What Is Self-Doubt?
“Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win,
by fearing to attempt.”
Have you ever doubted yourself in the past?
Does doubt creep into your mind when you can least afford it?
Most of us don’t give much thought to the feelings of self-doubt until we are faced with a situation that tests our confidence in our own abilities. Only then does it present itself as a big problem.
We all suffer from doubt at some point in our lives but it can be a real struggle when a lack of confidence limits your abilities to get things done. It has a paralyzing effect that lulls us into inaction.
Self-doubt comes in many different forms but it all comes down to these three factors.
- Lack of confidence
- Lack of knowledge
Let’s look at these factors and figure out what you need to do to overcome self-doubt.
How To Overcome Self-Doubt
“When self-doubt creeps in, don’t ignore it – address it. Respond to harsh self-criticism with something more compassionate. Talk to yourself like a trusted friend and refuse to believe your unrealistic, negative inner monologue.”
Self-doubt holds you back from seizing life’s opportunities and improving your mental image of who you are and what you want to become. For me, this was a constant trap I kept finding myself falling into. Instead of seizing the opportunity at hand, I felt paralyzed by fear of failure, lack of self confidence and a gnawing feeling in the pit of my stomach that no matter what I did, it wouldn’t make a bit of difference in my life.
Those times were hard for me. I had no self acceptance, no feelings of self worth and I felt helpless.
“There is only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that’s your own self.” Aldous Huxley
What got me over the hump?
What changed my life around and gave me the impetus to make something of my life?
I found the answer in love. Yeah, that’s right love. Loving myself for who I was, loving others for who they were and embracing the idea of God’s unconditional love. Once I had this love then I found the courage to overcome self doubt and battle the three factors stopping me from building a powerful self-image.
1- Lack of confidence – This is really just having no faith in your own God-given abilities. We are all capable of so much more than what we perceive. It isn’t about trying harder but believing more. It’s about living in the moment and seeing things through. If you screw up.. no big deal! We all make mistakes. Confidence comes from building up your self-esteem not trying to overcome it.
When you actively recognize how you respond to certain situations you can level up your awareness skills and see how you are rejecting your self. That’s a big key. If you can stop rejecting yourself you have a better chance of building confidence.
Core beliefs are what must be changed. You need to understand that you are not the image in your mind. You must create new beliefs that resonate with your the person you are inside. Then, start changing the smaller thoughts and emotions you have bit by bit. Once you learn how to do that, then you build up confidence to tackle the larger thoughts and emotions you experience.
“One important key to success is self-confidence. A key to self-confidence is preparation.” Arthur Ashe
Being prepared doesn’t only work for the Boy Scouts but is the core to becoming a confident person. Take stock of yourself and prepare for your journey in life. Take stock of your victories and understand you are unique with gifts and strengths that make you who you are.
Think about what’s important to you and only you (don’t worry about what others think or feel about what you do) and where you want to go in life. Manage your thoughts and then plan for success. Only those who take action succeed with commitment.
2- Lack of knowledge – Most people let a lack of knowledge get the better of them because they think they know more than what they do. The problem is, they pay for it in the long run and have self doubts as to whether they are smart enough to get by.
What can you do?
Experience is the best teacher and what you learn not only helps to make you a better person but it gives you experience to make better decisions. Those decisions give you the confidence to feel good about yourself.used to better yourself.
Knowledge is the way to find solutions. Solutions knock down barriers but knowledge is nothing unless used to further oneself. Once you acquire knowledge, you must re-adjust for change. That’s what separates the learned from the those who continue to make mistakes.
3- Fear – Fear keeps us from reaching our potential. We question ourselves, our abilities, even why we do what we do. Trusting our feelings goes to the heart of who we are. For me, I didn’t trust myself and so I let my mind wander. It’s in those moments when fear takes over and we give in. We give power to our fears.
“When you doubt your power, you give power to your doubt.”
Honore de Balzac
That power sucks us into the valley of self-pity and we drown ourselves in a party of self-doubt. Imagination then takes those fears and intensifies our thoughts but the anxiety can be controlled.
So, how do you do that?
You learn how to acknowledge your fears , confront them, and then take ownership the fear itself. It’s a process that must be done in stages.
Stage one – Know your fears. List them out fears one by one and be honest with yourself. Recognize when fears become start overwhelming you and then take a step back. Most people try to fight and have nothing to fight with.
Stage two – Confront your fears. This doesn’t mean jump right in. Instead, understand the symptoms when they appear and get ready to roll with them. Acknowledge your fears but don’t judge them. Don’t give into your triggers.
Stage three – Take ownership of your fears. What does that mean? It means knowing the outcome before it happens. When you stay on top of your fears, you take back your negative thoughts and false beliefs. You become the alpha dog and own your fears. But beware, this must come in gradual engagement of the situation. The power comes in being able to harness the positives from the fears and seeing it as an opportunity to overcome your negative self image.
Cultivating Self Acceptance
“Because of self-doubt, the fear of failure, or laziness, most people usually bite off way less than they can chew.”
Psychologist Robert Holden, considered “Britain’s foremost expert on happiness” states that “Self-acceptance is an invitation to stop trying to change yourself into the person you wish to be, long enough to find out who you really are.”
Self acceptance is an embrace of every facets of who we are. It is a discipline approach to a positive self image. Those who practice self acceptance don’t expect to be perfect. They accept who they are and don’t give in to negative feelings. Instead, they open their hearts and feed off of the positive vibrations all around them.
Change for change sake doesn’t improve your self image… it just masks who you are. The idea is to bring out the real you and then accept that person, warts and all. When we accept ourselves unconditionally,
Robert Holden goes on to say in his book “Happiness Now!” that “Happiness and self-acceptance go hand in hand. In fact, your level of self-acceptance determines your level of happiness. The more self-acceptance you have, the more happiness you’ll allow yourself to accept, receive and enjoy. In other words, you enjoy as much happiness as you believe you’re worthy of .“
This is what happens when you embrace self acceptance. Your level of happiness increases as well as your self image. If you want to overcome your feelings of self doubt and negative self image, accepting who you are is the final part of the equation.
Want to know learn the secret to overcoming feelings of self-doubt and negative self image with the help of God?
You can find it in my #1 bestselling book on Amazon.com entitled “Summoned To Love – A Spiritual Blueprint For Rediscovering Inner Peace, Unconditional Love, And True Happiness.”