03 Jun Conquering Self-Doubt
Self-doubt is that awful voice in our head that tells us we can’t do something, that we won’t be successful, or that we will fail. Self-doubt is something that builds over time, maybe it developed from a chaotic childhood, a parent we couldn’t please, a time we failed at something, a relationship that didn’t work out, a rejection from a job, or even a person or loved one. Most of us deal with a form of self-doubt at some point in our lives.
It is amazing to me how quickly our brains can automatically turn to doubt. These automatic thoughts often leave us stuck and holding ourselves back from achieving goals, when we should be taking risks in either our jobs or relationships and enjoying a fulfilling life.
So what do we do to conquer self-doubt? The process itself isn’t an easy one, but can be very rewarding if you are able to consciously make an effort to combat it. Here are some tips to help you conquer your own self doubt
1. Recognize it exists – recognition is the impetus for any change. We can’t change what we don’t acknowledge. When self-doubt rears its ugly head, pay attention to it. Acknowledge that it’s there, but work toward identifying that these negative thoughts aren’t facts.
2. Challenge the thought – if you went on a date with someone and they didn’t call you back, is your first assumption that the rejection was because of you? What if the person’s mother fell ill? Or their ex-partner contacted them and wanted to reconcile and give the relationship another chance. What if you got rejected for a job? Not because you weren’t qualified but because the company decided to take a different route due to budget cuts. There are many explanations that have absolutely no connection to you or your worth.
3. If your doubt is related to past mistakes, then acknowledge them, but remind yourself that the past is in the past. If we attempted something in the past and weren’t successful, it doesn’t mean that we won’t be successful now. We have grown since then, we have looked back on what didn’t work, and we have experienced some new learning since then. Instead of looming in your doubt, remind yourself of the things you did to overcome the failure from the past.
4. Think of some positive thoughts. Instead of looking at only what could go wrong, ask yourself what could go right. Give yourself some positive messages. Why are the negative ones the only ones you are allowing in?
5. DO NOT COMPARE. In the age of social media this is an important one. You have no idea what is happening in someone else’s life, they may have a great partner but hate their job, or may be dealing with a sick child or ailing parents.
6. Remember that we aren’t only our failures, we are also our successes. If you weren’t successful at something reflect on what you would do differently the next time. For example, if you don’t feel you did well at a job interview, how might you go about it differently next time. Could you practice with someone? Do more research about the position?
Self doubt exists in all of us, maybe at different times and for different reasons, but all of us have it. The key is to work towards combating the things that are holding us back or keeping us stuck and causing us to beat ourselves up. If you continue to struggle, it may be best to speak with a therapist. They can provide you with additional tools to help you overcome self-doubt.
Written by Bliss therapist Tammy Benwell. Learn more about Tammy and get her secret “Tips From the Couch” here.
If you liked this article on self-doubt, you might enjoy these too:
- What Does it Mean to be Authentic?
- Others Will Treat You the Way You Let Them – 3 Keys to Boundary Setting
- Why we Need to Stop “Agreeing to Disagree”
Are you ready to speak with a therapist about some of the self-doubt you’ve been experiencing? We’re happy to help! Get in touch with us here.
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