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How to Overcome Self-Doubt

by Evelyn on November 8, 2011

Self-doubt happens when you have little belief in yourself. There is an inner lack of faith and confidence. You are not able to claim your own accomplishments, even when due. You feel like an imposter, a fraud and a cheat. You deem yourself as unworthy of any kind of praise, accolades or validation; although you are deserving.

Doubt Your Power

It does not matter that others may think highly of you. What counts is the perception and evaluation of your own capability. You very much doubt in your own ability or power to garner required resources or support.

Self-doubt can make you feel as if you are alone. You wonder why it is that success comes so easily to your neighbors and not you. Holed up in the chambers of your unconscious, you are to face the inner demons that keep putting you down:

Who am I to do this? What if I appear stupid? What if I fail? What if others see through my act? What if others find out that I am not cool to hang out with? What if others find out that I am actually just not good enough? What if I lose out to others?

Beat the Voice of Self-Doubt

Well these were some of the stuff that was going on in my self-talk previously. I was overcome with self-doubt when I first thought about writing a book 2-3 years ago. I fretted over whether it was a good idea. I even went to consult a medium for readings just to be sure. It sounds ridiculous when I think about it now but I had wanted a precise prediction of my future back then. Lacking sufficient inner trust, I needed the affirmation and the go-ahead from someone else.

Even after publishing my first book, my self-doubt returned. It was time to think about whether I was ready to write another book and this time on Self-Love. Honestly, I did not believe I could. I did not believe that I could write any more than a few pages. I wondered if I had enough words to fill a book.

The voice of doubt grew louder. I became certain that there was no way I could write any better than some of the best-selling books around on self-love. Luckily, my heart said otherwise. Intuitively, it felt as if this was something that I was meant to do. The ensuing debate between heart and mind went on for days.

Luckily, I have gained enough self-awareness to know what doubt was doing to me. I finally got a grip on myself. It was definitely insane of me to compare my work with the very best of authors. What was I thinking? I will just do the best I can. And if I am unique, I will have my own stories to tell. I will write it from my own perspective. As it turned out, what began as a few pages soon became a book.

Channel Self-Doubt Positively

Doubt arises in the mind. It starts with a niggling seed of suspicion and as you place more attention on your thought, you start to feel insecure. Insecurity shifts you off-center. You are unable to feel settled.

Doubt is not necessarily a bad thing. An internal conflict can cause you to go on a quest to uncover the truth. You are led on a voyage of discovery, to establish new grounds for understanding and thought. Doubt is being channeled positively in this case.

Doubt can also let you know if you need to go over your project again before handing it up. You give yourself the opportunity to relook, reevaluate and rework. Thus, instead of hurrying through, you are led to producing a more excellent piece of work.

Be Aware Of What Excessive Self-Doubt Can Do

Nonetheless, it is important to recognize that doubt can also be paralyzing. Doubt can howl so much that it stops you in your tracks to ever completing or doing anything successfully. Much like playing Angry Birds in the popular app game, a constant hurling of doubt renders a foundation weak. The structural foundation becomes shaky and finally, collapses.

Excessive self-doubt holds you back from your dream. From doubt, you are kept worrying that you will not be able to achieve a satisfactory outcome. You fear looking foolish. Unfortunately, worry is an energy-leaking state. You may just choose to abandon your dream, if you are unable to beat the berating voice inside your head. You prevent yourself from manifesting abundance altogether.

Be Willing to Acknowledge Your Own Accomplishments

Self-doubt probably arises from childhood messages. If you have been conditioned with negative messages that created unnecessary psychological fear, you are more likely to be plagued with self-doubt as an adult. And so you doubt your capabilities, your gifts and how powerful you can be in manifesting your dreams.

Well, you will need to learn about doing things differently in order to transform the energy of worry and doubt. Give yourself credit when due. Pat yourself on the back for each positive step that you have taken.

Understand that you are no different from anyone else. Everyone experiences doubt every now and then. I dare say that all creative people do too. Those who achieve success are ones who are better able to focus on their dreams instead of doubt.

