We all have goals that we really want to achieve. However, many of us never try or give up too soon because of self-doubt. Self-doubt is thinking you can’t do or achieve something that you eagerly desire.
Everyone has self-doubt. Even the most successful people in the world have it. They, like everybody else, have problems. And anyone facing problems will have an element of self-doubt. I also have self-doubt at times. So far, I’ve delivered around 250 hypnotherapy sessions, but I still sometimes experience the feeling of self-doubt when I see a new client. It’s a human emotion. The only people I can think of that don’t experience self-doubt are those with very high egos, who believe they know it all.
If you are not achieving your goals and feeling stuck, self-doubt might be the reason. However, if you use it constructively, it can help you move forward. What is the opposite of self-doubt? It is self-confidence. I will now show you 12 great ways to help you overcome your self-doubt and gain greater confidence instead.
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1. Believe That You Can Figure It Out
After interviewing many high achievers, Brendon Burchard realized that they had one thing in common. They believed that they could figure out a solution to every problem. With enough time, energy, and information, they could always figure things out.
Think about times when you figured out things you weren’t prepared for. Or solved problems you thought you couldn’t solve. When you remember the times, you figured things out in the past, your level of self-confidence will improve. If you found a way then, you can find a way now. This will help you reduce or even overcome self-doubt.
2. Accept Your Self-Doubt
There can be some truth in your self-doubt. There is always a possibility of failing. Accept that. Then take action anyway! Do it purely for the lesson or experience, no matter what happens. Don’t push that feeling of self-doubt away. Instead, accept it and do it anyway. Feel that self-doubt feeling, and then just let it go.
3. Dump Then Destroy
The conscious mind understands verbal language and self-talk. However, the subconscious mind responds to feelings and emotions. The Dump then Destroy process is a great exercise to satisfy both the conscious and subconscious mind.
How do you do it? First, open a new Word document or grab a journal. Write down all your self-doubt thoughts on a particular situation. Write whatever is bothering you and giving you a feeling of self-doubt. Let your mind go wild and aim for around 750 words.
Once you’ve done that, destroy it! If you wrote them in a Word document, move it to the trash and delete it permanently. If you used a journal or a piece of paper, rip it out, burn it, or enjoy putting it in the bin!
This will give you a cathartic effect. This is a feeling of releasing and letting go of self-doubt. You want that feeling to pour out of yourself so that you no longer feel stuck. Try it and you’ll see that it is a simple and satisfying exercise that will significantly help you to overcome self-doubt.
4. Have Clarity and a Plan
Get clear on what you want. If you don’t have a plan, if you have done little research, or you’re not sure what you need to do, you will have self-doubt. It’s like trying to do a presentation without being prepared. Preparation is very important! So get clear on your goal. Work out the steps and create a plan. This will remove doubts and boost your confidence.
Take some time to do this. Identify the goals, steps, and formulate a plan. This might involve buying a course to learn the steps or finding a mentor to help you. A clear plan or roadmap will massively increase your self-confidence.
5. Filter Out Anything that Makes Self-Doubt Worse
Identify the elements that make your self-doubt worse? Are there people that question what you do, criticize you or put doubt in your mind? Perhaps it’s someone that constantly predicts the bad things that could happen, but never offers a solution.
Remember that their advice is often based on fear. Maybe there is a positive intention behind their advice. For example, not wanting you to get hurt. Still, their advice is based on their own limitations and fear. If possible, let go of those people or spend less time with them. That’s not always easy, but if you can, and you want to overcome self-doubt, that’s definitely a good thing to do.
What about social media? Do you get self-doubting feelings when you spend time on social media? Maybe you’re seeing super successful people that you feel you can never live up to? Perhaps limiting your time on social media could be helpful as well.
6. Compare Yourself to Who You Want to Be
So many people with self-doubt compare themselves to other people. They look at what other people have or do. The problem is, you don’t know exactly what someone else is thinking or feeling. You don’t know how happy or fulfilled they really are.
Instead of comparing yourself to others, compare yourself to who you want to be. Also compare yourself today with who you were yesterday, or a month ago, or a few years ago. Notice the progress you’re making. It’s much more important to focus on progress and enjoy the journey. And everyone’s journey is different. The things you may need to achieve success could be very different for someone else. The fulfillment and satisfaction you get from that could be very different to another person.
7. Visualize Yourself Succeeding
Are you thinking and imagining how things could go wrong? Maybe you’re imagining yourself messing things up. Instead of that, start visualizing what will happen when you succeed. If you can, spend more time visualizing and focusing on what you want to happen rather than ruminating about what you don’t want. That will make a huge difference. Instead of thinking self-doubtful thoughts, start visualizing how you want things to go.
8. Change Your Physical State
This can be a fantastic way to get some instant relief. Go for a walk or a run; do a workout or some jumping jacks. Get your body moving! That helps release stress. It also puts self-doubt back into its normal place, making it easier to overcome it.
9. Act Now
Hesitation plants seeds of doubt. If you keep hesitating, those seeds of doubt get bigger and more of an issue. So act now if you can. If not, then imagine what your best self would do. Then take action as soon as you can and make corrections as you go along.
Instead of Ready, Aim, Fire. try Ready, Fire, Aim instead. Take action and adjust as you go along. Try it, especially if you’re a perfectionist!
10. Change the Meaning of Past Events
Our brain automatically looks at the past when facing a new experience or a problem. We live today based on what happened in the past. A failure or a difficulty that we experienced earlier will create self-doubt feelings and thoughts in the present. We obviously can’t change the past, but we can change the meaning of past events. Start thinking about them simply as events. Focus on the things you learned from the past that can be useful right now. This could simply be something like, I am never going to do that again.
Also ask yourself, how can I be grateful for this experience and for what I’ve learned from it. This will help you create a different perception and change the meaning of past events.
11. Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
Your goals, dreams, and the best version of yourself are on the other side of your comfort zone. So what can you do today that is new, uncomfortable, or even scary? If you do it, your self-confidence will improve. Those self-doubt thoughts and feelings will start fading away and you will overcome them.
12. Have a Weekly Evaluation Ritual
We want to change our way of thinking from judging to learning. When you experience self-doubt, your self-talk is often along the lines of:
- Why did I do this?
- Why didn’t I do that?
The weekly evaluation ritual helps you change those judging thoughts to learning thoughts. Ask yourself questions like:
- What did I learn?
- What went well?
- Where could I improve?
- What did I do that made me feel good?
- What did I do that made me feel a little down?
- What can I do better next time?
If you ask yourself these questions and do it as a weekly ritual, you’ll change your self-talk from judging and criticizing to learning and evaluating. When you do that, the feelings of disappointment and self-doubt will fade away.
So, these are my 12 ways to help you overcome self-doubt. I hope you found them useful. As always, put them into practice! Try them out on yourself. See which work best for you. And share your experience by leaving a comment below. I’d love to hear how you’re getting on and what helped you overcome your self-doubt the most.
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