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How to eliminate self-doubt forever

What Is self-doubt?

Self-doubt is an insidious mental virus that infects our minds and often makes you feel like the decisions or actions you take will go wrong or that you are no good at something.

It is an inner feeling of inadequacy, insecurity, and negative thoughts that can really hold you back. In some people, this feeling of self-doubt becomes a habit and can be very debilitating.

You may find yourself questioning everything you do, always expecting to fail. Your confidence and self-belief may also be undermined by the fear of failure.

What causes self-doubt

Self-doubt is caused by a lot of different things. Sometimes it’s fear. Sometimes it’s uncertainty. And sometimes, it’s a lack of confidence. Self-doubt comes in many forms.

Self-doubt can be created by negative interactions with the important people in your world, like your mother, boss, or spouse. And sometimes, self-doubt is based on experiences with past failures. 

However, the problem of self-doubt becomes more solid and unmovable if you keep repeating the same self-defeating thoughts and beliefs to yourself.

This happens because the beliefs become so deeply ingrained that they become unconscious. Hence your unconscious starts feeding all the self-doubt back to you.

Self-doubt and the Imposter Syndrome problem?

 Imposter syndrome is a real thing.

Imposter syndrome can be a huge problem, whether you feel like an impostor because you haven't had as much experience in your current role or you constantly feel like everyone is better than you.

It can prevent you from getting ahead in your career. It can drive you to depression. It can make you feel like you're living a lie.

Imposter syndrome can take a toll on your confidence and ability to perform at your best. This can cause you to become too hard on yourself and question your abilities.

In some cases, imposter syndrome is a result of perfectionism. This can manifest as an extreme focus on performance and striving to be perfect.

Perfectionism can be extremely helpful in areas of expertise and high demand but can often become a hindrance when you're in a more comfortable situation where things are less demanding and you no longer need to meet high standards.

How does insecurity relate to self-doubt?

Insecurity means that something in your life or environment is causing you fear, stress, or anxiety about yourself and your future. It causes you to worry about the things you don’t like, like your job, money, health, relationships, etc.

Because of this, insecurity can promote self-doubt in the form of negative thoughts about who you are and what you’re doing. This can manifest in the following ways:

- Not believing that you can be successful, so you don’t try

- Trying to please everyone, which makes you feel inadequate or incompetent, and results in self-criticism

- Feeling guilty about something you want to improve but can’t figure out how to

So what does all this have to do with self-doubt? Self-doubt is the result of insecure people thinking that they are inadequate. This leads them to not take action because they don’t think they can succeed. It can result in feelings of incompetence, shame, guilt, and inadequacy.

Other common self-doubt symptoms include:

- Being afraid to fail or try

- Fear of judgment from others or of being wrong

- Fear of disappointing people you care about

- Fear of letting people down

- Fear of being embarrassed

- Feeling anxious

- Worrying too much

- Fear of missing out

- Feeling inadequate

- Trying to make up for past failures

- Not wanting to look foolish

- Not having faith in yourself

- Having a lack of motivation

- Feeling inadequate

- Lack of confidence

- Worrying too much

- Being afraid of commitment

- Being afraid to take chances

- Wanting to stay safe

- Feeling unsure

- Feeling like a fraud

- Being afraid to ask for help

- Being afraid to take the next step

- Feeling insecure

- Worrying about whether you are a failure

 

When low self-esteem leads to self-doubt

low self-worth is never good. Whether it's stemming from an abusive childhood or an internalization of negative messages about yourself from society, low self-esteem can be detrimental to your emotional wellbeing and limit your potential in life.

For most people, self-doubt is born out of a combination of low self-worth and unrealistic expectations about ourselves.

You can tell if your low self-esteem is at the root of your self-doubt if you're constantly questioning whether you're good enough, If you keep expecting failure, and if you always feel bad about yourself.

