Self-doubt happens to every one of us at one point or another, and it might look different for each individual.
It could feel like a splinter (whether big or small) of uncertainty about who we are and what we have to offer.
Some of us might pull our punches, in fear of making fools of ourselves.
Others may go overboard and put in 150% effort, thinking that maybe the extra 50% will make up for what they lack.
For many, self-doubt could show up as this familiar (and annoying) dialogue that we have with ourselves ?
“I know I can…but…can I really though? I think so…But what if I can’t…?”
Regardless of what self-doubt looks like for you, the common thread is that there is a lack of confidence in ourselves, which impacts the way we show up in the world.
So how do we overcome self-doubt and start moving towards the confidence that we all want?
1. Identify what the doubt is saying about you
At the core of our doubts are the limiting beliefs that we have about ourselves.
You may be familiar with the phrase “I’m not good enough.” We all have some form of this, but with variations depending on what we were taught as kids, our upbringing, experiences, etc.
To identify what this limiting belief is, ask yourself:
What is my flavor of “I’m not good enough”?
I’m not wanted
I don’t matter
I’m not worthy
I’m too different
I’m not considered
I’m not deserving
I’m not talented
Through this awareness, you gain the ability to put yourself back into a position of control by taking it out of the driver’s seat.
2. Change your inner dialogue
Now that you know what the self-doubt is saying, you can actively change it. Start noticing when you tell yourself that you are [insert flavor of not good enough here] and make the choice to say something different and more empowering about yourself.
“I notice I’m telling myself that I don’t matter. Well, I don’t feel like listening to that voice so I’m just going to keep my chin up and continue moving forward.”
Through changing your internal dialogue, you choose what you put energy into, and by putting more energy into the words that empower you, you’ll naturally move in that direction.
3. Be mindful of your social circle
If the conversations that you have with others constantly come from a place of judgment, shame, and comparison, then it makes sense that you will start to have those conversations when you are with yourself. Surround yourself with people who are talking about the world in an empowering manner and you will soon find that you talk about yourself in the same light.
4. Take it 1% at a time
Many of us may have the desire to make a 180 shift from self-doubt to confidence. We think that there’s a supposed to be an “A-HA” moment where everything snaps into place and all self-doubt seems to dissolve into thin air. And if that doesn’t happen, then “clearly this doesn’t work!” However, this is a marathon, not a sprint. In other words, we need consistency.
It’s likely that you’ve had self-doubt for a while now and that it’s intricately weaved its way into various different areas of your life. Be patient with yourself as you discover and untangle those threads. You’ll get there in due time.
5. Give yourself some grace
Beating yourself up is just another way of punishing yourself for “not being good enough,” which only goes back to validating the false and limiting belief. So while you may be tempted to be extremely hard on yourself, notice that it is only adding fuel to the fire of self-doubt.
Instead, acknowledge yourself for the progress made so far. Kindly correct yourself when you make mistakes. Instead of talking about where you messed up, talk about how you’ll improve. By giving yourself grace, you can continue to grow from a place of knowing that you’re fully capable - not from a place of pressure and desperation to prove yourself.
Final Thoughts & A Lesson Learned From The Late Bob Proctor:
Most of us are confident when it comes to tying our shoes. But we weren’t always that way. We had to learn how to do it first.
Most of us are confident as to what 1+1 is, but at one point we weren’t. We had to learn this as well.
In the same way, the way to become more confident in ourselves is to learn more about SELF. Get to know and understand who you are. Discover what your values and beliefs are, what you enjoy and don’t enjoy, what you’re capable of, what your life’s purpose is, what success looks like to you…
To gain knowledge on yourself is to gain confidence in who you are. Through that confidence, any and all doubt that you have about yourself ceases to be relevant.
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