How to Overcome Self Doubt

Do you ever doubt yourself and your abilities? Do feelings of “I’m not good enough” hold you back from achieving your goals? You’re not alone – we all experience self-doubt at times.

Overcoming self-doubt is critical for building confidence and reaching your full potential. In this exciting video, I’ll provide practical tips to help you move past those negative thoughts clouding your mind. We’ll tackle the root causes of self-doubt, reframe self-criticism, and discuss how to take action to prove your doubts wrong.

You deserve to feel capable, worthy, and ready to handle life’s challenges. Together, let’s overcome self-doubt and unlock your true talents!

Identifying Where Self-Doubt Comes From

To defeat self-doubt, we first need to understand where it originates. Oftentimes, the negative self-talk in our minds stems from:

Past Experiences

Painful experiences earlier in life, like failures or criticism, can plant seeds of self-doubt we carry with us. We might replay old mistakes or harsh judgments again and again. For example, if you failed a test that you studied hard for as a child, you may have started questioning your academic abilities broadly and carried that self-doubt with you.

Or if you put yourself out there creatively through art, writing, music, or performance only to be criticized, it’s natural to start doubting your creative talents more widely. External criticism often shapes our inner narrative.

Unrealistic Expectations

Do you punish yourself for not being perfect? Holding such high standards fuels feelings of “never good enough.” Perfection isn’t possible – self-compassion is key.

We often absorb societal messages and pressure that tell us we need to “have it all” – a successful career, friends and romance, an active social life, along with health, happiness, and our inner peace all perfectly balanced. In reality no one can achieve that unsustainable level of perfection.

When we don’t reach impossible standards, our inner critic attacks us as failures, which takes a toll on self-confidence. Learning self-acceptance despite our human limitations and flaws is critical.

pretty young woman, Self Doubt, sad, thoughtful

Comparing Yourself to Others

Seeing friends, peers, or public figures’ accomplishments and talents can lead us to minimize our own. But we all have unique strengths on our own path. With the rise of social media, it’s increasingly common to compare our everyday lives to others’ carefully curated highlight reels. This breeds feelings of inadequacy.

While healthy competition can motivate growth, regularly looking outside ourselves for validation sets us up for disappointment. Life becomes more rewarding when we set our own definitions of success vs chasing externally projected ideas of achievement we “should” pursue.

Harsh Self-Criticism

Negative self-talk often starts unconsciously until it sabotages our confidence and shapes our self-identity. Changing this inner voice is possible with practice! Cognitive behavioral therapy refers to the destructive automatic thoughts clouding our judgment as “cognitive distortions.” Some examples:

  • Filtering – Only focusing on the negatives while ignoring the positives
  • Overgeneralization – Making sweeping judgments based on single incidents
  • Labeling – Broadly labeling oneself as a “failure” or “fraud” vs commenting on specific behaviors

Left unchecked, these distorted thought patterns and self-labels entrench harmful ideas about who we are and corrode self-confidence from the inside.

Reframing Your Inner Narrative

Once we identify common thought patterns planting doubts, we can start rewriting our inner narrative to be more supportive.

Challenge Negative Thoughts

When you hear an inner critic attacking your worth or abilities, stop and assess if this is a helpful perspective rooted in truth. Often, it’s not! Ask yourself:

  • Is this thought reasonable, rational, and rooted in reality?
  • Am I overgeneralizing or making unfair comparisons?
  • Would I make this harsh judgment about someone else in my shoes?

Inject some neutrality and logic – don’t accept self-criticism as absolute fact.

Embrace Self-Compassion

Imagine a close friend struggling with self-doubt – you’d reassure them of their talents in a heartbeat! Extend the same kindness to yourself. Perfection isn’t possible for anyone – focus on progress over demanding flawlessness.

Talk to yourself as you would a child learning a new skill, not as a judge punishing mistakes. Celebrate small daily wins, and avoid hurtful self-labels when you slip up. Growth happens slowly through mistakes along the way.

Reframe Failure as Feedback

When major setbacks or mistakes trigger old doubts, avoid labeling the situation as proof of personal failure or fraudulence. Reframe it neutrally as an experiment that didn’t go as planned but provided useful feedback to adjust course. You are not defined by any single incident – neither success nor failure reflects your worth.

Visualize Future Success

If current struggles with self-belief feel like pressing pause on pursuing a goal, visualize that paused video resuming and fast forwarding to scenes where you’ve made progress. Keep the long view in mind – obstacles along the way are expected and can be worked through rather than proof you should give up altogether.

Proving Self-Doubt Wrong Through Action

As the saying goes, action speaks louder than words – or worries! By steadily taking small steps outside your comfort zone and seeking external feedback, you gather concrete evidence against self-doubt.

Set Manageable Goals

Don’t expect to suddenly run a marathon if you’ve never been a runner! Lay out modest, manageable goals you can achieve to build self-belief through progress. Break down bigger dreams into step-by-step plans.

Maybe you doubt your artistic talents and fear sharing your art publicly. Make an initial goal to complete one finished piece per week for yourself, without fixating yet on reactions. Then set a later goal to share online or display locally. Baby steps add up!

Listen to Others’ Belief in You

Doubting yourself? Ask a supportive teacher, mentor, coach or friend about areas where they notice your strengths and talents shining through. External praise can balance our own inner critic. If you can’t think of skills others would praise, ask! We often underestimate our own gifts.

Keep a Confidence Journal

Start writing down every little daily action you take that defies self-doubt. Note each goal reached, creative effort made, risk taken or praise received – however seemingly “small.” These concrete markers accumulate to prove your inner critic wrong when doubts resurface.

Track Growth, Not Perfection

Rather than expecting each performance, creation or effort to be flawlessly excellent, shift focus to noticing gradual progress in skills over time. Any step forward builds confidence. Write down feats your past-self couldn’t imagine pulling off – proof of expanding abilities.


With determination to understand and reframe negative thought patterns paired with constructive action, we can dismantle lingering self-doubt holding us back. External support reminds us of our inner light while personal accomplishments make it shine brighter.

You are worthy, talented and ready to handle life’s adventures – this truth comes from within and from those around you cheering you onward. Let’s leave self-doubt behind!

I encourage you to start small by identifying just one area where you feel self-doubt creeping in and apply a new tip or technique covered today. With consistent practice, every step forward chips away at feelings of “I can’t do this” on our journey toward confidence and self-belief. You’ve got this!

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