When self-doubt leads to overthinking

What keeps you up at night? Is the fear that tomorrow people will finally find out you are a fraud. Or do you worry all night that the next day your boss will show up at your desk and ask why you haven't completed the project? 
Overthinking is that feeling of fear or worry about a situation that can paralyze us, making us feel insecure and helpless. 

If you engage in overthinking way too much. This becomes a habit that can be hard to break.

This habit can cause you to lose confidence and question yourself. The result can be a life of indecision, which causes more overthinking. As you can see, the vicious cycle of overthinking continues.

So how can you break this vicious cycle and rid yourself of your self-doubts forever? There are a few steps you can take to help you get back on the right track.

How To Eliminate Self Doubt Forever The Power of Your Unconscious Mind

Discover powerful daily affirmations to overcome self-doubt

Daily affirmations can be a powerful way to beat self-doubt. But most gurus tell you to do this the wrong way. 

They tell you to repeat cookie-cutter phrases like, "I am confident, positive, and powerful... I am beautiful, intelligent, and talented... I am worthy and deserving of everything."

But when you repeat these phrases, you find you don’t believe the words or even feel any connection to them. You know the statements are right, but they simply don’t feel meaningful to you.

Often, these cookie-cutter phrases feel useless because they don't relate to you and your life experiences very well. While you know what they mean logically and emotionally, they often feel false.

So the solution? 

Create daily affirmations that are unique to you and your life situation.

This is where the concept of life scripting comes into play. Life scripting involves crafting a series of affirmations that work for you by basing your affirmations on your personalised opposites to the things that make you doubt yourself.
For example, the opposite of "I am not the brightest person in the room " is generally agreed to be "I am the brightest person in the room." However, you may find that the generally agreed opposite is not as meaningful to you as "as a person, I am as interesting as all the people in this room".

So in your case, it is crucial to make this your affirmation. Because this is what makes more sense, and this is what touches your heart in a meaningful way.

Use this approach to create many personalised affirmations and then repeat them to yourself loads of times. Doing this helps create your unconscious mind transcript, which eventually becomes the effortless way you think about yourself. Once that happens, self-doubt seizes to be a problem.

But...

What if you are struggling to still believe your affirmations?

Sometimes how we feel can overpower what is real. This causes you to ignore your reality in favour of the negative feelings about yourself.

For example, you may be convinced that you are not smart because you feel this way.

And this feeling is supported by years of choices and wrong decisions you've made in life. You had great opportunities, but she did not take them and instead slacked off.

And because you've slacked off, you feel like it has affected your future, so you are stuck in a life and job you don't want.

Because of these experiences, you feel that you would have made different choices if you were smarter.

The outcome...

This negative feeling consistently trumps any affirmation you tell yourself to make yourself feel smarter.

So, if you keep finding that your negative feelings make it hard to believe the affirmations you are now practising, it's crucial to do the following...

1. Find the evidence against your negative, self-critical thoughts - For example, do a survey of the smartest people in the world and research their lives to see if they made any mistakes. Did their mistakes turn them into stupid people?

In most cases, you would find that they all made loads of mistakes, and yet this did not deter them from the truth of their smartness. 

2. Find the evidence for the positive affirmations you have created yourself - For example, you can survey your friends and family members, asking them if they think are smart or stupid. Keep this survey to people who are not unhealthily biased against you.

3. Be certain that you are not holding on to the wrong meanings of the words in your affirmation.

For example, You may be holding on to the wrong meaning of being "an interesting person." You may undervalue your experience and personal expertise because you feel an interesting person is a person who is well-travelled and well-read.

Whereas the truth is that the interesting person is someone who others can relate to.

Yes, everybody won't find you interesting. However, anyone going through anything similar to what you are going through will find you interesting.

Tips to Overcome self-doubt

Treat confidence-building like a computer game.

In your efforts to overcome self-doubt, remember that there are many levels of difficulties to all the confidence-building skills you have to learn.

