One of the hardest things that some people ever do is transform themselves from a person full of self-doubt to a self-assured person that believes in themselves. Overcoming self-doubt and finding a positive outlook on life is possible.
No matter where you are in life right now, no matter how many mistakes you’ve made, opportunities you’ve passed up, or what’s happened to you in life, you can overcome self-doubt and find a positive outlook.
This is true even if you had a poor upbringing and never believed in yourself before. It’s within your power, and it will change your life completely. I know because I was once a self-doubter.
What Is Self-Doubt?
The dictionary defines self-doubt as, “the lack of confidence in oneself and one’s abilities.” This is a very good definition, but honestly it doesn’t come close to touching on the problems caused by self-doubt and not believing in yourself.
Think about these questions:
- What are the dangers of self-doubt?
- How does self-doubt affect your life?
- Where does self-doubt come from?
- And most importantly, how do you overcome it?
The Dangers of Self-Doubt and How It Affects Your Life
If you suffer from self-doubt, it’s important to understand the type of damage you’re doing to yourself if you continue to hang on to it. It has affected your past, is affecting your present and can devastate your future if you don’t deal with it now.
Self-Doubt Damages Motivation – When you don’t trust yourself to do something, fear can get in the way. This can turn into a severe lack of motivation and will affect your entire life.
Self-Doubt Causes Procrastination – Setting yourself up for failure is when you don’t think you know how to do things “the right way” and end up thinking you’re a perfectionist. Truth is you are procrastinating.
Self-Doubt Leads to Regret – Missed opportunities lead to regret. And regret, when left unresolved, can lead to chronic stress and anxiety. Which will continue to build and make you very miserable.
Self-Doubt Causes Defeatism – If you allow self-doubt to continue, you are essentially accepting failure.
Self-Doubt Stunts Self-Improvement – When you have no faith in yourself, it’s hard to even think about self-improvement. You gain a victim mentality and believe you cannot achieve anything even if you tried.
Self-Doubt Stifles Inspiration – When you don’t believe in yourself, it’s hard to get inspired to do or to create anything new. Ending the self-doubt will bring out the creativity you already have with in yourself.
Self-doubt can be dangerous and these are all good reasons to work toward overcoming self-doubt and finding a positive outlook on life.
Overcoming Self-Doubt By Identifying The Source
Knowing how you developed self-doubt can sometimes help you find a positive outlook. And you can build your self-esteem by getting to the source of the problem.
No matter the source of your self-doubt, you will be able to overcome it. It doesn’t matter if it’s something that developed over time or something you learned as a child.
- Limiting Beliefs Learned in Childhood
Many people learn to put off their dreams and limit their ideas due to well-meaning parents. This happens a lot in communities where people are often born very poor.
For example, they might discourage their child from becoming a artist by telling them no one makes money being an artist, or they might discourage their child from becoming anything that is above what they’re used to due to the fear that their child really can’t do it.
Statistically most people do not break out of the class they were born to. Fortunately, some people do, and the reason they do is they were able to see and envision the possibilities and then take the action to see it through.
Other sources of self-doubt are:
- Past Experiences from Bad Relationships
- Bad Work Environments and Experiences
- Lack of Life Experiences
- Your Zip Code
- Undiagnosed Anxiety
- Established Patterns
Strategies for Overcoming Self-Doubt
Keep in mind that even the most successful people have to sometimes overcome self-doubt at times. Feeling self-doubt is not the problem. Allowing self-doubt to control you, make your decisions for you, and rule your life is the problem.
Things you can do to overcome self-doubt:
- Keep a Journal
- Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
- Practice Gratitude Daily
- Set Small Goals
- Take a Look at Your Environment and Surround Yourself with Positive People
- Understand That Obstacles Do Not Mean Failure / Learn To Look at Obstacles as a Stepping Stone
- Learn From Your Mistakes and Failures
My Journey To Overcoming Self-Doubt and Finding The Positive
There was a point in my life when I felt like overcoming self-doubt was taboo. I felt like the world was against me no matter what I did or thought I tried to do.
I say tried to do because I would often start something but never finish. Like high school, I never graduated. I tried a couple times but I failed every time, due to self-doubt.
I eventually went back and got my G.E.D. But even that took me time to complete.
My self-doubt originated from my childhood and progressed into my adulthood. I never really had anyone tell me “You can do it!” Instead I would talk about dreams of mine and I would a. get ignored or b. just get stared at like I was crazy.
There were a lot of times that the other person attempted to sway me into something I wanted nothing to do with. This would just end up in me giving up completely. I felt so doomed.
I have always loved writing. Even as a young child. I remember a time I kept a journal. It was a journal that I wrote my prayers in. You know my way of talking to Jesus.
One day that journal was found by a man who hurt me sexually. I felt like it was used against me in so many ways I can’t even begin to explain. Needless to say it destroyed me.
I quit journaling and haven’t journaled since. That was 27 years ago. In fact I was in the store the other day looking at Journals and seen a few I really liked but thought to myself:
I can’t Journal. who am I to keep a Journal?
Crazy, right? Here I am a Blogger who pretty much Journals online for the entire world to read. Yet I have self-doubt about a personal Journal because of something that happened when I was a kid?
Unfortunately, all it takes is one incident and we punish ourselves by missing and passing up opportunities. All because we don’t believe we can.
Eventually I was able to overcome self-doubt by taking small steps like the ones listed above. I began to set small, reachable, goals.
I surrounded myself with positive people and stayed away from the negativity. And I took actions that I would never have taken before. Like applying for a better paying job.
Taking risks have become the new norm for me. Some pay off well and others are sometimes a flop. But hey we can’t win them all.
However, I learned to practice Gratitude and learn from my failures. Over time I overcame self-doubt and achieved things I never thought possible.
Just like I mentioned earlier it is very important that you understand even the most successful people experience self-doubt. Once you begin to see a difference remember that it can sneak back in at any given time.
Overcoming self-doubt is an ongoing process that we all deal with. One tool that works really well is reading your Bible daily.
There are stories after stories in the Bible of people who dealt with self-doubt and overcame it. God gave us the Bible to use not to sit pretty on our coffee tables as a nick knack.
Share Some Humbleness!