5 ways to overcome self-doubt

Negative thoughts can easily overcome us when faced with a new situation or something that is challenging for us. “I don’t know if I can do this” “what if I fail?” “I’m not sure I can manage it.” Whether you are having to give a presentation, are starting a new job, going back to school or starting a new business, these negative thoughts are a normal response to a new situation.

Self-doubt can consume us when we face setbacks on the way to achieving our goals. The important thing to remember is not to allow it to paralyze you so you don’t even start the process of moving forward in what you are trying to pursue. The anxiety it generates can negatively impact your performance as well.

So what do you do when plagued by a lack of confidence and self-doubt?

  1. Remember what you have accomplished before and how you have overcome many things. This is one way to talk yourself down from a place of anxiety and negative thinking. Reminding yourself that you have done it before and you can do it again is very self-affirming.

  2. This is your journey, not your neighbors, best friends or another colleagues. It is easy to see others who are successful in their field and compare ourselves to them. When you compare yourself to others, you will never win. It will only lead you to more feelings of self-doubt. You have to keep in mind that when you see a successful person you are not seeing all the hard work, sacrifice and determination it took them to get there. Focus on you and your journey. Your definition of success will be different from theirs.

  3. It is easy to get boggled down in all that needs to be done for this new venture. The key is to stop, take a deep breath and keep a list of what needs to be done on certain dates. Breaking it down to weekly and daily goals can make it feel more reasonable and ease some of your anxiety. The more organized you can be the more it will help keep you on the right track.

  4. Ask others to share what they see in you, your strengths and accomplishments. This can feel somewhat uncomfortable if you aren’t used to asking for positive feedback but it will surprise you and help you build your confidence that yes, you can do this!

  5. Be aware of your triggers, were you recently criticized by a boss or client? Are you still holding onto anxiety from that? Did you have a recent setback when you applied for school? Keep affirmations handy to help get you through your day. “I will make it through,” “I am smart and have prepared myself for this challenge’ and “I will find a way to success.” Try to write some from a positive perspective and don’t include any words like “don’t” or “I’ll try.” By using affirmations like “I will” and “I am” you are sending a strong message out to the universe.

Many times its our fear of failure holding us back. Keeping a positive frame of mind by affirming that you “will succeed” can help promote more positive feelings inside you and lead to more positive behaviors. Remember we all have stumbling blocks, just get up and keep going no matter how difficult it seems.

If you are someone you know is struggling with self-doubt, hope is available. I can provide a free consultation to help you identify your concerns and what may be holding you back from success. Call today 919-618-6526 or email me at


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