Just as you can't master every computer game level all at once, you can't learn every aspect of your confidence building.

Some confidence-building skills are easier to learn than others, and it takes time to acquire mastery of them. And just like it would be dangerous to jump into the deep end of the swimming pool when you can't swim, you can't expect to have mastered the most challenging confidence skills when you are still struggling with less difficult ones.

For example, it is better to treat talking to people in authority and talking to your work colleagues as two different difficulty levels to overcome.

If you are still struggling to have normal conversations with work colleagues at your level, you shouldn't expect to feel comfortable talking to managers easily yet.

In this case, trying to build confidence talking to managers will be similar to jumping into the deep end of a swimming pool when you don't know how to swim yet.

So the best thing to do would be to work on the lower level of difficulty until you feel comfortable before putting any pressure on yourself to work on the hard level. Failure to do this would cause you to become overwhelmed very easily.

And that will make you feel like you will never overcome your problems with self-doubt.

Book a consultation with Adewale

Break self-confidence down into its smaller skillsets for easier learning

Remember that self-confidence is a complex skill. Hence it is easier to master self-confidence by breaking it down into its components. Failure to do this will cause you to feel like you will never be able to achieve self-confidence.

30 examples of different skills you need to become self-confident, in no specific order, are:

How to overcome self-doubt when making decisions

1) Figuring Out What You Really Want:

It can be a bit of a struggle to decide what you want in life, especially when your friends are doing awesome things and seem to have no problems with life.

However, it’s important to remember that you’re not the only one who struggles to make good decisions. Most people struggle with making decisions.

And the way they choose is often by trial and error. It is a process of experimentation until they find something they like and decide to pursue. 

2) Identifying and working on your values:

You've got to identify the things in your life that keep you so fully engaged that you don't realise how much time passes by when doing them. This suggests that the activity you are engaging in has great value.

Creating a catalogue of such activities is very useful for identifying what brings you joy. This will help you find out what's most important to you and how you want to spend your time. 

3) Recognise when to take action and when to wait:

Knowing when not to take action when faced with a decision. So often think, "Well, I should probably do something now, but maybe I'll wait and see what happens."

And then, before you know it, it's too late, and you haven't done anything. If this happens, you might want to sit down and write down all of the things you did and didn't do and why.

This will help you understand your pattern and help you learn to recognise when you should take action and when you should just go with the flow.

4) Motivating Yourself With Visions, Goals And Willpower:

Motivation plays an extremely important role in reaching your goals. There are many ways to motivate yourself.

For instance, you can set up a vision board. You can choose to set more ambitious goals than you currently think you are capable of.  

And doing this repeatedly will help you develop willpower, which is necessary in achieving goals.

5)  Be Mindful of Your Thinking:

Our thoughts about ourselves and our world affect our lives. The better we are at thinking clearly, the less the world around us gets on our nerves.

So being mindful of your thoughts is an important way to create the kind of environment conducive to making decisions.

Being mindful of your thinking means being aware of the thoughts that run through your mind and not allowing them to take over your thinking.

Try to look at them objectively and determine whether the thoughts are helping you or holding you back. If you realise that the thoughts are not helpful, you can change how you think about yourself and your situation.

6)  Raise Your self-awareness:

Self-awareness is an ability to recognise the qualities of your own mind and body. This is the key to developing positive self-belief and confidence.

To improve your self-awareness, you need to become aware of your thoughts and feelings and your behaviour.

You need to identify what makes you feel proud or happy about yourself and what makes you feel embarrassed or ashamed. It is crucial to be aware of your own strengths and weaknesses to focus on improving the ones you'd like to.

7)  Practicing being less of a pessimist:

Pessimism is one of the biggest reasons why people fail to do anything. Being optimistic can help you overcome this.

People who are positive about their chances of succeeding are more likely to take action towards their goals. They are also happier and more satisfied with life. Pessimism also prevents you from recognising your strengths. You can’t appreciate what you already have if you believe you will always have what you lack.

