It is important to remember; everyone experiences feelings of self-doubt.  The successful and most confident ‘looking’ people are indecisive and have moments of regret just like you.  Self-doubt is a very human response to life’s challenges, and there are ways to overcome the insecurities that hold you back.

The first step in overcoming self-doubt and insecurity is to be aware of your thoughts and self-talk.  In this awareness, work to reframe any negative thoughts and beliefs in a positive way.  Challenge beliefs by realizing what thoughts are based in fact and which are false beliefs or ‘stinking thinking’.  With persistence and practice, the self-doubt will slip away, and you will feel more confident.

“Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt”- William Shakespeare

What is stinking thinking? Common themes of stinking thinking are:

  1. Black and White thinking with inflexibility
  2. Overgeneralizing with always and never thoughts
  3. Negative thinking
  4. Jumping to conclusions
  5. Shaming thoughts of “should have’s” and “have to’s”
  6. Labeling and name calling

Some common thinking errors that lead to self-doubt are selective attention, memory, and interpretation.  When a person only notices and gives attention to the negative thoughts and feedback, when only bad times are remembered, and all experiences are interpreted in a negative way, self-doubt and insecurities are fed.

When there is awareness of thinking errors that lead to self-doubt, use these reframing tips to counteract the errors.

  • Realize that thinking errors are common to everyone. You are not alone with your feelings of self-doubt and lack of confidence.
  • Resist the urge to compare yourself to others and remember that everyone has their own unique journey.
  • Identify both short- and long-term goals and commit them to paper. Create achievable milestones along the way.
  • Give yourself credit for your successes along the journey.
  • Choose your support group wisely by surrounding yourself with those that hold you up and challenge you to be the best possible version on yourself.
  • Resist the urge to make things have negative meanings.
  • Separate your identity from your achievements, accomplishments, and alternatively, failures.
  • Be kind to yourself and give yourself permission to move on from past mistakes.
  • Tune in to your intuition, it is most often your best and accurate compass.
  • Don’t allow yourself the option to go down a rabbit hole of false core beliefs and false thinking.
  • Embrace the growth and power within change.

Research shows that self-confidence increases with self-awareness and life experience.

“You are as young as your self-confidence, as old as your fears; as young as your hope, as old as your despair.”- Sam Ullman

With mindfulness, awareness, and experience self-confidence comes when you realize you have what it takes to navigate and survive the many experiences and challenges of life.

Photo by Julian Santa Ana on Unsplash