’ve been working towards, but then all of a sudden you are filled with self-doubt? The fear of failure often fuels self-doubt.
I’ve watched and read many industry leaders, CEO’s, high performance athletes talk about how embracing failure has helped them to grow and improve. Setbacks have been seen as opportunities to learn, adjust approach, and gain resilience, rather than give up. Each setback you have is a chance to build character and strengthen your belief in yourself. By reframing failure as a natural part of your journey, you can transform self-doubt into self-empowerment.
7. Emphasise Your Unique Qualities:
Remember that your uniqueness is your strength. Embrace your individuality, talents, and perspectives. Recognise that comparing yourself to others only fosters self-doubt. It is natural for us to have talents and gifts that others may not be as good at. The opposite is also true. Focusing on developing your own strengths and talents, will help you to understand that your journey to fulfilment will look different from others.
Embrace your individual path and trust that your unique qualities will guide you to a life that aligns with your true purpose and fulfilment. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying that if we were all the same, it would be very boring!
Overcoming self-doubt is a transformative process that can steer you towards living a fulfilling life. It can help you to gain confidence to make decisions that align with what you want and where you want to go in life. But in order to work towards overcoming your self-doubt, you can follow the strategies that I’ve talked through.
It takes courage to recognise that there are beliefs and patterns behind your self-doubt and further courage to choose to tackle it. Know that in doing so you will be giving yourself the best chance of living life in a way that fulfils you.
If you would like support in discovering and tackling the beliefs that are holding you back in life, please consider booking a consultation call with me. You can do this here.
Much love, Harmesch x