How to Overcome the Very Human Response of Self-Doubt?
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:
- Black and White thinking with inflexibility
- Overgeneralizing with always and never thoughts
- Negative thinking
- Jumping to conclusions
- Shaming thoughts of “should have’s” and “have to’s”
- 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