Self-Doubt: 3 Ways to Triumph Against Personal Adversity

Self-Doubt affects everyone.

Has self-doubt caused you to miss out on great opportunities?

Every day you stare at yourself in the mirror and wonder what kind of heavyweight matchup it’s going to be – self-doubt versus you. It’s been building up to be the fight of the morning.

Babbling mind chatter has kept you up all night. You feel exhausted.

Self-doubt snarls; comes out swinging. You feel pinned against the ropes.

How can you get yourself motivated when “the average person has over 50,000 thoughts daily, and 95% are the same ones from the day before? That means that out of those 50,000 thoughts, only 2,500 are new.”

There comes a time when you must face the debilitating mind chatter of self-doubt, growl at yourself in the mirror, say aloud Maya Angelou’s words, “Still, I rise.”

Because at stake is your self-confident championship belt. Here’s three ways to stand up against self-doubt.

Let’s get started.

What Is Self-Doubt?

Self-doubt is the unpleasant mental state, at times, unrelenting feeling of indecisiveness and incompetence you have of yourself which impacts your self-esteem.

Even though you know you can ace a presentation, design a dress, or bake an award-winning dessert, sometimes the intended or unintended words projected at you may throw you for a loop. 

Just like Dr. Phil says “You can’t change what you don’t acknowledge.”  So, take a few moments to think about these three ways to help you win over self-doubt.

1. Transform Self-Doubt From An Achille's Heel To Your Secret Strength

What does your self-doubt want you to know?

Like it or not, your hard-wired inquisitive brain has you wanting to get to the bottom of what as opposed to why.

Self-doubt kicks your ass into high gear to find your inner strength. It requires you to gather all your internal fears and get rid of each, one by one.

What immobilizes you when self-doubt creeps up? 

What must you feel to know you’re safe?

It makes you look at how you show up; it’s not always easy to get real with yourself.

Rumi quote

Self-doubt humbles you and oddly, you somehow feel safe as you become self-aware.

Introspective questioning is healthy because it allows you to take an objective look at yourself (without judgement) and essentially discard your own BS.

  • What is important about you?
  • What has you emotionally stuck?
  • Why do you talk yourself out of opportunities?

When you let self-doubt punish you, it becomes really difficult to be okay with the unknown (especially major life transitions such as job loss, life after divorce, death of a loved one, etc.)

How Do You Turn Self-Doubt Into A Strength? 

First, acknowledge you feel self-doubt.

This means talk to yourself. Talk to myself, you scoff!

Sometimes it’s okay to curse and yell to exhaustion. Inhale and do it again until every last drop of hurt is expelled from your body.

Scream out everything you feel. Speak directly to your own doubt. Therapists recommend that you name it.

Hear yourself accept your truth.

Write it down in a journal.

Next, read your journal and see if there’s any common emotional triggers.

Rumi Self-Doubt quote

Get To The Root Cause Of Your Self-Doubt.

Fear is the seed that sprouts your self-doubt which, of course, exposes your vulnerability. For example, you can relate to anger, the one emotion that causes you to fall apart. Right?

The toxic energy of anger masks fears of rejection; undermines the powerful, attractive person you are.

Your erratic heartbeats, hypertension, microaggression are symptoms of your anger toward yourself. Because you’re told by culture and society you don’t have a right to be angry. You have to be courteous all the time, dammit!

You may feel you have a handle on your anger but, do you? Are those doubtful thoughts translating into negative self-criticism? 

If you continue to have sleepless nights of negative thoughts ‘I can’t do anything right.”, you’ll spiral into deeper emotional distress.

And, if you can, seek a therapist to help you sort out everything you’ve blurted out or written down in your journal.

When you face the unflinching reality of who you are, you start to realize where you may have compromised yourself. Also, you may need to set better boundaries with family, work or certain friends. This is important especially when you need to figure out whether to ignore your doubt or give it credence. Do know that:

  • Self-doubt can guide decisions;
  • Doubt based on shame or anxiety needs to be confronted.

Though it feels like you are entangled in ropes, self-doubt actually encourages you to unlock your potential.

2. Steady & Serene: Master Your Calm Space

Self-Doubt is opposite mindfulness
Photo by Lesly Juarez on Unsplash

Self-doubt can bring to light warning signs that encourage you to take better action with self-care.

Make use of your right to control your healing. You decide on what activity enables you to let out your frustrations. Is it time to get back to physical activities like cycling, boxing, tai chi? Or artistic endeavours like pottery making?

