5 Ways To Overcome Self-Doubt

self-empowerment self-learning self-worth May 21, 2021
woman doubting herself biting nails


Self-doubt is something that many of us feel from time to time. Especially when we're doing something that’s new or that exposes more of who we are, it's normal that we feel self-doubt. Although self-doubt is a pretty normal feeling, it's not necessarily the most comfortable one or the one that leads us to accomplish our wildest dreams. And so, here are five ways that you can overcome self-doubt when you notice it rearing its head.


1. Learn how to tame your inner critic.

The first tip for overcoming self-doubt is based in the fact that self-doubt is the language spoken by your not so long lost friend, your inner critic. As you may have read in my previous articles, your inner critic is a part of you and for many of us, it’s a part whose voice we hear more often than we'd like. That being said, this voice of criticism that we hear internally is just one part of who we are; it is not all of who we are. And so, it helps to really see it as just that– a part of us that, among all of the other parts of us, isn't necessarily the only one who is right.


We are each made of many parts that speak from many voices, and all of these voices can't possibly be true. After all, oftentimes these inner voices of ours disagree with one another. And so, if we take this to mean that our identity is not necessarily solely made of this part that criticizes us, we can begin to see ourselves as separate from it.


Now, why is it so important to see ourselves as separate from this voice of criticism? Well, once we can see ourselves as separate from this voice, we don't have to blindly believe everything it says. I've written about this voice of inner criticism that we have ad nauseum here so be sure to read it in full as you explore your voice of self-doubt.


And know that one of the best ways that you can separate yourself from this voice of inner criticism is really to see it as a separate personality within you. No, this doesn’t mean you have multiple personality disorder. It just means that you, like all of us, are made of many parts. So go ahead, give your inner critic a name. Once it has a name, you can refer to it as a part of you. You can say, for example, “Oh there goes critical Casey again…” or you can relate to it directly and say, “Hey, critical Casey, what's going on? Why do you feel the need to criticize right now? Are you scared that we're going to fail at this task that we've set out to do?”


Hopefully, through this example, you can fathom that seeing your voice of inner criticism as a separate personality (or part of you) can not only be fun but can be really helpful in overcoming self-doubt. If not, not to worry. Join us for a more in depth conversation in The Happiness Hub, The Happiness Doctor’s virtual community where we learn and interact about topics just like this one each and every week!


2. Be mindful of your self-comparisons.


Compare, Compare. Compare. It's one thing we humans love to do. And it's also one of the things that makes our self-doubt creep up in such high magnitudes! Sometimes I imagine calling up a friend and asking, “What are you doing?” and her/him honestly saying, “Busy comparing myself to other people… can we talk later?” instead of falsely saying “oh, not much… how are you?”


We’ve gotta be mindful of our self-comparisons. What do I mean when I say “be mindful” of them? Well, we all have control over what we expose ourselves to and how often or how much we expose ourselves to it. So, if comparing yourself to other people who are smarter, prettier, more handsome, or more successful than you in some way exacerbates your self-doubt, then honing in on why you compare yourself to other people and ways that you can shift those comparisons may well be worth your time! If this sounds familiar to you, then you've been hanging around The Happiness Doctor online headquarters and community lately, haven’t you? I just wrote an article on how to stop comparing yourself to other people a few weeks ago, and I highly recommend that you click the link to read it, and then head on back over here!


It's easy to compare ourselves to others. It can be a little more difficult to acknowledge the good things about who we are and how far we've come. So when you feel tempted to compare yourself to others, remember that the only comparison that is worthwhile to make is that between you and you. The next time you feel tempted to compare, compare yourself to who you used to be. And I bet, with some practice, that you'll see the incredible person others see when they look at you– someone who's come so far in life and who deserves to be acknowledged and to feel good about it all.

It's easy to compare ourselves to others. It can be a little more difficult to acknowledge the good things about who we are and how far we've come.

3. Connect to your ‘why’.


If you ask me, one of the best and fastest ways to overcome self-doubt is to take the “self” out of it. What I mean by that is rather than focusing so much on yourself, focus on the reason why you're doing this thing that’s new or that’s a bit risky or vulnerable to do in the first place. By focusing on something outside of yourself and something that coincidentally brings you in touch with the bigger picture and purpose behind what you're doing, you'll be both less likely to be consumed by the small details of how your capabilities and skills align with what you're doing and more consumed with the contribution that you're making.


Think about it this way. If you're focusing on yourself and only yourself, the voice of self-doubt will be pretty loud, asking (but really, telling) you “What if you fail? What if you don't have what it takes? What if nobody sees the value in what you're doing?” and many other variations of these doubtful statements. But, if you're focused on the contribution that your actions and decisions have the potential to make on your community or the world, then the voice of self-doubt will be much quieter. Instead of being connected to the voice of inner criticism, you'll be connected to the voice of purpose, passion, and contribution. And that right there is a pretty good feeling, isn’t it?


Some of the world's most accomplished people didn't accomplish their greatest goals simply by being really good at their craft or even by being really good at overcoming self-doubt. They did it by having– and staying connected to– a really strong sense of purpose for what it is they were doing. So, the next time you feel the voice of self-doubt creeping in when you're about to do something that’s important to you, remind yourself that there is a bigger picture and that you have a bigger reason for doing what you're doing. Then, pause and reconnect to what it is, and only then move forward towards your goal.


Some of the world's most accomplished people didn't accomplish their greatest goals simply by being really good at their craft or even by being really good at overcoming self-doubt. They did it by having... a really strong sense of purpose.

These three ways of overcoming self-doubt are plenty to get you moving with momentum in the direction of your greatest dreams and away from self-doubt, so feel free to pick one and get started on it right away. For numbers 4 and 5, join me in The Happiness Hub this week for a live segment where I'll be talking about this topic in full and describing each of the five ways that you can overcome self-doubt right away.


Don’t forget that these big life experiences like overcoming self-doubt, increasing confidence, and becoming genuinely happy in your relationships and life isn't a one and done sort of deal. It's a skill that you build over time. So be kind to yourself as you go about trying out these tips!


As always, if you have any questions along the way, come find me in The Happiness Hub. You and your questions are always welcome.


Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Cras sed sapien quam. Sed dapibus est id enim facilisis, at posuere turpis adipiscing. Quisque sit amet dui dui.

Call To Action

Stay connected with news and updates!

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.
Don't worry, your information will not be shared.

We hate SPAM. We will never sell your information, for any reason.