How To Conquer Self Doubt

by Amanda Linehan on February 17, 2009

in Best Of

Creative Commons License photo credit: Shahram Sharif

“Doubt is a pain too lonely to know that faith is his twin brother.”  – Kahlil Gibran

Losing faith in yourself is something that happens from time to time.  Even the most confident individuals have to wade through moments of doubt.  You won’t ever get rid of it altogether, but you can learn to jump over the hurdle of self doubt and have faith in yourself once again.

Draw On Your Past Experiences

Do you remember a time when you thought that you couldn’t do something?  But, in the end, you actually did it?  Maybe you were experiencing challenging, difficult emotions that you weren’t sure you could get past, but you did.  Or, maybe there was a project at work you needed to complete that you were afraid would be a failure, but it actually went over well with your superiors.

Drawing upon these past successful experiences will help you to remember that in previous times of doubt you came through fine.  You have a track record of success, so why wouldn’t you be successful now?  Also, list all of the things that you are good at and that you like about yourself.  These will help you gather your courage and give you the knowledge that, in fact, you are a very capable person.  (If this list is not very long, that should tell you something.  Begin to find things you like about yourself!)

Investigate the reason why you doubt yourself.  Is this a pattern?  Is this a typical part of your relationship with your self?  Where does this doubt come from?  Being able to find the root of your doubt can go a long way towards getting over it.  Looking into your past can help you with the present.

Seek Out Experiences Where You Can “Test” Yourself

Believe that when you are faced with what seems like a giant obstacle that you can handle whatever has been placed in your path.  Have faith in the Universe that it has given you the resources to be able to deal with whatever comes your way.  The Universe is not setting you up for failure – it wants you to succeed.

If you doubt your abilities, put them to the test so you can build up your self worth.  During this process accept both success and failure as potential outcomes.  If you succeed than you can build self trust in your own abilities, and if you fail then you can allow it to teach you something.  Going towards your fear always pushes you in the right direction.  Your fear shows you where you need to go next.

Find The Thing That Is Unshakable

Overcoming self doubt is an internal change that relies on external experiences.  Have an internal “anchor” that always allows you to return to your own sense of self worth.  Hold a belief that is based on past experiences (this will make it stronger as it has actually already happened!), something that is unshakable to you, and return to that belief the next time you begin to doubt yourself.  With your anchor firmly in place you will always be connected to your self and external events will have a minimal effect on you.

How do you get through periods of doubt?  Feel free to share your answers in the comments section!

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