Do you struggle with self-doubt? I know I do at times. Perhaps you often wonder if you’ve made the right decision or have only a faint hope that your next job interview, project, or even date will turn out well. Maybe you’ve experienced that feeling where you did or said something and it felt right at the time, just to second guess the heck out of yourself afterwards. It sucks. Well, not to add insult to injury but the most unfortunate thing about self-doubt is that your fears often actually become self-fulfilling prophecies. That’s why it’s so important to turn around self-doubt. In this post, I want to show you 5 Ways to Turn Around Self-Doubt.

You can have all the skill and experience in the world, but if you doubt yourself and your abilities, you will fail to tap into that skill and experience for your own benefit. Chances are you will also get frustrated because you know you can achieve more, but don’t, because of self-doubt and a lack of trust in what you have to offer.

So it’s important to understand that your level of success and achievement (of any result) is not dependent only on skill and ability. What you believe about yourself and what feelings those beliefs generate within your mind, are perhaps more important.

And then there is the other side of confidence and results.

When you take action to become more confident in yourself, more things in your life automatically turn out better as well. With more self-confidence, your decision-making skills are strengthened, others are drawn to you in social situations, you produce higher quality work, and you’re more able to create the life you desire.

So, self-doubt can become a self-fulfilling prophecy, but so can acting confidently.

Therefore instead of spending (wasting) all your time on trying to turn around self-doubt by focusing on it, perhaps consider taking action to strengthen your confidence as a strategy to overcome self-doubt. So you’re still focusing on turning around self-doubt, you’re just using building confidence as a way to do it. It’s a small but important tweak.

Here are are a few strategies to silence the inner critic inside of you and build your confidence:

Stop and think

Reflect on why you’re experiencing feelings of doubt. Think about the events that caused you to feel insecure. Being faced with a challenge that you don’t feel you’re capable of successfully completing is a major cause for self-doubt.

Do you have a habit of putting yourself down? You may be subconsciously repeating negative thoughts that prevent you from moving forward. Such thoughts as “I can’t do this” and “I’m not good enough” become reasons to opt out of new experiences that could bring you many benefits.

The next time you have a self-doubting thought, take a few moments to think about why you believe this is true. If insecurities are getting the better of you because of past failures, you must resolve to live in the moment. Today is a new day! This is a completely new moment. So catch the negative thoughts first and then challenge them one by one calling their bluff. Do not allow your inner-chatter to run away with your thoughts and create self-doubt.

Replace your negative self-talk with positive thoughts about how you can do it and you are good enough, irrespective of the past. Make the switch each and every time you have a self-doubting thought, even if you have to do it 50 times per day initially. Soon you’ll automatically be singing your praises instead of your doubts.

Practice self-understanding

Often, when you feel insecure about your abilities, you start berating yourself. Beating yourself up over something you feel you did wrong only leads to a cycle of frustration and procrastination. Realise that making mistakes doesn’t make you a bad or incompetent person — it simply makes you human.

Allow yourself to accept that while you’re not perfect, you’re certainly someone who always strives to do the very best job you can. Embrace the idea that every challenge in life is an opportunity for you to learn something new and grow as a person.

Make a list.

Take a blank sheet of paper and make two columns. On the left side, write down all of those doubtful thoughts you’re having about yourself right now. On the right side, list all of the positive facts that dispute your doubts.

For example, suppose you’ve been assigned a new task at work that you’ve never done before, and you immediately become negative because you feel your skills aren’t adequate. On the left side of the list write “I can’t do this because I don’t have the skills.” On the right side of the page write “I was given this task because I’m a quick learner who always gets the job done.”

You’ll find that you have a lot more positive facts listed than doubts. If your positive list is short, keep searching through your talents and good qualities (yes — they are there) until your positive list outweighs your negative one. Then own that list!

Write a letter.

This one might not suit everyone but if it does, go for it. Write a letter to yourself that talks about your positive traits and how you’ve overcome obstacles in the past. If you can recall a specific time when you triumphed over self-doubt and accomplished something that makes you feel proud, tell this to yourself in the form of a story.

The act of writing the letter will release all of those pent up insecurities that are spinning around inside of your mind. By the end of the letter, you should be feeling a lot better. Keep the letter in a brightly coloured folder, so you can refer back to it when needed.

Make an appreciation folder.

Keep track of those kind words of appreciation you receive from others. When you’re experiencing self-doubt, it’s easy to forget about all of those wonderful comments you’ve received for doing things that made other people’s lives better in some way. Collect all of the emails, notes and cards that say kind and loving things about you.

When you feel the voice of your inner critic welling up inside of you, simply take out your appreciation folder and read those wonderful thoughts. Obviously, it doesn’t mean you need to make an actual folder; just use your smart device or phone and save your notes somewhere. I love Evernote as it gives me the ability to sync to various devices.

Listen, Self-doubt can rob you of the opportunity to reach new heights of success in life.

And while it’s very common to doubt yourself once in a while, you want to be able to easily let go of your inner critic when it pops up. Practising the steps above will enable you to push through your self-doubt, boost your confidence, and clear the way for positive new experiences.

Remember that we are creatures of habit, and unless we interrupt our self-limiting patterns of thinking, self-talk, and action, we will simply continue getting the results we have right now. Make it your priority to turn around self-doubt by building actions of confidence into your life every day. Because, before long those new actions will also become a habit.

As always, please leave your questions and comments below and I would love to read and personally respond to them.

Talk soon,

Gideon H.