My Battle With Self Doubt

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Four weeks ago Kim Maglinti and Ben Weston initiated a project; getting personal development bloggers write on the lessons learned from their greatest fears.

Ben Lumley talked on acceptance.

Therese Miu focused on no excuses

Greg Blencoe discussed the fear of success

Ben Weston talked on making choices

Kim Maglinti focused on overcoming fear.

Today I’m just going to share my thoughts on self-doubt which is considered to be one of my darkest fears.


Facing encounters like these:

  • Struggling to spell words from the age of 7
  • Harbouring the thoughts of an extra year in university because of my woeful first semester(year 1) results; passing 3 out of 8 courses, having 5 referrals.
  • Struggling with the thoughts of acting/being responsible.
  • Getting a terrible bashing on my self confidence, not giving love a chance and the need to protect my heart.
  • Avoiding huge tasks/responsibilities because the fear of failure existed.
  • Closing my mind to several dreams/objectives because they appeared far-fetched………………

The list is endless, but all these contributed to creating the feeling of Self Doubt

NEWS FLASH

I still struggle with it occasionally (family, the blog, projects, part time practice,…) but there’s always light at the end of the tunnel.

What is Self Doubt?

The Free Online Dictionary defines self doubt as a lack of faith or confidence in oneself and doubting is a natural human response to any unfamiliar situation.

It could be triggered by:

  • The fear of making mistakes
  • Peoples expectations of us
  • Self perception
  • Bad judgements or choices

The aim of this post is to equip you with the RIGHT KIND OF ARMOUR(laugh), suggesting a few ways of dealing with self doubt when it creeps up.

Here are my thoughts:

Identify and acknowledge your fears and doubts

Think carefully before answering these questions:

  • What are you afraid of?
  • Why does the fear of…….. exist?
  • When does it occur?
  • Is it totally out of control?

It’s important to identify and acknowledge your fears/doubts because it’s a step in the right direction with regards to dealing with self doubt.

It’s okay to be afraid BUT…

This school of thought is controversial, but it’s okay to be afraid because you are human, you recognise a need and you know your inadequacies.

My thoughts:

  • It’s okay to be afraid BUT once you’ve outlined what it is(they are), it?s time to take steps in the right direction to minimize the impact.
  • It’s okay to be afraid BUT make up your mind to fight back.
  • It’s okay to be afraid BUT get ready to deal with it.
  • It’s okay to be afraid BUT take constructive risks.
  • It’s okay to be afraid BUT find a way of stirring up courage and confidence.
  • It’s okay to be afraid BUT think carefully.
  • It’s okay to be afraid BUT do something about it.

Discuss Your Fears

Eliminate your fears and self doubt by discussing how you feel. Form a habit of having a constructive discussion sharing your feelings/anxieties with trusted friends, family or professionals.

Discussing your fears is therapeutic and it tends to release the bottled up emotions giving you a clear head, peace of mind and relieving you of your self doubt.

Bounce Back From Your Mistakes:

Mistakes occur all the time SO stop flogging yourself with an imaginary whip because you failed or made terrible mistakes. We all make mistakes (no excuses) but not all of us bounce back from it constructively with the necessary motivation to correct the wrongs.

The take home thought for the day is ‘BOUNCE BACK CONSTRUCTIVELY’ from your mistakes.

Just because you make mistakes doesn’t mean you are a complete failure. There’s always an opportunity to learn and do something new.

Be Secured In Who You Are And Feel Good About Yourself:

Underestimating your abilities only promotes or increases the level of your insecurities and it pushes you closer to SELF DOUBT.

  • Go on, accept who you are constructively because you are unique and has a purpose.
  • Feel good about who you are (positively), where you are now and display confidence about what to look forward to in the future.
  • Celebrate your achievements and enjoy every wonderful experience you?ve had.
  • Slow down on excessive self criticism because over time, constant negative feelings result in negative affirmations.

Show Some Optimism:

Another way to combat self doubt is adopting the approach of looking at the favourable side of events and anticipate the best possible outcomes in any situation.

Building optimism ensures you are:

  • Realistic about your expectations.
  • Building a barrier against living in self denial.
  • Being authentic and not hiding behind the MASK of pretence.

Rise Up To Your Challenges.

In dealing with self doubt, you need to understand the past can?t be altered because it?s occurred, but the future can take a different shape by dealing with the current challenges of life positively.

Your perspective of the future changes once you embrace the knowledge of rising to your challenges.

It?s like an emotional/internal warfare dealing with self doubt but you stand up to your challenges by:

  • Taking calculated risks(keeping your eyes, ears, head, heart open as you jump into the deep waters)
  • Making very tough decisions.
  • Breaking free from certain relationships.
  • Becoming proactive.
  • Going back to areas where you have experienced failure and TRYING AGAIN.

Connect With Friends/Family/Social Networks

Connecting with friends/family helps in dealing with self doubt. Positive networks help to establish, motivate and strengthen you as an individual. Associate with people who are ready to encourage you when you need it, speak the truth, drag you away when erring and finally provide support for you all the way. 

Celebrate Your Achievements

Celebrate your achievements and enjoy those precious moments.

According to a research people with a complex tend to pay little or no attention to their success, achievements or strengths and this promotes self doubt because they find it slightly difficult to look at themselves in a different light, accept worthy praises for a job well done or celebrate their accomplishments.

Pause for a few minutes:

  • Go on, lift your head up
  • Reflect on your worthy achievements.
  • Enjoy thinking about it.
  • Break into a smile!!!!!!

Don?t Stop Learning:

Don?t stop learning. You?ve got to be informed or updated about various events, things??.. happening around you. It builds your confidence and ensures you can contribute or participate in discussions if the need arises.

Take time to develop your aptitude. Go on a self improvement exercise and if you need to increase your level of education, do so!!!

Get some exposure, broaden your knowledge, read books, learn more about yourself…….

On a final note: Rise above your self doubt by learning

I look forward to your comments and suggestions.

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