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Overcoming Self-Doubt

Life CoachingMindWellbeingArticle

What is self-doubt? It’s the never-ending inner voice that corrects you at every path, makes you second-guess every decision, and tells you that you aren’t good enough. The primary cause for self-doubt is often your upbringing.


Do you find yourself comparing yourself to others? Do you have a fear of failing? Do you constantly try to stay within your comfort zone without taking risks? These habits can lead to even more thoughts that tie you down.


The good news is that self-doubt is curable, and you can overcome it. First, it takes the will and motivation to overcome self-doubt, tons of positive thinking, challenging the inner-critic gratitude, and acceptance.

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Self-doubt is needed to help you fight to survive and adapt to change.

The Power of Positivity

If you’re someone who has never been positive or sees the glass as half-empty, it can be challenging to change your mindset. Everything you do, every behavior, and every habit starts with how you think and perceive the world around you.


If thinking positive is new to you, how do you change your mindset? How do you overcome the debilitating demon in your mind who tells you that you are not good enough? It all starts with focus and dedication.

Notice When You Are Thinking Negatively


If negativity has been a constant enemy for you, anything can set your thoughts in a ruminating spiral. Notice when this happens and be present with your ideas. Become curious about them and then focus on the good things that have happened that day. 


Be humorous with yourself. For example, if your inner critic says, “you’ll never achieve that goal.” You can say, “you’re probably right, but I can try.” 


When your negative thoughts tell you that you can’t do something, ask it, “what is one thing I will learn from this experience?” Identify when you feel negative and keep a trigger journal – what happened, what were you thinking? How could it have gone better?


Identify the Most Stressful Thing in Your Life Right Now


Is it your career? A specific relationship? Has there been a recent loss? Is it routine? Maybe loneliness? When you become sad, angry, and emotional about something in your life, that’s when negative thoughts tend to be their loudest. 


Understand that it’s okay to feel a certain way about a situation. Give yourself permission to feel your emotions entirely given your circumstance, and then move on. Plan for the future and do not dwell on the present. 

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Check In With Yourself Periodically


Whether it be a good day or a bad day, remember to check in with yourself. It takes no more than five seconds to mentally check-in and see how you are feeling. 

Take note of your thoughts on the good days and make a mental note to counteract the bad days with these same thoughts. Pay attention to good feelings so you can return to them on bad days.


Check Your Friends and Influences


Have you ever heard the saying, “you are who you associate with?” That’s not a complete myth. Of course, you are who you are regardless of anyone else’s influence, but take a look at the closest people to you. 

Are there some traits you share? Why are you close with this person? The people you surround yourself with will significantly impact the way you think and perceive the world.

Understanding Gratitude

Gratitude is the ability to become thankful for what you have and the world around you without expecting or wanting more. Gratitude is returning kindness with no expectation to get it back. When we are grateful, we are confident that good things happen without defining the adverse outcomes in our life. 


Gratitude is one of the best and easiest things you can do for yourself. It’s the first step in overcoming self-doubt because it acts as a stepping stone for positive thoughts. Here is how to use gratitude daily.

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Self-doubt sees a colossal list and ruminates about how far is needed to go. Gratitude is finding small accomplishments and celebrating the rewards. Reflection is being patient with yourself while realizing how far you have come. Stay thankful for all that you have done and all that you will learn. Life is not a race.


Self-doubt is avoiding tasks out of fear of failing. Gratitude is learning from these mistakes and pushing forward to overcome self-doubt. When you fail at something, look at it as an opportunity for growth rather than a rope that ties you down. 

Be specific

Gratitude comes in many forms. You can be thankful for the people in your life, the situations that lead you to where you are, and for specific traits you love about yourself. The practice of gratitude means to be very specific with what you are grateful for. 


Every morning and every night, tell yourself one thing you feel appreciative of. Over time, gratitude will come quickly, and your inner critic will become quieter.

Power of Self-Acceptance

Perhaps the most critical step in overcoming self-doubt is learning self-acceptance and growing from previous experiences. 


Acceptance is welcoming the idea of what it will be and sometimes managing complex realities with the willingness to overcome them. Still, the question remains – how do we achieve this higher acceptance level to overcome self-doubt?

Acknowledge Your Thoughts and Feelings

Thoughts are just thoughts, and they are not always facts. Feelings usually revolve around your mindset or idea that thoughts are permanent. Acknowledge and accept these thoughts and feelings to obtain pure self-acceptance.

Understand Your Inner Critic

Acceptance for one’s thoughts revolves around understanding where self-doubt comes from. Become curious about what your inner critic is telling you and challenge the mindset with positivity.

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Permit Yourself to Let Go

Final acceptance is the ability to see things the way they are and accepting situations for how it is. Everyone experiences guilt, regret, anxiety, fear, and anger. Permitting yourself to see these feelings as temporary will give you the strength to set them free.

Accept Yourself

To fully accept yourself, you must become fully mindful that you are not perfect. Still, your experiences have brought you to this moment in your life. Accepting oneself takes dedication and the will to overcome weakness. 


Take the good with the bad because you are not perfect. However, being ideal for yourself includes understanding why you behave the way you do and not apologizing for your behavior.


Regardless of what you read on the internet, self-doubt and criticism is not entirely a bad thing. Self-doubt is needed to help you fight to survive and adapt to change. However, if self-doubt is all too consuming and starts to affect every aspect of your life, it’s time to make a difference. 

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