11 Powerful Ways to Overcome Self-Doubt

Self-doubt can hold you back. It can keep you from seizing opportunities. It can make getting started harder than it needs to be.

I’ve struggled with self-doubt for many years. I doubted my ability; I thought I was never good enough. And my choices reflected that.

I let self-doubt stop me from pursuing the things I wanted. It held me back from being who I wanted to be. Who I am today.

Self-doubt and negative self-talk became such a habit; I was comfortable with it. They kept me from improving and stuck me in an endless loop of negativity.

Self-doubt and fear go hand in hand. We can become so afraid of trying new things. We fear change because we’re afraid of the unknown, and we are so scared to try something new, in case it doesn’t work out, or turns out to be worse than what we have now.

We can come up with the worst-case scenarios in our heads instead of focusing on positive outcomes. We worry about what could go wrong instead of focusing on what could go right.

Fear and self-doubt can stop us from trying anything new, keeping us in our current situation. We adapt to our circumstances even if those circumstances aren’t benefiting us because it’s comfortable.

To overcome the self-doubt, fear, and lack of confidence, you need to intervene in your own life and take control. And these are 11 ways that you can do so from today.

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1. Say stop

When your inner doubts bubble up, be quick. Don’t let them spin out of control or grow from a thought to a stream of discouraging sentences. Instead, talk back to that doubtful part of yourself.

In your mind, voice a positive thought. If the thought says, ” the interview will not go well.” Immediately answer with, “Getting the interview means that I have what it takes.” Stop that negative thought in its tracks. Speak your truth.

By doing so, you disrupt the thought pattern and stop negative thinking from taking over.

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2. Reflect on memories

Be honest with yourself and ask: How many times have I doubted myself or feared something would happen, for it not to materialize?

The answer for me – on many occasion.

Self-doubts like to keep you within the comfort zone.

If you look to the past and see how many times things worked out despite your self-doubts, then it becomes easier to let go of them and to focus on the more likely positive outcome and to take action.

3. Talk to someone about it

When you keep your negative thoughts to yourself, they can become exaggerated. So let them out into the light. Talk to someone close to you about your self-doubts.

They will confirm what you already know deep down, that you are more than capable; you’re just letting fear control your thinking.

By talking with someone supportive you will get a change in perspective.

4. Don’t get stuck in the comparison trap

If you compare yourself to other people, self-doubt can creep up on you.

A better way to go about things is to compare yourself to yourself. Look at how far you have come, and what you’ve overcome.

It to easy to look at everything that you want to achieve; rarely do people look back and look at what they have already achieved. Reflection gives us the added motivation that we need to keep going.

5. Start keeping a journal

Keeping a journal can be a helpful habit for many reasons when it comes to self-doubts, it can help you to remember the positive things, all the successes you’ve made. How you have overcome obstacles in the past can give you great insights if you’re crippled with fear.

When you write down your problem, you will be surprised at how little is holding you back. Plus, writing things down can give you a fresh perspective on the issue, making it easier to find solutions.

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6. Don’t worry about other peoples opinions

When you worry about what others may think or say if you do something, then self-doubt can lead to in-action and fear.

The truth is, people don’t care that much about what you do; they are too busy thinking about themselves, their worries, their bills, and their insecurities.

This is one of the most important lessons I have learnt in my life.

7. Get a boost of optimism

Let someone else’s enthusiasm, motivation and constructive optimism flow into your life.

Spend 10-20 minutes with an audiobook, a podcast or a book that increases your faith. Now with platforms like YouTube wisdom and encouragement is only a click away. Instead of turning on the TV, tune into some inspiration or motivation for 10-20 minutes a day.

A daily boost of positivity can help you to shift any self-doubts into optimism.

8. See a setback as temporary

When you have a setback, then you may start to see things through a negative lens. You might even let the set-back fill your mind with doubts.

Negative thinking can stop you from taking action, so instead, remember: You are not a failure just because you failed. Failure is a vital part of success.

Sometimes things go well and sometimes they don’t. So don’t let a failure determine your destiny.

Ask yourself: what is one thing I can learn from this setback? Use the mistake to your advantage and take a better approach.

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9. Don’t beat yourself up about it

A common way to handle self-doubt is to get angry at yourself. Being hard on yourself for a weakness or mistake is not a good approach.

I have found that being kind and constructive is a better choice. So I may ask myself a question like; what is one tiny step I can take to move forward in this situation?

Then I take that tiny step and start to step by step move towards where I want to go.

10. Celebrate that small step and win

When you’ve taken one small step forward – for example, do your first CV/Resume in years– then you have a win. It may be a small one, but it’s still a win. So celebrate it.

This will recharge your motivation and make taking action feel more exciting and fun. And that will push self-doubts aside so you keep moving and getting more small wins.

11. The map is not the territory

In the carrying out of plans, many things can change, so it is essential that you don’t allow self-doubt to creep in.

Your plan might be A-B-C-D, but the journey of life may take you from A-D-B-C. As long as you are aware of this fact it removes self-doubt when your life takes a slightly different turn than you expected.

For example; your plan might be to work within an organisation that campaigns for human rights, but your life journey presents you with a job where your working along side the very people that make the laws; where your influence could make a massive change.

But if you dismiss that job because it doesn’t line up with your set plan then you may never get that opportunity.

Overcoming self-doubt is a process that we must work on each day. I hope the above tips have inspired you in some way.

Thanks for reading.

How to Stay Positive: 11 Smart Habits

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From I was very young, I have always been a happy person. Many people would make fun of me for smiling all the time.

