3 Painful Truths That Reveal Why You Doubt Yourself

They will change the way you see yourself.

Victoria Kurichenko
Feb 12 · 7 min read
Image credit: 9dream studio on Shutterstock

At one point in life, you might hear your inner voice whispering you:

It’s your self-doubts that clutter your mind trying to hold you back from seizing new opportunities. Some people manage to come down the inner voice, overcome past challenges and move on. In contrast, others cannot get through the burden of pressure and a fear of failure.

However, If you want to succeed in life and become a better version of yourself, there is only one way to go — fight your self-doubts and move on despite anything.

Like many other people, I’ve been living with self-doubts since my childhood. Low self-esteem and a fear of new things could make me fail without even trying. However, I’ve always had a strong desire to make my family happy. It helped me to move on despite numerous self-doubts and fears.

I never share my emotional experience publicly. However, if this article helps you, my dear reader, overcome your self-doubts and make the first step towards a better life — I’ll be genuinely happy!

Here are common reasons that cause self-doubts and what you can do to get along with your inner-self for the sake of your successful future.

“I am not good enough” — Your Inner Impostor Speaking.

You know how much you don’t know, and it makes you sad; it bothers you, and it dwarfs everything else you do know.

You focus on skills, experiences you don’t have rather than on things you are good at. You tend to devalue and criticize yourself for small achievements. Does it sound familiar? That’s your inner impostor in action.

Research shows that 70% of people struggle with impostor syndrome at work, career, and personal growth. They haven’t learned how to carry self-confidence on their shoulders. They are uncertain about each new chapter in life.

Liz Ryan, a former opera singer, and a writer, once put it well:

“One reason so many smart and talented people doubt themselves is that they know the world is vast and their own knowledge is limited. “

In other words, people are afraid of uncertainty, their future, new challenges, power, and responsibility. It scares them; it makes them wonder whether they should and can manage it.

Let me tell you one thing — if you are self-doubting your current state of life, you are growing! You give up your former believes and get ready to create a better version of yourself.

If you do meaningful work, you have to be ready to accept short-term disappointments in honor of long-term success.

My inner voice is always rebelling when I do something out of my personal comfort. Is there a way not to do it? And I’ll answer — no! If you don’t want to be stuck in the past forever.

“I’ll never be as successful as they are“ — Comparison Is Killing.

Competition can be a giant, flashing arrow pointing towards success or a destructive power killing your dreams.

These days, we are all competing against each other on social media. Who’s got the brightest life, the most beautiful pictures, the fanciest lifestyle, etc.

According to science, when people continuously see others’ success, they often compare their achievements to others. As much as 10% of our daily thoughts involve comparison of some kind.

Why do we consciously make ourselves suffer? The answer is, we cannot do otherwise! We are exposed to hundreds of social media posts every day that portray success.

When I started writing a year ago, I did not know what I was doing. However, as every other newbie writer, I expected immediate success, which never came. My inner voice convinced me that I am a slow writer who will never impact others through my works. I’ve gone through a destructive war with my inner-self, which did not lead me anywhere.

A year of self-doubt taught me to accept myself, respect others’ achievements, and always remember about the behind-the-scenes struggles of each work!

As Derek De Rosa, an American investment associate put it well:

“Don’t compare your life to others. There’s no comparison between the sun and the moon. They shine when it’s their time.”

When you compare yourself to others, you only see the cherry on the top. You don’t see the struggles, failures, tears, despair, and the pain of each step towards success.

Recall it the next time you browse your Instagram feed!

The only person on Earth you should be comparing yourself to is you! Focus on your journey, not the destination.

“I won’t make it” — New Challenges and the Fear of Failure.

Everything new and unexplored is scary. It requires courage to step out of the comfort zone and give it a try. It opens up opportunities but takes part of your life energy instead.

People often go through in-depth thinking before making any decision. The bigger the decision is, the longer the uncertainty might be.

