Get Over it: 9 Steps to Overcoming Self-Doubt

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

Even the most confident and self-assured people are plagued by self-doubt at times.

You may say . . .”I’m not the most confident and self-assured person to begin with.” Well, neither am I and neither are most of us.

Doubt can show up every time we’re trying to make a decision, make a change, or head to a new direction. In good days, I think of self-doubt as a friend. Someone who’s there to test my strength and perseverance.

Self-doubt, like most of what holds us back in life, cannot be defeated by conventional means. You pick a fight with it and it becomes your focus. In the end, you’re too exhausted to do anything. You give in and you lose.

What to do then?

  1. Recognizing it and accepting it for what it is – a voice in my head telling me I’m not good enough to do what I want. “Ah, here you are old friend. Still here, trying to put me in my place.”
  2. Resisting the tendency to fight back or give in. Instead, I let myself feel the emotions that self-doubt triggers and breathe through them. Emotions are like waves, if we just stay still they wash over us and we can find our footing again. Fighting against emotions is like fighting with the wind. Being at their mercy leaves us breathless and vulnerable.
  3. Making the commitment to move forward despite my self-doubt and be gentle with myself in the process.
  4. Creating a clear vision of my goal, dream, destination and setting realistic action steps that I can take daily. Then, taking that first step!
  5. Forming alliances. There are times when I have to be alone on the journey and times when I need to bring others along. There are times I need to reach out for support and times when I need to withdraw and go inside for what I need. Along the way and through experience, we learn.
  6. Turning my focus on what’s right in front of me instead of letting myself become lost in the big picture of what’s ahead. There are days when all I can do is what’s right there, in front of me, demanding my attention. Completing the task on hand, can be the greatest remedy for self-doubt.
  7. Evaluating progress. As I inch, crawl, walk or run forward, I remind myself to lift my head and look ahead. Where am I in reference to my destination?
  8. Pausing to rest and recharge. Even marathon runners do that. There are times to push through and times to slow down and take it easy.
  9. Upon arrival, celebrating is in order. It’s easy to dismiss what we just accomplished and move on to the next thing but why do that? Taking the time to see how far we’ve come, sharing our joy with the people in our lives who supported our journey, and savoring the fullness of the moment is good practice!

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