Self Doubt And How to Conquer It

Self doubt is one of the worst things you can experience. It makes you question if you can really achieve your dreams. And if you allow it to consume you, it can become a negative spiral into depression and anxiety. But the truth is that we all have an inner power that can help us manifest anything we desire. It just starts with believing in yourself. Over the past few years, I’ve gone deep into myself to fight self doubt head on. Here are some of the tips on how you can do it, too.

Self Doubt And How to Conquer It

Almost everyone experiences self doubt. Credit: Canva

Remember That You Are Not Alone

Before anything else, you need to realize that everyone has self doubt…(Unless you’re a narcissist.) Remember that self doubt is a sign that you have some sort of humility, and that’s a good thing. Even the most confident people in the world have doubted themselves at some point in their life. You just might never hear the stories of their anxieties and failures, because most people want to put their best face forward. With 24 hours in a day, you’re only ever going to see the highlight reel of everyone else’s life. But I can guarantee you that every person you see on the street has experienced self doubt at some point in their life. You are NOT alone.

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If someone else has achieved what you want, there is no reason why you can’t too. Credit: Canva

If They Can Do It, You Can Do It Too

One of the biggest things that helped me conquer my own self doubt was when I realized that you don’t have to be superhuman to achieve your dreams. Just look at some of the most famous success stories in the world. Many of these people are rags-to-riches stories. They grew up in a totally normal situation, and had plenty of obstacles along the way. But they didn’t give up believing in themselves, and that’s what propelled them forward. Believe that if these other normal people can do it, you can too.

All my life, I wanted to be a writer. But in every English class, the teachers and professors put famous writers up on a pedestal. This instilled a lot of self doubt in me. I knew that I was just a normal human, and not so magically talented writer. How could I become a writer? That all changed when I found The Self Publishing Podcast, which has since become the publishing company Sterling and Stone. Here were 3 totally normal guys. They didn’t have a Master’s Degree in English literature. And they weren’t the best writers on the planet. But they were still writing fun stories, and making a living. This helped me to realize “If they can do it, I can too.”

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Learn How to Overcome Negative Thoughts

If you suffer from any kind of depression, you may be familiar with a little thing I like to call “thought spirals”. It’s when bad thought leads to another…And another, and another. If this sounds like you, watch this video all the way through.

Break down your fears and face them head on. Credit: Canva

Sift Through Fear vs. Practical Problems

Whenever I feel a sense of self doubt about an action I am about to take, I have to step back and ask myself the following question: Am I stopping myself from doing this thing because of fear? Or am I stopping myself because there is some practical, logical reason why it’s not a good idea? The vast majority of the time, the issue has more to do with fear. So if fear is the only thing in my way, I decide to go for it.

For example, I stopped myself from traveling most of my life because of fear. Believe it or not, I stopped myself because I don’t look like those skinny, beautiful models you see on Instagram. How stupid is that? (But if I’m being honest, most people’s fears are equally as silly!) Finally, in 2020, I conquered my fear and flew to England. My plan was to spend one month in a new country for the next year. But you can guess what happened. I had to book a last-minute flight home, because the borders were closing due to Covid-19. Now, the thing stopping me is out of my control, and there is obviously a very practical reason why I can’t go.

People are going to have negative opinions, but it doesn’t make them true. Credit: Shutterstock

Someone Else’s Opinion is Not the Gospel Truth

Unfortunately, a lot of self doubt we experience stems from negative criticism we receive from other people. When we’re kids, we start out as being this pure little person who believes anything is possible (including Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny). But it’s the opinions of others, and your experiences that seed doubt within you over time.

Maybe it’s your parents, friends, siblings, or even your partner. Negative voices could be everywhere. First of all, if you’re surrounded by toxic people, maybe you need new friends. Secondly, you should never give away all of your power to another person. You can value and understand someone’s opinion, and not let it affect you. 

Your dream may take a lot of planning and time, but it’s not impossible.Credit: Canva

Are Your Dreams Actually That Crazy?

So many people hold themselves back from achieving their dreams because of self doubt. In reality, they absolutely could achieve those dreams, if only they got on the correct path. Most of the time, people hold themselves back because of money. Or maybe they would need to move, get out of a relationship, or make some other sacrifice.

I encourage you to write down the path to your dream. What steps would you actually need to take in order to get there? Personally, I believe that if you have the dream in the first place, it’s meant to be there. This desire would not exist if it was not meant to become your destiny.

Think about The Wright Brothers. If they told people that they wanted to be the first human beings to fly, I guarantee you that plenty of people called them crazy. When they were kids, they probably couldn’t fathom how to begin. But they figured it out. The rewrote the rules about what is possible, and you can too.

What do you think about yourself when you look in the mirror? Credit: Canva

Be Your Own Best Friend

A lot of the time when we are doubting ourselves, that inner monologue is very mean. You could be thinking things like, “You’re too stupid to do that. You’re too fat to date him/her. You’re too ugly to post that photo.” HOLD UP. Stop yourself for just a second. Would you ever say those words to your best friend? The answer is no. With friends like that, who needs enemies?

If you would never say those words to someone else, why are you saying it to yourself? Try to get into the habit of looking in the mirror and pointing out your best attributes. You need to gas yourself up the same way a really good friend would. At first, it seems silly. But as time goes on, this builds into confidence.

This kid wants to be a dinosaur. Are you going to be the one to tell him he can’t? Credit: Canva

Fight For Your Inner Child

Remember when you were that happy little kid who believed in Santa? Try to close your eyes and remember what you looked like, and how wonderful the world seemed from your child-like wonder. What did you want to be when you grew up? Maybe it’s impossible now. But there were surely dreams you had that excited you. Would you ever tell that child they are not good enough?

Remember that child never went away. It’s you. Just because you grew up doesn’t mean that child disappeared. It’s still you. Whether you can hear them or not, your inner child is always wanting to find joy for you again.

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