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Over-Coming Self Doubt

Self-doubt is a natural emotional experience that most people go through at some point in their lives. It can be a significant obstacle that prevents individuals from achieving their goals, following their dreams, and living their lives to the fullest. However, it is possible to overcome self-doubt and build confidence in oneself. In this blog, we will explore the causes of self-doubt and some strategies for overcoming it.

What is self-doubt?

Self-doubt is a feeling of uncertainty or lack of confidence in oneself and one’s abilities. It can manifest in various ways, such as doubting one’s decisions, abilities, or worth. Self-doubt can be triggered by external factors such as criticism from others, failure, or rejection, or internal factors such as negative self-talk and past experiences.

Causes of self-doubt

Self-doubt can arise from various causes, including:

Past experiences
Negative experiences from the past can leave a lasting impact on an individual’s self-esteem, leading to self-doubt. For instance, if someone faces constant criticism and judgment from their peers or superiors, they may develop self-doubt and insecurity.

Fear of failure
Fear of failure is a common cause of self-doubt. Many people doubt themselves because they are afraid of failing, which can lead to them not trying at all or giving up easily.

Comparison with others
Comparing oneself with others can also lead to self-doubt. When someone constantly compares themselves with others, they may feel inadequate, leading to self-doubt.

Lack of confidence
A lack of confidence in oneself and one’s abilities can also lead to self-doubt. When someone does not believe in themselves, they may doubt their ability to succeed or achieve their goals.

Defeating self-doubt

Now that we understand where self-doubt comes from, it’s important to identify our triggers from above and then find a way to overcome these causes to better ourselves and put our best self forward. Let’s look at a few strategies that have proven to be successful in overcoming self-doubt.

Recognize and acknowledge you have it.
One of the first steps in overcoming self-doubt is to recognize and acknowledge it. We need to accept that we have self-doubt and that it is a normal feeling everyone experiences. When we recognize our self-doubt, we can start to identify the triggers and the negative self-talk that reinforces it. We need to challenge these negative thoughts and replace them with positive ones. One way to challenge negative self-talk is to use evidence to counter it. For example, if we doubt our abilities to complete a task, we can remind ourselves of past successes and accomplishments.

Take action against it.
Another strategy for overcoming self-doubt is to take action. When we act on an issue, we build momentum and confidence. Even small actions can make a big difference. If we doubt our ability to write an article, we can start by writing a paragraph or two. By acting, we start to see progress, and our self-doubt begins to fade away. Be sure when you are taking action that you set realistic expectations and goals because when we set unrealistic expectations, we are setting ourselves up for failure.

Promote yourself with self-care.
Self-care is also an essential strategy for overcoming self-doubt. When we prioritize our physical and emotional well-being, we build resilience and inner strength. Self-care can take many forms, such as exercise, meditation, spending time with loved ones, or engaging in a hobby. When we care for ourselves, we are better equipped to handle challenges and setbacks that can trigger self-doubt.

Don’t be afraid to seek support from others.
It’s important to surround ourselves with positive and supportive people who believe in us and our abilities. These people can provide encouragement, validation, and feedback to help us build self-confidence and overcome self-doubt. in addition, seeking guidance from a professional, such as a therapist or coach, can also be helpful. These professionals can provide tools and techniques to overcome self-doubt and build resilience.

A purpose to excel

We’ve talked about the causes of self-doubt, and we addressed ways to defeat it. However, there is more to the story: discovering the purpose behind conquering this negative thought pattern and forming a more positive outlook on ourselves. We have all heard stories about how having a purpose in your job is a key building block to being a successful leader, manager, or any other role we partake in. It’s why we do what we do. Have you ever stopped to think about how having this same type of purpose for our own self-care is an essential building block for our personal lives as well?

Having a purpose in life can help guide tough decisions, influence behavior, shape goals, and create understanding. Having a clearly defined and motivating purpose of why you want to erase self-doubt from your emotions not only clears the path for our current objectives and tasks but also opens the doors for so many more opportunities for us to explore. Now it’s true that some people are hesitant to pursue a self-purpose because they worry that it makes them too self-serving. However, to really contribute to the world and help those around us, we must positively identify our purpose and recognize how great we really are, what gifts and talents we bring to the show, and how much better we can serve others if we first take care of our minds. I encourage you to think about a meaningful reason why you would be better without self-doubt and then set up a plan on how to defeat it.

It’s important to remember that overcoming self-doubt is a journey, not a destination. It takes time, effort, and persistence to build self-confidence and overcome self-doubt. We need to be patient with ourselves and celebrate our progress, no matter how small it may seem. We can overcome self-doubt by identifying our triggers and using the strategies listed above. The first step is admitting there’s an issue, and then we can realize our purpose and begin to build self-confidence, resilience, and inner strength to achieve our goals and reach our full potential. Now go out there and be the superstar you were meant to be!

Author – Craig Andrews, InteraWorks Facilitator


About InteraWorks

InteraWorks is a global learning company on a mission to elevate the human experience at work. Specializing in professional development and performance enablement, we offer top-rated learning programs based on four defined conditions that must exist for individuals, teams including Effective Edge, Best Year Yet, and the Essentials series. Our integrated learning framework and online tools generate immediate and sustainable breakthroughs in performance. Through decades of working at all levels in enterprise companies across many industries, we’ve built a reputation for helping people and organizations harness their focus, mindset, talent and energy to produce results that matter most. 


We’ve defined four conditions that must exist for an individual, team or organization to be effective within the arena of performance and development; Accountability, Focus, Alignment, and Integrity. We’ll continue to explore these and more in our blog and look forward to your engagement and interaction with us. Stay tuned as we engage the edges.