Crush Self-Doubt – 3 Tips to Breakthrough
Have you ever felt like you weren’t good enough, smart enough, or capable enough to accomplish what is important to you? If so, you’re not alone. While feelings of self-doubt are common and normal, how you choose to respond to those feelings is up to you. If you’re tired of feeling scared, unsure, or anxious, learn these 3 highly effective tips to crush self-doubt and breakthrough.
What is Self-Doubt?
Self-doubt is a lack of confidence in your abilities or decisions to handle whatever is happening.
Self-doubt can be triggered by a variety of factors, and life experiences such as a past failure, negative feedback, societal pressure, or a sudden change in your life circumstances. Maybe you’re making a career change, recently got promoted or just want to excel in your current role and are struggling with self-doubt. Perhaps you are starting a new business and are overwhelmed with, well everything! Or maybe something major changed in your life, and you’re starting over and feeling uncertain and unsure.
Self-doubt can make you feel like an imposter, that you don’t belong or deserve something. It can cause you to second-guess yourself and your decisions, compare yourself to others or cause you to worry about what others might think. And while self-doubt is a very normal – common experience, it can hold you back, paralyze you from taking action, and even sabotage you from living your life.
Acute or Chronic?
In understanding how self-doubt affects you, it may be helpful to understand that your feelings of self-doubt may be Acute or Chronic in nature.
For a person who is usually confident, an episode of self-doubt might be brought on by a sudden change in life circumstances that cause you to question your skills and ability. In this case, it is likely that your self-doubt is an ACUTE, but probably temporary emotion.
On the other hand, if your self-doubt has plagued you throughout your life, it is more likely a CHRONIC ongoing condition. It will take more time and effort to overcome your self-doubt, and you may need to seek more support from a coach or therapist to make the progress you desire.
Self-Doubt = Your Thinking
In any case, self-doubt causes you to question yourself and your ability and makes moving forward more difficult. The good news is that self-doubt is CAUSED by your thinking and is rarely accurate, true, or kind.
And, as with most things in life, you can either let self-doubt limit you, or you can learn to overcome self-doubt to breakthrough to tackle your challenges and achieve your goals.
Tip #1: Acknowledge Your Feelings and Negative Self-Talk
The first step in overcoming self-doubt is to acknowledge your feelings and recognize your triggers, and negative self-talk.
Again, it’s normal to feel scared, unsure, or anxious when facing a change in life circumstances. Whether you CHOSE a big change or a big change CHOSE you, you may feel like you’re on a rollercoaster of emotions. And your feelings of confidence and self-doubt may ebb and flow. Just when you think you’ve got a handle on your feelings – another wave hits you. This is normal too. You’re adjusting to a change and it’s just going to take some time. What’s important is to NOT let those feelings control you.
Secondly, learning to recognize your triggers, negative self-talk, and limiting beliefs is helpful in raising your self-awareness around your feelings of self-doubt. This kind of thinking POPS UP when you’re facing a new challenge or adjusting to a big change. It might sound like, “Who do you think you are?”, “You’re not smart enough to tackle that,” or “You don’t have enough experience to handle this”. These kinds of thoughts and beliefs cause you to question your ability, and confidence and can make you feel small, holding you back or even sabotaging your efforts.
Challenge Your Thinking
Once you’ve identified your negative thoughts and limiting beliefs, CHALLENGE them. Ask yourself, “Are these thoughts even accurate or true?”, “Is there any evidence to support them?” Often, your limiting beliefs are based on false ideas. When you are being triggered by your limiting beliefs consider what you are thinking or saying to yourself and how it makes you feel.
By identifying your negative thoughts and recognizing your feelings of self-doubt you increase your self-awareness. And I’m going to warn you that sometimes increasing your self-awareness doesn’t FEEL very good. You may start to notice all kinds of unkind things you say to yourself. However, as you get better at recognizing your thinking, you’ll have the opportunity to SHIFT your awareness more quickly to thinking that is more helpful.