Remind Yourself With a Positive Affirmation

If you have a problem with self-doubt, you may wish to print out the following well-loved saying by Marrianne Williamson in a card and keep it in your wallet or place it on your desk…

Fear Quote By Marianne Williamson

Cultivate Self-Trust

Doubt, when limiting, is fear consciousness. It blocks the connection to your heart. The opposite of doubt is trust. Hence, turn self-doubt into loving trust. In my book, Self-Love Secrets, I wrote…

“It may not be anything big that you are attempting to do. What is more important is that you are letting go of the known to venture anew. In fact, the more times you break down doubt, the greater your ability to cultivate self-trust.”

Defeating self-doubt is an inside job because doubt originates in the mind. Learn to trust with the love in your heart. As what Marianne Williamson has also shared, it is only when we release our fears that we can truly serve the world.

Shine from the Soul always,

fbprofilemktg-2evelyn lim signature
Author. Adventurer. Life Coach. More About Me.

Share Your Thoughts

Do you find yourself battling with self-doubt? What tips or insights have worked for you? Please share in the comment box below.

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

The Vizier November 8, 2011 at 6:56 pm

Hi Evelyn,

I think many of us have struggled with self-doubts at one point or other in our lives. I certainly have. As you rightly point out, it does not matter that others may think highly of you. What really counts is how we view ourselves. Yet self-doubt is so powerful that unless we have a certain level of self-awareness, it is very hard to manage it.

As you have showed us with your example, it is pointless to compare. Each of us have our role to play here on this Earth. This means that what we do may target different people and segments of society. No one person can influence everyone since we are all at different stages in our lives and need different kinds of guidance. So every contribution that each of us makes is vital and important to the development of global consciousness.

I agree with you that the best way to manage self-doubt is to be aware of it and to channel it positively. It is indeed not a bad thing as it makes you more cautious and thorough in what you are trying to do. The key here is balance and not to allow self-doubt to cripple and paralyze us from acting.

I feel that by focusing on the solution and ways to deal with self-doubt is the best way to go. When we do something to tackle the source of our self-doubts, we use our energy wisely and remove the problem. As such, self-doubt naturally disappears and we grow in confidence in being able to manage better. It is important here to learn from our mistakes and failures and to keep adapting and adjusting until we succeed.

Thank you for sharing this lovely article with us! :)

Irving the Vizier

Niki Gee November 8, 2011 at 9:58 pm

I definitely struggle with this one. At 40 years old I decided to go back into modeling, acting and writing..creative talents I buried long ago. Often when I go on auditions I have to battle my subconscious.which tells me you’re too old..they won’t want you. Its rough..through mediationand journaling I’m trying to find that little voice and strangle it!

Nancy Canizalez November 8, 2011 at 11:40 pm

Hi Evelynn i love this blog, and actually i stop reading it, because my homeworks and acitivities, but in the last six months i read a lot your blog, and it kept me with encourage to realize my dream. Now i am written to you en Chile.. i am mexican student, i´m in the university but now i aplicated in a intership and i ´m doing my dream =)
Thank you for this positive web page, i just love it and i want to keep reading all, and express my hapiness doing proyects to help others and keep saying as you that God has beautifuls plans to everyone, it is just about believe and be pacient, with armony every day, it may be not easier but it is possible…

Best regards,
Blessings ..=)
Nancy Canizalez

Nancy Canizalez November 8, 2011 at 11:44 pm

it may be difficult but it´s possible..

Best regards,
Blessings ..=)
Nancy Canizalez

safeera November 9, 2011 at 4:24 am

Hi its amazing that your email came at this time self doubt was what came up in one of my sessions I had with. A a mindscape instructor

marc van der Linden November 9, 2011 at 5:15 am

Hi Evelyn,

I admire you for completing your journey for writing a book … I am thinking about it to do it too … in 2,3 years.

I also love you approach of writing a book, starting from a few pages and ending with a whole book. One day I will do it too – if I can make writing a habit and can beat the self doubt as you successfully have done.

Thanks for the inspiration!

Justin | Mazzastick November 9, 2011 at 6:05 am

What a great Post on Self Doubt Evelyn. I had the same conversation in my head when I started my blog. Luckily for me the self doubt demon did not win.

I do believe that when we are children we are likely to absorb the negative messages and influence of those around us.

