Self-doubt is something we all experience. It’s what makes us human but there is a fine line between expected self-doubt and self-doubt that absolutely destroys your confidence – and you guessed it – today, we are discussing the latter.
Positive Self-Doubt Vs. Negative Self-Doubt
It is said that there are two types of self-doubt; a positive and negative version. Positive self-doubt is when you doubt a decision based on realistic considerations. For example, if you are thinking of setting up an anxiety store but realize that there are already a few in your neighborhood, the potential of incurring losses rather than bringing profit causes positive, or rather, realistic self-doubt.
Negative doubting is a different story, where a lack of self-confidence and low self-esteem take play. It happens when you begin to doubt yourself and your life due to your own lack of confidence and often times, this forces you to miss out on positive experiences, opportunities and plans that make life great!
The negative impact self doubt has on your life
What is self-doubt, you ask? There are four different reasons that may be causing your self-doubt.
- Self-doubt: a hesitation caused by the possibility/fear of making a wrong decision
This type of self-doubt is a described as being a built-in feeling that is heavily tied to the self-preservative instinct. While there’s a “risk” with any type of decision, doubt sends off an alarm that something may or may not go wrong which causes your mind to overanalyze (and over doubt) even the slightest details, causing a disruption in your mood and the decision you were planning on making.
- Self-doubt; a lack of knowledge, ability to analyze, low self-esteem or lack of belief in yourself
With this type of self-doubt, you never feel good enough. You never feel like you have the intelligent, skills or ability to do whatever it is you want to do. This type of self-doubt is a common trait in depression.
- Self-doubt; a fear of what people think
For many anxiety sufferers, self-doubt is triggered by the constant fear of what other people will think. You may believe you can do something but you refrain from doing so for fear of what other people may say or think about you.
- Self-doubt; a fear of stepping out of one’s comfort zone
Self-doubt can also stem from the fear of leaving your comfort zone. To take a risk or keep everything as it is? To leave or to stay? To buy or to save? These are all questions people commonly ask themselves but for people who are experiencing self-doubt that’s affecting their quality of life, these questions hold a lot more weight and can seem impossible to answer.
How to overcome self-doubt and increase your self-confidence
We’ve created a list of things you can do to help overcome shyness and self-doubt, so you can start loving who you are and everything you have to offer.
1. Think of the factors that make you doubt yourself
The reason for low self-confidence and self-doubt can be different. Perhaps you’re insecure about your personality traits, facial features, the language you speak, intellectual peculiarities or something along those lines.
Create a list of things that influence your self-doubt and for each thing you mentioned, jot down a couple of things you can do to get rid of these doubts.
2. Discover the reasons why you feel like you have to live up to someone’s expectations
Think about the reasons you feel like you have to live up to someone else’s expectations; why your choices are more geared towards someone else’s happiness than your own. You only live once; there is no time to match the expectations of people you do not even care about. So, discover the reasons as to why you would rather make a choice that pleases someone else. This can help you reveal what’s trigger your self-doubt and lack of confidence.
3. Realize that perfection is not near as important as progress
As someone struggling with self-doubt and a lack of confidence, you may focus on the imperfections or the mistakes you make; aiming to always be “perfect”. This simply isn’t realistic. Everyone makes mistakes and to be quite frank, there’s no one version of perfect.
When you’re constantly striving to be perfect, feeling incomplete, imperfect and depressed and likely to follow. So, it’s important to realize that nobody’s perfect and those mistakes you’re so terrified of making are actually the stepping-stones to making progress and reaching your goals.
Create a list of people who you think are successful and perfect. Then, research their story. Chances are, they did not go without mistakes and failure on their paths to success.
4. Stop being so hard on yourself
The first step to building self-confidence is to stop criticizing yourself. Every time you find yourself saying hurtful or degrading things about or to yourself, think about whether or not you’d say them to someone you love and care about. Chances are, you wouldn’t.
Make a list of all the things you’re good at and all the wonderful things you bring to this world. Memorize them if you have to and when you find yourself saying terrible things about who you are or what you did, go over your list of positivity. Furthermore, having a list of positive affirmations can be really helpful when trying to change your negative thoughts into positive ones.
Now, you may still run into other people criticizing you or trying to lower your confidence. It will take practice but try do not make a big deal out of it. Remember that what someone else says is just words, and it’s the way you react to that determines how you feel about it. So, control your reactions. When you feel yourself becoming overly sensitive due to someone else’s comments, remind yourself that you’re proud of who you are and what you bring to this world.
5. Try a self-confidence building program
There are many incredible programs out there that will help you build up your self-confidence, so you can start living the life you want. Here are our top 3 favourites, all of which come with a 60 Day Money Back Guarantee and that can be done in the comfort of your own home:
- The Shyness and Social Anxiety Program
- Social Confidence Coaching
- Social Confidence System – Our #1 Recommended for Programs
6. Be unapologetically yourself
There’s only one you. Be that person. Accept your character, your appearance; accept your unique sense of humour; your love for people, your kindness and your quirks. They are a part of you for a reason.
When you accept everything about yourself, who do not like you or criticize you have less power and strength to take you down.
7. Put yourself to the test and accept the challenge
Start building up your confidence by facing the challenges life presents. If there’s something you’ve always wanted to do but have avoided due to self-doubt, push the negativity to the side and just do it. Challenge yourself each and every day, whether with something as simple as smiling at a stranger or as daring as jumping out of a plane, and you will see your confidence boosting.
But remember, even if you weren’t successful in completion, you took steps towards progress and that’s success worth celebrating. Do not blame yourself for the things you didn’t do; congratulate yourself for your attempts, bravery, and strength.
8. Make goals geared towards working on yourself
Make a list of goals you want to achieve that are specific to self improvement – big and small. Then, make a list of steps that are required to reach success. Having a list of things you’ve accomplished will instantly boost your motivation and encourage your desire to make even bigger steps moving forward. And remember, if you make a mistake, do not make a big deal of it. Everyone puts a foot wrong sometimes.
9. Surround yourself with the right people
As the saying goes, misery loves company.
Surround yourself with people who are inspire you to be the best version of you; people who make you feel good and who support you even during your darkest days. When you are surrounded by people who genuinely love and care for you, you will slowly start to love and care for yourself just as much.
Everyone experiences self-doubt and it’s entirely normal. However, when it’s destroying your self-confidence and lowering your quality of life, it’s time to make a change. Consider trying an online self-confidence program to help you get started on this path towards becoming a confident, self-loving, challenge-accepting you.
About the Author: Written by Carol James.
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