“Just a moment of self-doubt, and you fade away into the darkness of low self-esteem, low self-confidence, and the list goes on…” – Zainab Udaipurwala
The self-doubt kills the happy face we have got. We lose ourselves. And forget who we really are. But no worries, here’s how to overcome self doubt in just 10 steps.
Before we proceed to the ways, know what is self doubt and how it works on us.
What Is Self Doubt?
Self-doubt is a mental habit of questioning your judgement; in layman’s language, it means to doubt one’s ability of making practical life decisions, their motives, thoughts and personality.
E.g., You apply to a firm for the position of a manager, and quickly after that, you have a rush of these thoughts such as:
“What if I am not good enough?”
“What if I am not able to work well under pressure?”
“What if they fire me”?
Past research shows that some level of self-doubt is necessary to help us have self-realization. There needs to be a room for improvement.
However, if anything exceeds the limit, it becomes toxic. We become our enemies and stop ourselves from moving forward. We don’t believe in our dreams, our desires, everything to us about us becomes worthless.
What Are The Different Types of Self-doubt?
1. The Imposter syndrome
It refers to an unreasonable feeling of being a fraud or someone else in disguise. Individuals going through this feel like it’s just a matter of time before we get to know who we really are. This usually happens when we feel like we have achieved everything through luck and not because of our capabilities.
2. The self-fulfilling prophecy
This phenomenon is when we repeatedly speak to ourselves and use statements such as “I will not be able to do it”, “I am a loser”, etc. It gets deep-rooted in our psyche an eventually we give life to those thoughts.
This happens when we are unable to make small choices because of the fear of making the wrong choices. However, it actually destroys our self-esteem and increases self-doubt.
Five signs of self-doubt
1. Reassurance Seeking Behavior
When we’re experiencing self-doubt we are on a constant lookout for reassurance about everything we do because we doubt our capabilities, which induces anxious behavior and to eliminate that we seek reassurance.
2. Struggling To Give Credit To Ourselves
We all have a habit of giving credit to those who deserve it, but very often we forget to give ourselves the credit that is needed because we think we don’t deserve it and whatever happened was a coincidence or out of sheer luck.
3. Low Self-esteem
When we continuously doubt ourselves and our ability to make decisions, we have that inner critic telling us that we are dumb, stupid and can’t be trusted. Even when we know it isn’t true. But these thoughts can have an emotional impact on us leading to a lower self-esteem.
4. Difficulty In Accepting Compliments
We usually feel ashamed or anxious while receiving compliments because we feel we don’t deserve it. Hence, this could be a sign of self-doubt.
5. Always Prefer To Stay Behind The Scenes
We constantly try to hide in the background because we fear our critics. We don’t want anyone to notice us or judge us. The moment we realize somebody has seen me, or we pass by someone we have this insecure feeling about ourselves at the back of our mind.
Three Reasons For Crippling Self-doubt?
1. Comparing Ourselves With Others
It’s quite normal to compare ourselves with people around us as we always feel like the “grass is greener on the other side of the fence”. However, that’s not always the case. We should stop comparing ourselves. Otherwise, we will lose who we are.
If we have experienced some adverse events in the past related to failures and setbacks, we are likely to develop a fear of “failing again” rather than seeing the last event as a learning opportunity. Therefore, we never give ourselves a chance to learn, which pulls us down.
3. Experiencing Change
Changes are likely to occur during the transition stages of the lifespan. Starting from adolescent period to young adulthood, we all go through a huge change. Like if we start a new job and lack experience in that area, we are likely to have lack of confidence leading to self-doubt.
How To Overcome SELF DOUBT?
Follow these ten steps to eliminate self-doubt
1. Spend Time With People Who Believe In You
“Humans are social animals” so choose to spend your time wisely with people who believe in you and encourage you rather than with individuals who discourage you.
2. Stop Seeking External Validation
Stop asking people about what they think or ask them for help in making an important decision in your life because this leads to weakening of faith in yourself. However, it’s okay to take some advice but make sure you decide for yourself towards the end of the day.
3. Trust Yourself
Begin to trust yourself and your ability to make effective decisions and make sure you take the responsibility of whatever happens and stand by your decision.
4. Remind Yourself About Your Prior Successes
Always remember about all the previous successes you have achieved as an excuse to not doubt your worth. Not always we make the same mistakes. And every time we make mistakes, we ought to learn a lesson.
5. Forgive Yourself
Don’t beat yourself up when something goes wrong, instead give yourself a chance to move on and learn from the setbacks.
6. Stop Worrying About What Others Think
Stop worrying about other individuals’ perception of you. You cannot figure out what they are thinking about you, and secondly, you fall into the trap of a vicious never-ending cycle by thinking and assuming what they think about you.
7. You Are Not The Only One
Always know that you are not alone, and there are people experiencing self-doubt. If you think you are the only one, then you may become your obstacle to reach the path of success.
8. Face Your Fears
Never let your fear be an obstacle. Keep pushing yourself to overcome those fears. The more you push yourself, the more you realize your capabilities.
9. Get Out of The Self-destructive Mental Loop
Distract yourself by taking timely breaks in the form of going out for a walk, or diverting your focus on another project which will help in breaking the destructive thought loop.
10. Be realistic
Don’t just compare yourself with people whom you don’t relate to, try to be realistic and compare yourself on fairgrounds by keeping practical expectations from yourself.
At some point in our lives, we all experience a certain amount of self-doubt, which is quite normal and usually these feelings of self-doubt arise when we are not entirely accepted, or loved by the individuals close to us.
Henceforth, by practicing the above tips on how to overcome self doubt, you can easily control and put an end to self-doubt.
Author bio – Zainab Udaipurwala, a psychology graduate and a published poet. She loves helping others to bring a change in their lives. Click here to visit here blog.