Self Doubt

Self Doubt is a lack of confidence or faith in yourself. Negative self talk reinforces the self criticism.

When you have self limiting beliefs, you hesitate to take risks for fear of failure. Then you get stuck. Inaction leads to frustration. Frustration leads to anger. Anger prevents you from achieving your potential.

Use the “Six Tops Tips for Overcoming Self Doubt” below, set goals for yourself and follow them. Within the first three months, if you continue your efforts and do not stop, you will notice a change in the way you feel about yourself. 

You will feel positive because you have taken action. This is a guarantee. For ways to build a positive attitude, check out mind exercises.

 




Everyone has insecurities from time to time. It’s part of human nature. I’ve had a lot of doubts over the years. My friends have too. Some people have hesitations and insecurities and others hardly any at all.

Some people have hardly any insecurities. We are all different and each of us has strengths and challenges. But some people also have overconfidence. That's not good because they may seem arrogant. A balance between lack of confidence and arrogance gives the most inner peace and acceptance by others. 

 

Six Main Causes of Self Doubt:

  1. A lack of self acceptance.
  2. An inner voice or critic that encourages negative self talk.
  3. Low self esteem.
  4. A negative attitude about self.
  5. Self limiting beliefs.
  6. Excessive criticism during childhood.

Fifteen Signs of Self Doubt:

  1. Anger. 
  2. Fear.
  3. Anxiety.
  4. Perfectionism.
  5. Feeling misunderstood by others.
  6. Second guessing yourself.
  7. Dominating conversations.
  8. Excuse making.
  9. Self promotion.
  10. Lack of achievement.
  11. Defensiveness.
  12. Frustration.
  13. Poor listening skills.
  14. Bragging, boasting and name dropping in social situations.
  15. Discomfort in social situations.

Six Tops Tips for Overcoming Self Doubt

1. Be aware of your self-talk

Understand your what you are saying to yourself. When you think about something, you are talking to yourself. Self-talk is the vehicle we use for making our perceptions part of our reality.

Many of our thoughts contain emotions. They can be positive or negative. If you want a list of emotions, check out, Improving Emotional Intelligence.

Negative self-talk is a huge obstacle to inner growth and success. Negative self talk reinforces self doubt. When your inner critic or gremlin continuously gives you negative messages, it’s impossible to gain confidence and success.

When you reframe the script you’ve written – the one that goes around and around in your head, you’ll be on the road to high self esteem. 

Switching to positive self talk takes some work and practice because our egos don’t like change. When you become aware of a negative thought, stop it. Then reframe it to a more positive reflection. After some practice, you’ll become a master at reframing.


For example, let’s say you gave a presentation that wasn’t up to your expectations (after all, you might be a perfectionist). Instead of saying, “I did a lousy job and no one will respect me now,” say, “It wasn’t my best. But I’m going to change this section and review it more beforehand next time.”

Since we are the ones who write the self doubt script in the first place, we are the ones who can edit it.

Then forget about the presentation for awhile. By the time you give your next talk, you’ll feel refreshed and more prepared.

2. Start a journal.

Take stock and record all the messages you are repeating in your head over and over again. Now exaggerate them. An example could be, ‘I’m the most disorganized, messy person I know. My life is a disaster.’

Next to this statement you could write, well I might be disorganized now. But I have tidied my office and bought dividers for my office shelves.

I am becoming more organized and last week I actually set and am taking actions on three goals.

Do a reality check on paper. Write down all of the things over the course of one day – simple and complex – that you accomplished without a hitch. These can be things like “ran productive staff meeting” or “had good conversation with Peter over coffee.”

Then, write down the things that didn’t go so well. You will probably see that the list of things that went well outweighs the list of things that didn’t. With this exercise, you’ll view your self doubt in a different light.

Continue to record all your negative thoughts, exaggerate them and then reframe your negative thoughts into different perspectives. This will help you monitor your thoughts and gain different perspectives (see next point) on the events in your life. Journals work wonders to heal our damaged souls!

3. Create a Perspective wheel to see your inner messages from different viewpoints.

Here’s how. Draw a circle. Divide the circle into four sections. Write an inner critic statement in one quadrant. This is your gremlin perspective – the message you are used to giving yourself. In another quadrant, write another way of looking at this message.

Let’s say you wrote, I have no talent at anything in one quadrant. In another you could write, “Julie complimented me on that document I created last week. So, I must have some talent.” In another you could write, ‘I love working with my hands. I noticed a pottery course at the community center and I’m going to take it.

With a little creative thinking, after you’ve completed the fourth quadrant, choose which perspective you will choose. Then replace your negative comment with the new perspective.


3. Create a Perspective wheel to see your inner messages from different viewpoints.

Here’s how. Draw a circle. Divide the circle into four sections. Write an inner critic statement in one quadrant. This is your gremlin perspective – the message you are used to giving yourself. In another quadrant, write another way of looking at this message.

Let’s say you wrote, I have no talent at anything in one quadrant. In another you could write, “Julie complimented me on that document I created last week. So, I must have some talent.” In another you could write, ‘I love working with my hands. I noticed a pottery course at the community center and I’m going to take it.

With a little creative thinking, after you’ve completed the fourth quadrant, choose which perspective you will choose. Then replace your negative comment with the new perspective.

4. Develop a support system or mentoring team.

It’s hard to ask for help. But here’s an opportunity for some risk taking. People feel honored when they are asked to give support. Call on friends and colleagues. Tell them what you are trying to achieve.

5. Know who you are. Know your life values.

Your values are your beliefs about yourself, your life and the things that are important to you. Knowing your values will help you make decisions according to who you. This way you’ll avoid doing what others say you should do. Knowing your values will give you confidence and reassurance that you are acting according to your true self.

6. Celebrate your successes.

If you have self-doubt, it’s hard to feel proud of your accomplishments. In the same way as you might brush off a compliment, you might also dismiss your successes.

When a situation in which you doubted yourself turns out better than you expected, stop and give yourself a pat on the back. Then implant this complimentary mode into your head. End your self-doubt now! You deserve more!


For further help with self doubt, jump to --


Journal Writing
Journal Writing Prompts
Self Esteem Activities
Self Esteem Exercises
Vision Boards
Emotional Intelligence
 


Practice, practice, practice.  Celebrate your successes until you reframe your thinking.

This technique does work. Reward yourself with a treat. Taking the time to cement positive emotions in your mind will force your self doubt to disappear more quickly next time.


Go from Self Doubt to Self Esteem Activities
Go to Self Esteem Home Page



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