Self-doubt makes you feel inadequate and hinders your growth
Everyone has had feelings of self-doubt. They are common everyday experience that manifests in various forms, such as questioning your abilities, second-guessing your decisions, and being uncertain about the future.
Self-doubt often arises from the beliefs you hold about yourself, which can be based on your past experiences, comparisons with others, or having unrealistic expectations of yourself.
When you pay too much attention to these doubts, you allow them to take hold of you. They stand as obstacles in your path and prevent you from taking action and pursuing your goals.
Once you’re plagued with self-doubt, you hesitate to move out of your comfort zone, are afraid to take risks, let go of seizing new opportunities and say no to exploring various possibilities. As a result, you’re stuck in mediocrity, and your potential remains unfulfilled.
Overcoming fear and self-doubt is a common challenge that many people face in pursuit of their goals. Here are seven ways to that help you deal with self-doubt.
Read also: You can live a happier live if you learn to control these 5 things
1. Combat negative self-talk
Often, self-doubt is fueled by your negative inner narrative and prevents you from living up to your full potential. Hence, one way to overcome self-doubt is to deal with negative self-talk.
Practice mindfulness and become aware of your thoughts. Observe and red flag the negative thoughts as they arise. Labeling the thought as negative or unhelpful helps you identify your thought patterns.
An easy way to deal with critical inner dialogue is by using the technique of thought-stopping. As soon as you notice a negative thought crossing your mind, say “stop” to yourself and interrupt the intrusive thought. This will break your train of thought and give you relief.
After you have stopped the negative thought, immediately shift your focus to something else and replace the negative thought with a positive one. This will prevent your negative thoughts from spiraling out of control and giving rise to self-doubt.
2. Challenge the negative beliefs
To reduce self-doubt, it is essential to challenge the negative beliefs that underpin it. When you identify a negative belief, name it and challenge it by questioning its validity.
For example, if you think, “I’m not good enough to achieve my goals,” ask yourself, “What evidence do I have that supports this belief? Do I lack in ability, drive, or motivation that indicates I’m not up to it? What skills, habits, and experiences do I have that would enable me to realize my dreams?”
By identifying and challenging the negative thoughts and beliefs, you can reframe them more positively. This helps you see things objectively, deepens your faith in yourself, and enables you to overcome self-doubt. You can then feel empowered to chase your goals with conviction and forge ahead with self-belief and confidence.
3. Focus on your positives
Another way to combat self-doubt is to focus on your strengths. When you doubt yourself, you get caught up in negativity and think only of your weaknesses and perceived shortcomings. This makes you feel less of yourself and gives rise to low self-esteem.
However, instead of dwelling on your negatives, focus on your positive qualities and traits. Make a list of your achievements and reflect on the times when you have succeeded in the past, despite the difficulties and challenges.
By intentionally shifting your attention to your accomplishments, you can remind yourself of what you have already achieved. This will prove your strengths and abilities and help counter your self-doubt.
4. Know what you want
Doubt arises when there’s uncertainty. Defining your goals is, therefore, a crucial step in becoming more sure-footed and overcoming doubt in your life. When you know what you want to achieve and clearly understand where you are headed, you have a vision to work towards. This allows you to develop a roadmap and a plan of action to reach your desired outcome. Having a definite direction thus helps to counteract the negative thoughts and feelings that often accompany self-doubt.
Clarity about your purpose strengthens your self-belief, motivates you to stay focused on your goals, and enables you to progress towards your goal with greater confidence.
When you encounter obstacles, it can be easy to feel discouraged and doubt yourself. But with a clear idea of what you want and why it’s important to you, you can push through the challenges with faith and hope and stay on track.
5. Take action
When you feel unsure or doubtful about yourself, you get stuck in a cycle of negative thinking. However, taking action, even if don’t feel entirely confident, can help you break out of that cycle and build momentum.
By setting realistic goals and taking small steps toward them, you can also challenge your false beliefs about your abilities. When you find you are capable of more than you thought, you realize your that doubts were unfounded. This goes a long way in building self-confidence and boosting your self-esteem.
6. Celebrate your successes
Acknowledging your hard work and celebrating your successes is an effective way to overcome self-doubt as it counteracts negative self-talk, reinforces positive beliefs about yourself, and helps to build confidence.
When you reach a milestone or achieve a goal, take the time to pat yourself on the back and give credit to yourself to acknowledge and appreciate your accomplishments, no matter how small they may seem. This will boost your sense of self and increase your belief in yourself. You will feel more optimistic about your future, and motivate you to continue pursuing your goals.
7. Seek support from others
When you experience self-doubt, your thoughts become clouded, and your perspective gets skewed. You are unable to think straight. In such a scenario, talking to someone else can help you gain clarity and get a fresh perspective on your situation.
Also, sharing your doubts and concerns with someone who understands and cares for you will make you feel less alone. With the helpful advice and encouragement of your support group, you can work through your feelings and feel more confident in yourself and your abilities.
Read also: 7 ways to stop taking things personally
Self-doubt is a part of the human experience, and everyone experiences it to some degree. It makes you second guess your abilities, undermines your confidence, and prevents you from achieving your goals.
Thus, it is essential to learn how to manage self-doubt effectively and not to let it define you or prevent you from becoming your best version.
Contributed by Dr. Roopleen
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