One of the best ways to overcome this is to practice being happy about the fact that you will succeed.

You can do this by thinking about how amazing your future will be. You can think about how great it would be to be successful or to have the time to spend with your family and friends. You can think about what it would be like to create a successful business or be a better parent.

Think about how amazing it would be to earn a great salary, be able to save money and spend it on things that make you happy.

8) Practice self-compassion:

Self-compassion is the ability to relate to ourselves with warmth and understanding. It means having the ability to recognise and understand our own suffering and emotional distress.

People with high levels of self-compassion tend to feel better about themselves and cope more effectively with challenging situations. 

Self-compassion involves taking a non-judgmental view of yourself when you fail to live up to your values.

It's not about being nice to yourself but about not beating yourself up when you slip up and then quickly moving on. This is particularly helpful when you need to decide what to do next. 

9) Change your self-talk:

How you talk to yourself has a big impact on how you feel. When you negatively talk to yourself, it will influence your mood.

When you are self-critical, you will see yourself as inadequate and weak. This could lead to negative thoughts and feelings.

So try to change the way you talk to yourself. Replace negative statements with positive ones. Focus on what you’re proud of and give yourself credit for accomplishments.

Try to be as kind to yourself as possible. This can be an effective way to boost self-esteem and confidence.

How to overcome self-doubt at work

9) Practice seeing the value you bring to the table:

You've probably heard the phrase, “you can’t see the forest for the trees”. The idea behind this phrase is that you’ll never be able to see the larger picture if you look at everything around you.

The same concept applies to you.

As an individual, you may think that you’re not making a significant contribution to the overall success of your team or organisation. But that doesn’t mean you don’t have something unique to contribute. So, try to identify the value you bring to the team or organisation.

Try to figure out what you can bring to the table that others don’t. That will help you gain confidence.

10) Learn to handle failure:

The concept of failure is scary. It’s scary for many reasons, not the least of which is that it can dramatically impact our careers and livelihoods.

It can also create a negative bias against a person who fails. It’s not always the person who fails who experiences the most consequences.

In many cases, the people who fail are the ones that end up being the best performers and leaders.

The key is to focus on the lessons that you’ve learned from your failures. Look at it as a necessary part of growing as a professional and leader. Failure is not a personal weakness. It’s the price of success.

11)  Learn to regulate negative emotions:

Sometimes, the hardest thing to do is to regulate your own emotions. It’s incredibly difficult to remain objective when you’re feeling emotional.

The problem with feeling emotional is that it can cloud your judgment and cause you to make rash decisions.

When you feel emotional, you should always try to separate your emotions from the facts. The easiest way to do that is to take a step back and consider the situation rationally.

If you find yourself struggling to do that, then try to calm your thoughts and emotions as much as possible. You can’t control your emotions, but you can control how you respond to your emotions.

12) Regularly ask for help when needed:

Do you see asking for help at work as a weakness? No. Asking for help from your peers is a normal and natural part of working together.

Don’t let your self-doubt stop you from asking for help when you need it.

The more you do so, the more you’ll develop an identity as someone willing to seek assistance. Successful people aren’t perfect. They’re just better at recognising and admitting when they need help. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. It’s a valuable trait.

13)  Practice handling change:

Change in the work environment is inevitable. It’s a fact of life. The trick is to handle the transition from the old to the new situation as smoothly as possible.

The more you can prepare for the change before it happens, the less stressful it will be.

To prepare for change, you can try the following: Identify and address any potential problems before they happen. Consider how you might want to adjust your approach to a new situation.

Try to identify any patterns that are going on in the old situation that might affect how you approach the new situation. Try to identify any changes that you may need to make due to the change. And try to anticipate any potential issues that might arise due to the change.

Don’t let your emotions get in your thinking and planning.

14) Remembering Your Past Achievements:

Past achievements are a huge part of shaping your future.

