Everyone has dealt with self-doubt at least once. While others can get back up and on track quickly, some continue to struggle. Self-doubt is not an uncommon thing. It happens even to the most successful person you know, although it seems unlikely. Self-doubt takes on different forms, and perhaps this is the reason why some people seem to have no issues with it while others find it crippling.
According to an article on Explorable, there are three types of people who battle with self-doubt, namely rebels, victims, and imposters. Rebels are those whose self-doubt is exhibited through defiance. Victims, on the other hand, are those who shy away from responsibilities attached to their every action and feeling. Lastly, imposters show off excessive amounts of energy to mask their self-doubt.
Self-doubt can happen to anyone who has an awareness of themselves and their environment. Based on their evaluation of themselves in contrast with their environment, they can either get a boost or a loss of self-esteem. Loss of self-esteem leads to self-doubt, which in turn plays a part in depression and anxiety. As we already know, these two can have effects on both our professional and personal lives. Since the mind is such a beautiful thing, there are many ways we can train and help ourselves cope.
1. Be more self-aware
Raising self-awareness doesn’t stop at knowing your weaknesses. Being self-aware also includes knowing your strengths and the things you are good at. Improvement and development will only be significant if they are applied in areas that most need them, so identifying your weaknesses is key. However, if you find yourself crippled by just how many weaknesses you seem to have, remind yourself that success and failure come hand in hand. Make a habit of reminding yourself of the things you are good at and recall how you got there. You’d be surprised by how many failures it actually took you to get better.
2. Be self-compassionate
You don’t expect someone to be good at something they’re doing for the first time, and the same rule applies to yourself. A study by Dr. Kristen Neff at the University of Texas found that there is a positive relationship between self-compassion and positive mental health. Positive mental health, in this case, means reduced anxiety, greater life satisfaction, and higher self-esteem. Both of these can have extremely positive impacts on both your professional and personal lives.
3. Let go of fear
For some people, self-doubt is often laced with fear, fear of not being good enough, fear of judgment, and fear of failing. What people do not realize is that failure doesn’t translate to trying and failing at it. Instead, the true meaning of failure is failing to try. This message is resonated in our video ‘You’ll Never Fail Again After This’. Keep in mind that every single fall will bring you knowledge and experience, which can be instrumental in paving your way towards success.
4. Decide then make it right
The first and second points of being self-aware and self-compassionate are key to accomplishing this fourth point. Due to the many things you have to juggle in your day-to-day and the complicated nature of life, we can’t always get things right the first time. For this reason, Bob Johansen of the Institute for the Future suggests that people make sure that they have “strong opinions, weakly held”. Be self-aware enough to know what your primary values are and be self-compassionate enough to be open to changes that can make your decisions better as you go along.
5. Remember that you are not alone
The pieces of advice you receive from different sources aren’t magic pills: due to our innate uniqueness, every tip leads to equally unique results for everyone. While some advice can help others move forward, some are unable to overcome their problems despite trying every piece of advice they can find. This is the point where seeking professional help is the best option. Remember that you don’t have to face your problems alone. Experts from Maryville University point out that psychology professionals are equipped to deal with a broad range of human experiences, which include crippling self-doubt, so when you feel like you’re stuck in a rut and can’t move on, there’s no shame in asking someone for help.
6. Work on Self-Happiness
Upon birth, we are trained to get validation from others. As we grow older, we tend to forget that happiness needs no explanation or validation from others. The emergence of social media platforms, however, is making it hard for us to work on own happiness. Despite this, keep in mind that everyone is fighting their own battles and that your happiness rests on no one else but you. Read through our ‘4 Secrets to Self-Happiness’ post for more ways to achieve self-happiness.
7. Be your own motivator
While some see courage as the lack of fear, others peg it as the ability to do something in spite of fear. The second notion applies to self-doubt as well. Regardless of how ugly feelings of self-doubt might be, learn to be at peace with them. Take on an active role and be your own motivator. Pour your energy on mustering up the courage and strength to go on with life in spite of self-doubt, instead of trying to chase it away.
Despite the ease that the modern world brings to our daily lives, it also has its fair share of disadvantages. Connectivity and social media raise the likelihood of acquiring mental health problems. Luckily, humans are resilient beings who are capable of coping and adapting.