Have you ever felt like your future is clouded by uncertainty, leaving you grappling with self-doubt?
Self-doubt can be a significant barrier in life.
Drawing on proven strategies I’ve used with clients, I’ve been helping others overcome self doubt for over 25 years.
You’re seeking guidance on how to overcome the self-doubt that’s holding you back.
This article will give you a good understanding of clear steps you can take to build confidence in your self and overcome the soul numbing effects of self-doubt.
How to overcome self doubt
I used to have an intimate relationship with self doubt.
Not about little things… more about the big things, like my future.
This happened for me around age 40.
So later, I wrote an entire book about it with the perfect metaphor.
The book is about a caterpillar who doesn’t believe she can be a butterfly.
She’s got too much self doubt to imagine something so wonderful for herself.
Does this sound familiar?
While there’s no magic pill, no easy fix, no overnight remedy… you can overcome self doubt.
Not only that, it’s part of your purpose to do so.
Here’s how to overcome self doubt and stop doubting something you really want in your future, if it’s meant for you.
1. Decide how you want to share your talents with the world.
It’s part of your purpose to overcome self doubt and be who you’re meant to be…
Overcoming self-doubt is written into your game plan.
So, build belief in what you’re meant to do with your life.
What does that look like for you?
This isn’t about what job you’re supposed to have.
You’re here to make the world better with your talents and gifts.
With your treasures…
And it can be soul crushing when you feel like you’re wasting your gifts.
There are MANY ways to share your talents. So first, do some soul searching.
And along they way, you’ll uncover your true self.
You do not have to be good
And remember this, whatever you choose to do next…
You don’t have to be good at first. (from Mary Oliver’s famous and incredible poem, The Wild Geese.)
Many of us overachievers want to be great at something out of the gate. And if we aren’t the self doubt creeps in.
You’ll have negative thoughts like: I’m not good enough. I’ll never be as good as BLANK. This is too hard.
Now, if you do something, and give it all you’ve got and commit and it’s still not working, then yea, make a change.
What are you good at? What comes naturally?
What do you feel you MUST do or your soul will wilt?
How does this universe want to use you?
The universe gives you what you need
For whatever is on your soul’s path, learning, healing and sharing… the universe sends you what you need.
This help includes the people, resources, spiritual guidance, ideas, and solutions you need. You’ll receive help from the physical and non-physical world for what you need to fulfill your destiny. Stop doubting that:)
It’s OK to pivot!
If it’s not working, pivot.
I’ve pivoted over 5 times…
- I sold computers for IBM
- I became an executive coach while at IBM
- I became a life coach because I wanted to do more personal work.
- I became a soul coach because I began leaning in a more spiritual direction
- I’m blogging now and offering online education because I want to reach a much wider audience.
Self doubt can get worse if you’re failing. So, continue to reassess and ask the question: What is best for me? Universe, how do you want to use my gifts, experience, and passion?
And then there’s the very important emotional side of what you’re meant to learn…
2. Decide what you have to learn
What negative emotions are you healing?
Self doubt isn’t an emotion, so which emotions are beneath it?
Shame? Guilt? Insecurity? Regret?
These are very sticky and painful emotions that erode our self worth and self esteem.
As you experience feelings directly, you’re able to slowly heal them.
To set your expectations, the emotions that are heaviest for you, you will probably feel them many, many times along your healing journey.
That’s how the body is made. We feel it to heal it. Moving forward in life requires us to feel the range of our emotions without overthinking them.
While this isn’t easy, our emotional wellbeing depends on it.
As you grow self love, you’ll doubt less… because you’ll be more connected to what’s meant for you.
Growing self love along the way is part of your destiny.
Here are 200 affirmations for self love to help you.
Skill set and education
What skills do you need… to feel more confident in what you want to do?
Find out what you need to know, and get trained and educated. Get experience. As you gain skills and experience, self doubt will dwindle.
Knowing that you’ve got the proper training and/or education will do a lot to lessen self doubt.
3. Ultimately, push through self-doubt
Self doubt can go deep. So, ultimately, you will have to push through it.
Susan Jeffers Ph.D. wrote a great book entitled, Feel The Fear… And Do It Anyway.
The same principles apply to self doubt. Feel the feelings of self doubt (the shame, guilt, insecurity, etc… ) and push through.
I’m NOT saying to avoid the feelings while you’re pushing through. Feel the feelings so that you can heal them.
This is really hard to do. I know. See #2 above.
Positive self talk
Positive self talk is another technique to help you with self doubt.
It that can help you push through and do something new so that you can gain more confidence.
The affirmations below can also be used for positive self-talk…
Self talk is what you tell yourself about yourself. You will believe it.
Affirmations for self doubt
I wrote a book about the power of thought called, The Thought Store.
