We all struggle with self-doubt from time to time. Perhaps you often wonder if you’ve made the right decision or have only a faint hope that your next job interview, project, or even date will turn out well.
The most unfortunate thing about self-doubt is that
your fears often become self-fulfilling prophecies.
However, when you take action to become more confident in yourself, more things in your life automatically turn out better as well. With more self-confidence, your decision-making skills are strengthened, others are drawn to you in social situations, you produce higher quality work, and you’re more able to create the life you desire.
Try these strategies to silence the inner critic inside of you and regain your confidence:
- Stop and think. Reflect on why you’re experiencing feelings of doubt. Think about the events that caused you to feel insecure. Being faced with a challenge that you don’t feel you’re capable of successfully completing is a major cause for self-doubt.
- Do you have a habit of putting yourself down? You may be subconsciously repeating negative thoughts that prevent you from moving forward. Such thoughts as “I can’t do this” and “I’m not good enough” become reasons to opt out of new experiences that could bring you many benefits.
- The next time you have a self-doubting thought, take a few moments to think about why you believe this is true. If insecurities are getting the better of you because of past failures, you must resolve to live in the moment. Today is a new day!
- Replace your negative self-talk with positive thoughts about how you can do it and you are good enough. Make the switch each and every time you have a self-doubting thought. Soon you’ll automatically be singing your praises instead of your doubts.
- Practice self-understanding. Often, when you feel insecure about your abilities, you start berating yourself. Beating yourself up over something you feel you did wrong only leads to a cycle of frustration and procrastination. Realize that making mistakes doesn’t make you a bad or incompetent person – it simply makes you human.
- Allow yourself to accept that while you’re not perfect, you’re certainly someone who always strives to do the very best job you can. Embrace the idea that every challenge in life is an opportunity for you to learn something new and grow as a person.
- Make a list. Take a blank sheet of paper and make two columns. On the left side, write down all of those doubtful thoughts you’re having about yourself right now. On the right side, list all of the positive facts that dispute your doubts.
- For example, suppose you’ve been assigned a new task at work that you’ve never done before, and you immediately become negative because you feel your skills aren’t adequate. On the left side of the list write “I can’t do this because I don’t have the skills.” On the right side of the page write “I was given this task because I’m a quick learner who always gets the job done.”
- You’ll find that you have a lot more positive facts listed than doubts. If your positive list is short, keep searching through your talents and good qualities (yes – they are there) until your positive list outweighs your negative one.
- Write a letter. Write a letter to yourself that talks about your positive traits and how you’ve overcome obstacles in the past. If you can recall a specific time when you triumphed over self-doubt and accomplished something that makes you feel proud, tell this to yourself in the form of a story.
- The act of writing the letter will release all of those pent up insecurities that are spinning around inside of your mind. By the end of the letter, you should be feeling a lot better. Keep the letter in a brightly colored folder, so you can refer back to it when needed.
- Make an appreciation folder. Keep track of those kind words of appreciation you receive from others. When you’re experiencing self-doubt, it’s easy to forget about all of those wonderful comments you’ve received for doing things that made other people’s lives better in some way. Collect all of the emails, notes and cards that say kind and loving things about you.
- When you feel the voice of your inner critic welling up inside of you, simply take out your appreciation folder and read those wonderful thoughts.
- Focus on activities and tasks toward your goals. Get your mind off the past and to the future by taking small steps. The key is replacing your negative thoughts with positive activities that have confidence building outcomes. Even if you initially don’t believe it will help, just start and continue taking action.
- If you’re not happy with your career and doubt you can do better, learn what it will take to advance your career and practice the steps. Come up with a plan for a better job or careen change then execute the plan.
- If you’re having problems with dating find ways to have fun with new people without going out on “dates.” Join clubs or groups that interest you, if you love animals volunteer at a shelter, look for opportunities in your area where you can meet people and make new friends.
- Give to others. Helping others is a great way to get the focus off yourself and allow you to become someone’s “hero.” Add any recognition as a result of your activities to your appreciation folder.
- Look for volunteer activities in your area.
- Organize a group yard cleanup for an elderly person in your neighborhood.
- When someone needs a favor, be the first to offer to help.
Self-doubt can rob you of the opportunity to reach new heights of success in life. While it’s very common to doubt yourself once in a while, you want to be able to easily let go of your inner critic when it pops up. Practicing the steps above will enable you to push through your self-doubt, boost your confidence, and clear the way for positive new experiences.