Uncertainty is killing. It creates numerous self-doubting talks with your inner-self. You question your competence, your life value, your current journey, and often come up with excuses:

I’ve heard these excuses many times from my inner circle, and here is how I usually reply, quoting Vincent Van Gogh:

“If you hear a voice within you say you cannot paint, then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.”

Outside the comfort zone is where the magic happens.

Whenever I doubt myself, I recall that I have to view my achievements and failures through the lens of decades, not days. Even if personal and career growth look stagnant for a while, my inner critic understands that I’m still quietly building the foundation of my success that is yet to come.

If you feel you don’t have enough power to move on right now, it’s okay. Split your tasks into smaller chunks of work. You’ll see, it will be way more easier to approach work and praise yourself for every milestone achieved.

Small achievements instill confidence and keep your self-doubts silent.

“The greater the artist, the greater the doubt. Perfect confidence is granted to the less talented as a consolation prize.” — Robert Hughes

The more you know, the more you understand you don’t know! This is where self-doubts start capturing your mind and ruining your confidence.

Don’t cope with the problem alone; science claims there is a better way.

Self-doubt Fades Away When You Connect with Others

One of the well-known reasons for Silicon Valley’s success is its startup spirit.

When you are there, you can’t be dormant. The spirit of motivation and enthusiasm sweeps you.

Even if you are uncertain about your ideas and their implementation, the environment will help you believe in yourself and give it a try.

According to the research studies, people’s behavior is quite often predetermined by their friends and peers. In other words, your inner circle can either make or break your idealistic future.

Decide carefully who to accept into your inner circle. It is much easier to make a friendship than to end it. Your connections are meant to be enjoyable, not toxic or destructive.

Surround yourself with people who strive to become better, who share your values, and can help you to believe in yourself.

Self-doubt Fades Away When You Connect With Yourself

Your inner self is the most accurate reflection of yourself that you never show to anyone. It’s you. It’s the real you.

Your inner voice talks to you whenever it wants, and it blames you as much as you allow it. Now the question is: why do you allow it? Is it the case of low self-esteem, past failures, or lack of support? You might not even know what makes you doubt yourself. You have to dig deeper into the past to discover it.

To know your inner self is to understand your motivations, life vision, fears passion. It is not something others told you; you’ll have to discover it by yourself.

If you doubt your every decision, chances are your inner state is not in peace. Don’t deny your anxiety, instead engage in self-talk to understand its roots.

Invite yourself for a date; discuss your outer self needs and the inner self wants; think how you can balance both to feel fewer doubts and live in harmony with yourself.

Final Thoughts

When nothing seems going right, you might hear your inner voice whispering to you, “Should I?“I can’t,”I won’t make it. Whenever you hear your inner critic, remember this: Everyone struggles from self-doubt at some point and thinks they are the only ones who do. However, self-doubts live inside everyone. It just depends on you, whether you let it control your life or put it under your control.

If you want to become a better version of yourself and never regret missed opportunities, there is only one way to go — overcome your inner-doubts, step out of the comfort zone and have the courage to move on.

“Don’t let others tell you what you can’t do. Don’t let the limitations of others limit your vision. If you can remove your self-doubt and believe in yourself, you can achieve what you never thought possible.” ― Roy T. Bennett.


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Victoria Kurichenko

Written by

Marketer turned writer. I make marketing stuff funny and simple. Meanwhile, sharing inspiring personal growth stories. linkedin.com/in/victoria-kurichenko



A community of people who are curious to find out what others have already figured out // Curious is a new personal growth publication by The Startup (https://medium.com/swlh).

Victoria Kurichenko

Written by

Marketer turned writer. I make marketing stuff funny and simple. Meanwhile, sharing inspiring personal growth stories. linkedin.com/in/victoria-kurichenko



A community of people who are curious to find out what others have already figured out // Curious is a new personal growth publication by The Startup (https://medium.com/swlh).

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