When you think about past successes, it can often give you the confidence that you need to tackle a tough situation or challenge. It can also remind you of other things that you can accomplish. This helps to remind you of the strengths that you already possess.

It can help to remind you of your accomplishments. It can help you to recognise the strengths that you already have.

15) Identify and work on your limiting beliefs:

The mind is a powerful thing. It can influence your ability to succeed. For example, it can influence your self-confidence, motivation, and productivity.

A good way to deal with the power of your mind is to identify and remove limiting beliefs from your life.

A limiting belief is something that you believe about yourself or the world around you.

It can hurt your ability to achieve success in both the short and long. To work on your limiting beliefs, you can try to see them from multiple angles. You can ask questions such as “what could I be missing?”, “what could I be getting right?”, and “what could I be doing better?”.

Identifying and working on your limiting beliefs can help you to improve your self-confidence, motivation, and productivity.

16) Visualise Success:

Success comes to those who believe. It’s a very important principle in the world of sales.

If you are struggling with sales, you are likely having negative thoughts about yourself and the situation.

As a result, you may be putting your confidence and energy in the wrong direction. If you want to change your attitude towards the situation, you can try to visualise success.

By picturing yourself in a positive and successful scenario, you can get the self-belief that you need. This is a great way to overcome self-doubt and help to create the mindset that you need to succeed.

How to overcome self-doubt in intimate relationships

17) Learn to handle rejection:  

Unhealthy relationships can create many opportunities to feel sad and low. It may feel like you’re alone in the world.

But the truth is, every relationship has a cycle, and rejection is just a part of it. To learn to handle rejection better, it can be helpful to see it as a natural part of the relationship and take steps to minimise its impact. No matter how difficult rejection feels, it’s an opportunity to grow as a person.

Rejection is a reminder of your strengths and worth as a human being.

18) Keeping your expectations realistic:

We all have expectations of the people we love and those around us. But we can't expect everything to go perfectly, and we shouldn't expect perfection from anyone.

Be forgiving of yourself and others. If you're looking for perfection, you'll only be disappointed. If you can be realistic, you won't let your disappointment keep you from moving forward.

19) Accepting compliments:

Many of us have been told we look beautiful. So many of us feel like we are failing like we are not good enough when someone notices something about us.

Sometimes we hear compliments and think, "they're not nice." If someone compliments you, believe them. Don't be hard on yourself.

You might be surprised at how much you're already doing well, how good you look, how great you are doing and what a positive impact you are making.

20) Relying on yourself:

You can get help from professionals or friends, but you do not always need it. The best thing you can do is learn and develop yourself.

You've got to be responsible for your growth. When you can see what you need to change or want to improve, you can take steps to make those changes. The more you succeed at this, the more you will find that you are growing in confidence.

How to overcome self-doubt in social situations

21) Focusing outside your head and being in the moment:

to experience an awesome life in your relationships, you have to be able to leave your head and your past behind. It’s impossible to enjoy yourself when you’re thinking about things that are upsetting or disappointing you.

To get out of your head, you can ask yourself questions that help you stay present and mindful, like “What are my priorities right now?” or “How is this going to help me in my next step?” or “What am I grateful for?”


22) Engaging people you are talking to with genuine interest:

The fear of criticism can keep you from pursuing intimacy.

 A confident person can say what they want and engage others without being afraid of how they will be judged.

They can do this so easily because they are intently focused on their conversations with genuine interest. To do this, you've got to become curious about the conversation.

The curiosity creates an atmosphere of safety, and then you can express your opinions without fear of being attacked.

You can ask questions that show you are truly listening and interested in the other person.

23) Getting comfortable with being uncomfortable:

our lives have hidden patterns. Our minds can go into familiar loops, where we re-experience painful events over and over.

This is why we often get stuck in negative thoughts. We’ve learned a habit of reacting to things in the same way.

But if you can get out of those loops, you will notice a shift, and this will create an opportunity for your mindset to change. The process creates a strong backbone for learning to stick with uncomfortable feelings.