David Stevens November 9, 2011 at 9:30 am

Hi Evelyn,
For me, Self doubt mainly occurs when we don’t know whether our action (or inaction) will produce a result. If we don’t “see” ourselves at the ‘finish line, hands & arms raised in the air, then rarely do we start.
Over time this lack of positive visualisation fuels our self doubt. Visualise a great result & practise it…….any doubt will gradually ease.
Thank you &
be good to yourself

Galen Pearl November 10, 2011 at 5:59 am

I had that A Course in Miracles quote in mind as I was reading and then you quoted it from Marianne Williamson’s book! It’s the perfect quote for this topic!

Angela Artemis/Poweredbyintuition November 10, 2011 at 9:42 pm

Hi Evelyn,
What a terrific article! Self doubt is corrosive to your life. It will creep up on you in many ways such as procrastination or never starting because you feel in adequate. I’m so glad you wrote your book on self-love and your other one too. I totally understand what your were going through as you wrote them too.

Years ago, after learning about how our thoughts create our reality, I changed my life dramatically. I decided I would not have to live a life of quiet desperation just to appease my parents and since I was a writer, I would write a book about the miraculous changes my life had gone through. A friend of mine introduced me to her book agent (this was back in the mid-1980s when I never would have dreamed of self-publishing – heaven forbid!). This literary agent told me my book would never sell since I wasn’t a Ph.D. so I should forget about writing it. Talk about self-doubt? It has taken me more than 25 years to re-gain the nerve and confidence to write a book!

Thank you for writing about this important topic Evelyn!

Kian November 10, 2011 at 10:08 pm

Hi Evelyn,

New to your blog and what a great first-post for me to read. Like many of the other commenters self-doubt was one of the major emotions that kept me trapped for most of my life, and I know that it stemmed from my childhood. I’ve found that my own self-doubt stayed with me until I decided to make a real change and believe in myself.

I realised if I wasn’t going to get the encourage from others around me I’d have to generate it within myself, through affirmations and joining a community of supportive people. Defeating self-doubt won’t happen over night but with the advice you laid out anyone can make a start.

pea November 10, 2011 at 10:48 pm

This was a lovely post Evelyn. A great reminder.
The thing to remember of course is as isolating as self doubt is I don’t know anyone who does not go through it. If the most successful people on the planet go through it and come out the other end then we all can.

Joy November 11, 2011 at 3:54 am

Hi Evelyn,
In my life in the past, self doubt has been a perfect self sabotage tool…yet, now that I am centered and open, doubt often shows me that I am challenging my self in a positive area of growth…If doubt shows up it means I’m outside of my comfort zone, ready to create something new and different. Comfort is an excellent space to create from, but for me discomfort is a motivating tool for change and for reaching beyond my perceived limitations….
I *love* Marianne Williamson’s quote..I use it as a reflection when I feel I want to “dim my light” or settle for less than…very empowering affirmation.

Pj Zafra November 14, 2011 at 6:58 pm

Hello Evelyn,

Great post here! Wonderful tips and insights. Self-doubt is definitely one of the most destructive tools out there. It can ruin and waste lives of people who are talented and skilled. It’s definitely something we must not allow to control us. After all, we never know the outcome unless we try. If we fail, then try again. We get stronger after each trial we go thru in life. We can’t let something like self-doubt stop us. We were all meant to shine as children.

Thanks for your post! :)

Talib H Khan March 24, 2012 at 12:21 am

Hi Evelyn,

I really have some self-doubt and very much intended to write a book.Could you plz tell me your experiences regd thess.Regards n best wishes.

Shane December 13, 2012 at 7:25 pm

Allow me to add to some wonderful self-help material available here. There are folks out there (me is one for far at least) who second guess due to their self-doubt and do so in a split instant. And there evaporates whatever was fruitfully building up. In a split instant. Fix a label there; say something worth xx or yyy $ just gone in a split instant. Why ? Fear of failure. Failure has not occurred. It may or not come; chances of its not coming are higher. Just the picture is enough to trigger this split instant action based on self doubt.
What comes next ?
Regret. Oh why did I do that ? Fear of failure.
And it is kind of habitual. Any fix ?
Such folks have done this so many times that if they added up the $ that went up in the air; they won’t be able to face the sum total.
So how do you fix this split instant self-doubt ? In a situation like say the markets where the constant fluidity of prices provides rampant opportunity to second guess every hour if not every minute.

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