Remember to be KIND to yourself. Change can be difficult, even when you chose the change!
Tip #2: Focus on Your Strengths
We all have unique skills, talents, and abilities that make us valuable. The best way to overcome self-doubt. or any negative pattern you want to change is to focus on and develop your strengths. These are talents or ways of thinking that come naturally to you. So natural that sometimes you don’t even think of them as unique.
If you struggle with identifying your unique talents, you might seek help from family, friends, colleagues, or an Axiogenics coach who can help you identify them. The support of people who know your strengths can remind you of your abilities and can offer you constructive feedback. They can provide you with different perspectives, inspire you, and help keep you accountable. Make a list of your strengths and remind yourself of them whenever you’re feeling self-doubt. Learning to FOCUS on strengthening your STRENGTHS is key.
Adjust and Adapt
Also, a special note, if you’re learning to adjust to a new normal following an accident or illness, recognizing your strengths may be especially challenging. You may not be able to DO all the same things, the same way you used to. In this case, you might need to seek a professional to help you assess and determine your strengths. You may need to learn to do some things differently. And as with many changes in life, remember to be kind to yourself as you learn to adjust and adapt.
Focusing = Being Present
Lastly, focusing on your strengths requires you to be more present. You see, self-doubt is rooted in the past, where you are mulling over things you’ve already done or are worrying about what you will have to do in the future. But learning to ask and answer The Central Question of Life, Love, and Leadership focuses your attention on the present moment.
Asking yourself this question forces you to think about your options right now, in this moment and supports you in making more GOOD decisions. Asking yourself this question frequently helps you stay present and focuses your attention on what you CAN do right now. If you’d like to learn more about The Central Question, watch my video on Becoming More Valuegenic, or download this free resource: The Ultimate Guide to Living a Richer Life; and the One Question that Changes Everything.
Tip #3: Take Action
In asking and answering The Central Question, you ground yourself in the present moment. Deciding on the best CHOICE and ACTION you can take in this moment, is one of the most effective ways to overcome self-doubt. Instead of getting stuck in a cycle of self-doubt and worry, take action toward your goals. Break your goal into small, bite-sized steps, and focus on taking one step at a time. Make a list if that makes you feel better, and cross things off as you accomplish them. It’s okay if you don’t have everything figured out yet, even messy action is progress. By taking small steps, you learn to build momentum and confidence. You can also learn from your mistakes and adjust your course as needed.
It’s also important to celebrate your successes, no matter how small. Celebrating your successes can boost your confidence and motivate you to keep going. Celebrate in small or big ways. Give yourself permission to pause and reflect on what you’ve learned. Share your success with family and friends, give yourself a public shout-out on social, or treat yourself to something special (like red shoes)!
Mistakes are Okay
So, when you are faced with a big challenge or transition, remember that feeling self-doubt is a normal part of the change. Take some time to acknowledge your feelings and identify your limiting beliefs. Next, focus on your strengths, which might require the help of family, friends, colleagues, or a coach you trust. And if your health has changed, you may need to relearn and adapt to make the most of your new strengths. Ground yourself in the present moment, by asking The Central Question of Life, Love, and Leadership. After all, the present moment is the only time you can make choices and take action! Ultimately, learning to crush self-doubt and breakthrough to achieve your goals is your CHOICE. It’s really okay to make mistakes and experience setbacks along the way. After all, Living a Richer Life is a journey.
If you’re struggling with negative self-talk and self-doubt and would like to learn your greatest thinking strengths to crush self-doubt and breakthrough to achieve your goals, complete our assessment and schedule a FREE introductory session with me.
Kristin Clark is a certified Axiogenics Coach and co-author of Living a Richer Life; It’s All in Your Head. Kristin has coached hundreds of people from a wide range of backgrounds and beliefs, industries, and professions. She teaches Valuegenic Self-Leadership, a powerful development program engaging, empowering, and igniting individuals’ and leaders’ potential to improve their performance, relationships, and quality of life.