24) Making yourself visible:

Most people spend their lives hiding from others. It takes courage to face the world, and sometimes it takes courage to be yourself.

When you don't act like yourself, you can become powerless and self-doubt. But once you step up, you are taken seriously. It makes it easier to reach out to other people and connect with them. You can share your story with others and inspire them to take similar steps.

The result is that you begin to see opportunities for growth and expansion.

25) Compare yourself less to others:

An age-old question that causes most of us anxiety: Do I look better than this person?

Or this person looks better than me? The truth is that none of us are the same. We have our strengths and weaknesses.

To make it easy to focus on your strengths, ask yourself what your strengths are. Then, instead of comparing yourself to others, use those strengths to create a vision of who you want to be.

This helps you be motivated to work towards that vision.

26) Surround yourself with cheerleaders:

Sometimes, it can be difficult to find the right people to support you. It's especially true if you're working towards a particularly difficult goal.

Finding a community that shares your goals and provides support and accountability can be very helpful.

You can join a group close to your current goals and add new challenges. Or you can search online and find a group of people that share your goals.

How to overcome self-doubt around difficult family members

27) Learn to deal with conflict:

The unconscious behaviour we have learned from our families often serves us poorly when dealing with the conflicts in our adult lives.

We often take the path of least resistance, doing what comes naturally and keeping quiet.

We may be surprised at how differently we act when the shoe is on the other foot. Learning to resolve conflicts and manage our emotions is a valuable skill that can help us become more effective in our personal and professional lives. to start dealing with conflict better, you can practice managing confrontation using imagery.

For example, Take an image of the situation you want to handle. Let the image come to mind and feel yourself in the situation. Feel your feelings and the feelings of the other person.

Then, think about what you would like to say and how you want to act. Finally, try to act accordingly. In time, your natural response will become less automatic and you'll be able to handle situations more effectively.

28) Communicate and listen effectively:

Bad behaviour patterns often begin early in life. Even though we know that there are better ways to behave, we still copy the people's ways around us.

This means we pick up all the negative communication styles we witness from our parents and siblings.

As adults, we're often unaware of these behaviours' impact on our communication with others. As a result, we continue to repeat our family's communication styles in our own lives. Hence, it is crucial to identify your current negative communication patterns and change them.

29)  Learning to stay calm when you know you’ll be stressed:

Learning to stay calm can be very difficult in moments of high stress when around toxic family situations.

Quite often,  anticipating the confrontation, dreading the possibility of the fight, or even thinking about the worst possible outcome, is all we can do.

We must learn to separate ourselves emotionally from the situation and focus on what we can do.

One of the best things you can do is to stay calm. Take a few deep breaths, and then prepare yourself to be in control.

You can't control the other person, but you can control your reaction to him/her. Remember, the person that is the most reactive in any situation is usually the person who is stressed.

30) Reduce Asking for Validation:

Seeking validation in a difficult family setting can damage your confidence. We often look to the people we trust to tell us that we are worthy, smart, attractive, etc.

When really, we only need to be validated in certain areas. For example, if we are feeling insecure or anxious, we look to people we trust to tell us we are doing a good job with things.

However, if we feel confident and happy, we don't need to hear from anyone else. By asking for validation and telling ourselves what we need to hear. If we are in a situation that makes us feel this way, it's vital to step back and take some time to ask ourselves if the information is coming from the right source.

It's time to get rid of those limiting beliefs!

If you spend much of your time thinking about your inadequacies, you will feel inadequate.

If you spend your life doubting your worth, you will never live to your full potential. This is not to say that you should become a “fake it till you make it” kind of person, but become a student of confidence-building skills.

This way, you can learn to let go of your self-doubt and start to experience a higher level of confidence. You can learn how to change your self-image from the inside out and start living more positively. 

 

Written by Adewale Ademuyiwa
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