“Who am I that I think I can give life tips to other people?”
“Is it right to leave everything behind here to follow my dreams? What happens if I fail? ”
“How am I ever supposed to do it all?”
“My articles can never keep up with other bloggers’ articles. You are grotto bad. ”
I have such thoughts almost every day.
If you want to change your life and make your dreams come true, self-doubt will most likely occur. If you let them travel with you, they can sabotage you entirely, and in the worst case, you leave everything as it is.
You can find out what are self-doubt symptoms and how to overcome these self-doubts in this article.
“Doubt destroys more dreams than failure ever could.” – Suzy Kassem (American author and director)
In this article, you will learn:
- What are self-doubts
- That many people are affected by self-doubt
- What are the causes of self-doubt?
- How to get rid of your self-doubt
- How to deal with self-doubt
What are self-doubts?
Do you know when the critical voice in your head tells you that you cannot do something or you are not good enough for something? These are self-doubts.
Many people identify with the voice in their head and keep spinning such destructive thoughts – including horror scenarios in the head. As a result, we start to question ourselves and our dreams:
“Do I deserve to accomplish this?”
“Am I able to reach it?”
“Do I want that?”
“Was that the right decision?”
“Did I do it right?”
“Am I disciplined enough to pull it off?”
“What happens if it goes wrong?”
If we start to doubt ourselves, in the worst case this can completely paralyze us:
We don’t start because we’re afraid to “fail.”
We subconsciously sabotage ourselves again and again because we assume that we don’t deserve a sure thing
By continually questioning our goals, we do not get into the action
Psychology has repeatedly dealt with self-doubt in the past and found a name for it as the Impostor syndrome.
The imposter syndrome
People affected by this impostor syndrome doubt themselves and also their abilities: they blame external circumstances (luck, chance) for their success. Accordingly, they assume that they have achieved their successes and expect that their alleged dizziness will be noticed at some point in the future.
Studies from the 1980s assume that two out of five successful people see themselves as imposters. Other studies believe that up to 70% of people are affected.
One person affected was apparently the physicist and Nobel laureate Albert Einstein. A month before his death, he called a friend and said: “The exaggerated recognition of my life’s work makes me sick, I feel like an involuntary swindler”.
If even brilliant people like Albert Einstein are affected by self-doubts, you can rest easy: Occasional self-doubts are entirely normal – the decisive factor is how you deal with them.
But why do self-doubts arise?
What is self-doubt, and how can you overcome it?
If you’ve read the article carefully so far, you might be able to imagine the two things behind self-doubt:
- The fear of not being able to cope with a specific situation (= low self-confidence)
- The belief that you don’t deserve a particular thing (= low self-esteem)
Confidence is trust in yourself and your own abilities. On the other hand, self-esteem is the opinion you have of yourself. This includes whether you like yourself and treat yourself to certain things.
If you don’t just want to treat symptoms (learn how to deal with self-doubt correctly), but want to overcome your self-doubt permanently, you will not be able to avoid increasing your self-confidence and self-esteem.
How to increase your self-confidence and self-esteem
You may now expect a five-point list of how you can improve your confidence/self-esteem overnight. If so, I have to disappoint you – I’m sorry.
- It is possible to increase your self-confidence and self-esteem, but this takes time and does not work overnight. It is essential to do something for it regularly – preferably every day.
- If you want to increase your self-confidence and believe more in yourself, face new situations and challenges. You are welcome to be a little afraid of these situations.
- Your body will gradually learn that it can cope with unusual situations. Over time, you will build up bombproof confidence. (I went into more detail on self-confidence and fear in my article on courage .)
- To increase your self-esteem, I recommend that you question how you deal with yourself and, if necessary, reconsider.
For example, do you put yourself down if you made a small mistake? Would your best friend talk to you in the same way? Would he still be your best friend in this case? Probably not! Be loving with yourself. Treat yourself like your best friend.
- In the long term, we can overcome our self-doubt by increasing our self-esteem and building our self-confidence. Since it can be a long way to get there, it is an advantage to know how to deal with self-doubt.
7 tips for dealing with self-doubt correctly
1. Become aware of your self-doubt
The dangerous thing about self-doubt is that it often happens unconsciously. If you do not notice that you are beginning to doubt, you cannot consciously stop these doubts. This gives you a chance of getting caught in self-doubt and spinning on it.
If you want to get rid of your self-doubt, the first step is to become aware of it and to recognize it.
2. Allow yourself to doubt yourself, but do not identify with them
If you are aware of your self-doubts, the next step is to allow them. Many people do not want to hear/feel negative thoughts and feelings and try to push them away.
Thoughts and feelings behave like little children: they want to be noticed. Accordingly, it will not help you to suppress them. Pushing them away will make them cry out for attention all the more.
Let the self-doubts be there and accept them, but do not identify with them. You are not the voice in your head!
All suffering arises because we believe our (destructive) thoughts. Realize your self-doubt, but don’t believe it.
In this article, you will learn more about the power of thought.
3. Who owns the voice in your head?
If self-doubt arises next time, pay close attention to the voice in your head. Is it really your own? Or does it belong to someone else?
Suppose your mother used to tell you that you can’t do certain things. If you have been persuaded of this over and over again, at some point, you will unconsciously believe that it is true.
Should self-doubts arise, such as “you can never do this,” your inner voice, the voice of your mother, could be?
Listen carefully next time. You will be amazed.
4. Change the voice in your head
One technique to overcome self-doubt is to change the voice in your head. Make fun of your self-doubts by imitating them with a funny internal voice – for example, the funny croaky voice of Donald Duck.
5. Talk to a good friend
As conscious as we are, we can never look entirely at our situation objectively. This can lead us to be carried away by our problems and self-doubts and despairing of them.
A good friend can always assess your situation more objectively than you can. Tell him your doubts and ask him for advice on what he thinks of it. In many cases, it will dispel your self-doubts.
6. Make yourself aware of your success
Many people don’t think their achievements are anything special. Their focus is on their past failures, for which they still blame themselves years later.
If your focus is on what you have not succeeded in, your successes are deliberately hidden. You can find out why and how you can change your focus in this article.
Focus on what you have already achieved in your life. For this, you can create a list of your successes. Ask yourself: What have you achieved in your life so far?
Perhaps you might think to yourself of many things: “Everyone can do that” – No, he can’t! The fish perceive the water around it as natural. It is often the same as our skills and success. Don’t be a fish and write down things that you don’t find particularly good.
Another option is to ask your surroundings what you are good at. Do you regularly get compliments from different people around you for your work? Complete this as well.
Since a wide variety of people keep telling me that they like my articles, there must be something right about them – even if I still can’t really believe it.
If you have doubts, don’t look at the top of the mountain. Look down into the valley to see what you’ve already done.
7. Just start – despite self-doubt
Significant challenges can overwhelm us. We only see the big picture, and we don’t know how to do it. Such a situation is an ideal breeding ground for self-doubt. In the worst case, we become entirely unable to act.
How do you eat an elephant?
Bite by Bite – I am sorry if you are a vegetarian.
It is the same with significant challenges. Don’t let self-doubt drive you crazy, break the difficulty down to small steps and just start! This will result in a lot of things happening by themselves.