What is your favourite hobby to help ease your mental paralysis?

What emotions come to the forefront as you engage in an activity you absolutely enjoy?

Photo by Stefano Pollio on Unsplash

Unfavourable mental chatter means you have real work to do.

It makes you acknowledge your humanity. You cannot be all things to all people.

You are unable to assist everyone.

Even if you dial the wrong person, you can have a bad day; eat your favourite ice cream, spill your coffee, and still have a bad day.

You can simultaneously be happy, tough, disheartened, and confused.

You are entitled to make errors. That’s what it means to be human; to act, discover, fail, and then get back up.

When you do get back up, observe any attachments to perfection.

On the word ‘perfect’, there is so much stress and double standards associated with it, yet, obscures everything unique within you. Because the idea of perfection is a myth. There is endless joy in making fun of your errors. 

You begin to question why you ever took yourself so seriously before.

Think about it. Why do comedians poke more fun about their shortcomings rather than how perfect they are? 

Boxer Muhammed Ali famous quote

3. Embrace The Challenge & Thrive!

Your treatment of yourself does not define you.

Additionally, the way you talk to yourself internally shouldn’t determine what others want you to be but rather who you truly are; otherwise, you might become fixated on any perceived flaws.

Positive criticism is beneficial to your personal development.

Give up trying to be perfect and accept your mistakes.

Every day, be conscious of your thoughts, feelings, and actions.

Below are some helpful mindsets to adopt as you overcome your various wobbles of self-doubt.

Identify And Overcome Assumptions.

This is a sense of ambiguity about the meaning of something. You might go out of your way to gather evidence. Those unexpected doubts that surface even during your most confident moments. The aim is to identify these assumptions, scrutinize their validity, and debunk them. This process paves the way to focus on your strengths and then concentrate on your true capacity to bring about the best you.

Change Your Self-Talk And Prioritize Asperations.

Once you recognize negative statements like “I’m not as good as them” or “I’m not creative”, this can kickstart the process of regaining your inner power. Cultivating a positive mindset and outlook increases your sense of self-worth and reduces stress.

Accept Encouragement And Strengthen Resilience.

The support from those who truly understand, “get you” and appreciate you  – family and friends – is key to building resilience.  You then have courage to be yourself and foster greater feelings of satisfaction in life.

Self-doubt Can Lead To Sincere And Open Dialogue.

Sharing your vulnerability fosters trust, honesty, and over time you will develop a reputation for being understanding and trustworthy in your relationships.

Use Doubt To Drive For Achievement And Gratitude.

You’ll be more appreciative with a heightened sense of achievement.  You’ll rediscover everything has its time, and the more present you are, the more peace and harmony you experience. 

Self-Acceptance Draws Love And Compassion To You.

In addition to having good mental health, overall wellbeing, longevity, and a stronger immune system, you’ll laugh just for fun of it. You deserve to feel liberated.

Keep Pushing Your Boundaries By Constantly Expanding Your Horizons.

Living with purpose makes life easier, enables you to concentrate on what you really want, helps you realize your most ambitious goals, and yes, even helps you continue to get the best sleep ever.

Self Doubt holds a person back.

Sometimes self-doubt can appear comfortable and familiar, like an old friend who wants to sit and enjoy pizza. Before you know it, you’re overthinking and eating your entire favourite comfort food (by yourself). Do your best to affirm what is best for you because it can mean a world of difference as to how you show up for yourself.

The factors which initially led to your self-doubt are not always the same ones keeping it alive today due to changes in your lifestyle.

Wherever it comes from, self-doubt is a defence mechanism. It’s your brain protecting you – from failure,  embarrassment and, yes, heartbreak.

No one’s opinion of you is important anymore because, quite frankly, they are too preoccupied with their own issues to pay attention to yours.

Self doubt quote by author Suzy Kassem

Crush Self-Doubt For A Confident You.

Whenever moments of uncertainty creep in, remember, you deserve to be happy and live a free-spirited life. With a positive outlook, you’ll begin to feel better about yourself.

Your thoughts can inspire you to take incredible action.

Self-doubt helps you face and discover your inner fortitude. Being the best version of yourself is what purpose is all about.

Your heart won’t let you stay down for very long, even if you are knocked down. Because hope is the spunk and fire that says ‘get up’; you are meant to grow and rise again.

You’ll experience a return of your inner strength, confidence with compassionate respect for yourself.

Take on your new challenges.

You won’t feel the need to fight self-doubt with your back up against the rope; instead, you’ll be at peace with your own inner champion.