Inside I offer over a hundred positive affirmations to help the reader… YOU!
In The Thought Store, people in the futuristic town walk into the retail store and choose thoughts specifically for problems they’re having.
These thoughts are high energy, high vibration and are intended to help you overcome self doubt. They are supplemental to doing the work of course:)
Thoughts are powerful, but they can’t do all the work!
I can do this.
I will do this.
I believe in myself.
This is on my soul’s path.
I am failing forward.
I am building belief each day.
Universe, what would you have me do?
I am listening.
Professional help… helps.
If you need help with this, see a mental health professional. I am a HUGE supporter of therapy, counseling, and supportive people whom you feel safe with.
There are also many online options for seeking help with experiencing self doubt than there’s every been!
Not to mention mental health apps to help you communicate with a mental health professional about your self doubt.
Self-doubt and overthinking
Overthinking by definition means we’re thinking about something to the point that it’s disruptive.
Because as we overthink what we’ve said and what we’ve done, we tend to go deeper into a rabbit hole and we can’t get out.
If you are doubting yourself, notice when you’re thinking about it too much. For example,
- You’re unable to focus on anything else.
- You’re not making any progress and no closer to a solution.
- You feel even MORE self-doubt!
Especially in relationships, overthinking can cause you to go over and over a scenario, exhausting yourself, and keep you from taking decisive action.
How do you know if something is meant for you?
That’s the billion-dollar question.
How do you KNOW?
Are you meant to be a standup comic?
Are you meant to be a cartoonist?
Are you meant to be a teacher?
Are you destined for soul mate love?
Are you capable of a loving, lasting love?
Are you meant to lead thousands of people?
Are you meant to write a book?
Are you capable of building a house?
Are you meant to heal a disease?
Do you have it in you?
This is the journey to finding yourself… and how you’re meant to use your life to make the world better.
Look at yourself as a whole person… this isn’t about career. It’s how you’ll heal and grow.
You’re not alone
Whether you talk to spirit guides, God, Source, Universe… or whatever religious or spiritual belief that calls your soul, lean into it.
You have support 24/7 along your path in life.
Don’t doubt that!
You may not understand what you’re meant to do, but open up the dialogue.
Ask. Listen. Ask again.
Here are questions for spirit guides or God/Source/Universe for your personal growth and more information about your path.
Self doubt hurts the soul
Self doubt… when it’s about something that is MEANT FOR YOU… sucks the life out of the soul.
It really does.
Your self doubt might be keeping you from the very thing you’re meant to do.
But here’s what you’re thinking: Is this thing I want meant for me?
Or do I just want it really bad?
Every soul-aware person should be asking this question. Refer to #1, 2, and 3 above to find your answers.
We all must do the work.
Not believing in yourself
Not believing in the very thing you’re meant to do, that you’re designed to do… is like telling the universe…
Thanks, but no thanks.
Thanks for giving me the ability, the road map… but I have too much self doubt.
If your inner critic is the culprit, then I get that.
Then, that’s the emotional work for you… work on the little voice that tells you: You’re not enough, you’re not doing enough, you don’t deserve BLANK.
As you do the inner work, you’ll dial down that limiting dialogue.
Persistent self doubt
The inner critic kills dreams.
Growing up I believe I had sufficient self esteem and self worth, but the self doubt was right there alongside.
I’d believe in myself in one breath, then doubt myself with the next.
I wondered, how can someone with this much confidence, have such persistent self doubt?
Self Confidence by doing
Self confidence is built by doing, taking action.
So if you’re not confident, do things that help you build confidence.
For example, I was NOT confident about speaking in front of groups. So, I joined Toast Masters, I practiced in front of the mirror, I read self-help books, I said affirmations… and ultimately, I pushed though my paralyzing fear.
I’d throw up in the bathroom. I’m not lying.
Self criticism is such a problem, so I had to slowly replace the negative voices in my head with positive self talk.
Practice self compassion
Practice self compassion as you overcome self doubt.
I really struggled with this. My negative thoughts and negative self talk told me that I didn’t deserve compassion…
It’s a process for sure.
We don’t heal overnight. And we NEED self compassion along the way towards overcoming self doubt.
Maybe you doubt you’ll have a career you love.
Or, you doubt you deserve love.
Possibly, you doubt that you’ll ever get over a big hurt from your past.
Self doubt is part of being human. If you NEVER had self doubt, I’d be concerned! There is such a thing as overconfidence!
However, low self esteem and lack of confidence are telling you that there’s work to be done.
As a soul coach, I firmly believe that PART of that work is getting to know what’s on your soul’s path.
This is a process… but it can be a really fun one.
Uncovering your true self, your soul, or your deepest truths is one of the best parts of a fulfilling life.