Pushing Through Self-Doubt
Updated: Jun 2
Even the most successful people experience moments of self-doubt. The feeling isn't the problem. Letting self-doubt control you, affect your decisions, and rule your life is the problem.
Your Mindset Matters
It's possible to train your mind to overcome and turn negative thoughts around. The following are ways to take decisive action that generate building blocks of success and offer the confidence boost you need.
Change the Focus – When you encounter a negative situation, try to immediately turn it into something positive by focusing on what you can learn about the situation. Even if all you learn is that you don’t want to do that again, it's still a positive outcome.
Don’t Make Decisions Bigger Than They Are – When making any decision, ask yourself whether it will matter in a month, six months, or even five years from now. That way, you’ll be able to determine whether this is a serious situation that warrants more time or if you need to simply make a choice and either get on with it or not.
Keep a Journal – One way to overcome self-doubts is to record your accomplishments in a journal. You can express any self-doubt you felt and how you pushed through it. Examine the positives of each situation and what you learned from it.
Don’t Compare Yourself to Others – The worst thing you can do is to make comparisons of your life to someone else’s. This only breeds more self-doubt and even jealousy. The truth is, you have no idea what other people have gone through to be where they are, or even if they’re really being honest about their situation. Bloom where you're planted.
Set Small, Immediate Goals – One way to overcome issues with self-doubt is to experience success. Start setting small goals that allow you to experience immediate success. Depending on where you are in your journey, success can be as small as completing a workout routine, setting up a LinkedIn profile, or something more challenging such as preparing a business proposal.
Learn to Respect Obstacles – We all encounter obstacles that prevent us from experiencing full joy and push us back into self-doubt. Everyone. The way to deal with these issues is to understand you have something to learn or gain from the experience. As you persevere, you'll develop stronger mental fortitude too.
Move on from Mistakes – When you make a mistake, instead of beating yourself up, accept it and move on. Sometimes it helps to write down the experience in your journal with a focus on what you learned and how you’ll do it differently if that comes up again.
Know When to Walk Away – Giving up doesn't always equate to failure. There are many times in life when you try something but it just doesn't work for you. It may be a business choice, a relationship issue, or something else entirely. If it’s causing you too much stress that cannot be overcome, it’s time to walk away.
It’s OK to Be Uncomfortable – You won’t grow if you don’t experience some discomfort. That doesn’t mean you have to delight in mental, physical, or spiritual torture, but feeling a little fearful, uncomfortable, or unsure is natural. Put things into perspective so you know you’re making the best choices.
Develop Your Strengths – Honestly assess your strengths and weaknesses. Improve upon the things that bring you joy. Enlist help for your areas of opportunity. For example, if you’re a bad cook but you want to lose weight, and don’t want to learn to cook, it’s okay to order a meal kit or to get someone else to do it if you have the ability.
Get Accountability – When you are trying to overcome self-doubt and start believing in yourself, it helps to have someone around for accountability. This can be a coach, a counselor, a carefully selected friend, or a group. Coaches and counselors are trained to help build your self-image and overcome self-doubt. It’s best not to choose someone extremely close to you.
These strategies for dealing with self-doubt won't work if you don’t implement them.
If you really want to experience true joy in life, believe in yourself, and get rid of the debilitating self-doubt you’re experiencing, just take the first step. Don’t delay or make excuses.