As the famous saying goes, “Smile, it confuses people.”

Was I always happy? No. But my philosophy has always been, smile and the world smiles with you, cry, and you cry alone.

Often, I would get asked why are you so happy? And for the longest time, I did not have an answer.

I didn’t have an answer because I didn’t feel that happy, I had problems and things stressing me like everyone else.

When I focused on the reason why I was happy, I realised that it was down to me having a positive faith-filled view of life. No matter how bad things got, I always had a way of staying positive, even during tough times I knew things would get better.

In this blog post, I would like to share 11 of the most effective habits for staying positive that I have learned. I hope you get some inspiration.

1. Find an optimistic viewpoint in a negative situation

One of the simplest but most effective ways to build a more positive outlook is to look for the good in a situation.

When I am in a negative place, I like to ask myself questions like:

What is one thing that is positive or good about this situation?
Is there an opportunity within this situation?

When I look for the positive, I find that it takes my mind off my negative thoughts (that can quickly spiral out of control).

In the past I would ask the wrong questions. Questions like, how did I end up here? when will I ever learn? Why can’t I do anything right?  The answers would only make things worse.

2. Cultivate and live in a positive environment

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Your environment has a massive impact on how you feel — the people you choose to spend your time with effects your outlook on life. Also, the content you consume in the form of TV, internet, and media.

It’s essential to have influences in your life that support you and lift you instead of dragging you down.

So carefully consider what you let into your mind. You can, for example, ask yourself:

Who are the three most negative people I spend time with?
What are the 3 most negative sources of information I spend time on?

If you spend a lot of your time with people that complain and run others down, that negative energy will rub off on you.

My parents always told me to listen to the news and read the newspaper. I know it’s good to stay informed with what’s going on in the world, but if what you are hearing first thing in the morning is negativity, it can affect you for the rest of the day.

Instead, spend more time with friends and co-workers that are more positive, and encourage you to be better in some way. And, listen or read something positive first thing in the morning to set you up for the day.

3. Plan Your Day

I have found that when I don’t plan my day, I end up wasting a lot of time which results in me rushing around, stressed and frustrated, and things don’t go that well.

Negative thoughts start to build up, and I feel like my power decreases.

But if I plan my day I can think more clearly and get so much more achieved. Plus, it becomes easier to think things through and easier to find an optimistic and constructive perspective.

4. Don’t make a mountain out of a molehill

It’s easy to lose perspective, especially if you are stressed, and you are going too fast.

A small problem can become a terrifying one. To level the mountain, I do three things, so the problem doesn’t get out of hand:

First, say STOP. Realise you are in control, not your negative thinking.

Second, breathe. After you have disrupted the negative thoughts sit down and be still. Breathe with your belly and focus on just your in-breaths and out-breaths for a minute or two to calm your body and mind.

Thirdly, share by talking to someone close to you and getting a more grounded perspective on the situation by getting his or her input. Or ask yourself this: Will this matter in 5 years? Or even five weeks?

5. Don’t let vague fears hold you back from doing what you want

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We all have things that we would like to do, like start a business, do a night class or ask someone out on a date.

A trap that a lot of people fall into is rather than follow through they fill their minds of what negative things could happen if they took the action

The mind fuelled by fear creates nightmare scenarios and plenty of self-doubts. I know. I have been there many times.

So, I have learned to ask myself this: honestly, what is the worst that could happen?

Over the years I have discovered that the worst thing that could realistically happen is not as scary as the nightmare my fear-fuelled mind will produce.

Finding clarity in this way doesn’t take much time or effort, and it can help you to avoid much mental suffering. And help you to step outside of your comfort zone and take that chance.

6. Add value and positivity to someone else’s life

What you send out you tend to get back. What you give to others and how you treat them is what you’ll get back. So, provide value and spread positivity.

Lend a hand to a neighbour that’s moving. Give a friend a ride in your car, or if they need information then help out by doing a little research for them.

Sometimes people don’t want any direct help. They want someone to listen or encourage them as they’ve had a bad day or are going through a tough time.

7. Exercise regularly and eat and sleep well

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Exercise diet and sleep can seem very obvious, but you would be surprised how many people don’t look after themselves.

A good night’s sleep or good workout has a massive effect on me when my thoughts are pessimistic, and I have a lot of tension or stress.

And I know how much simpler it is to think clearly and faithfully when I’ve eaten healthy for a few days.

basic habits may sound boring, but they do have a considerable effect on your state of mind.

8. Learn to take criticism healthily

One of the most common fears is the fear of criticism. It can hold people back from doing what they want. A negative comment can extinguish your faith if you allow it.

A loved one may mean well, but don’t let their limiting beliefs become your destiny.

Whenever you step outside your comfort zone and do something new, criticism is pretty much unavoidable. So, the key is learning to handle it more healthily.

By doing so, your fear of it will lessen, and it will hurt less if you do get criticized. I usually use four steps when I get some criticism. Maybe they can help you too:

Step 1: Don’t reply right away.

When you are angry, upset or riled up then is time to calm down a bit before you reply. Take at least a couple of deep breaths or a little time to process the message before you respond.

Step 2: Listen to criticism.

Try to remain open and level-headed and figure out how this message can help you. Ask yourself: Is there one thing I can learn from this criticism? Is there something here that I may not want to hear but could help me?

Step 3: Remember that the criticism isn’t always about you.

Some criticism comes from people lashing out because they had a bad day. To lessen the sting of such criticism – I try to be understanding. I think to myself that this person might not be feeling so good at the moment.

Step 4: Reply or let go. No matter the method of criticism, for example an email, I try to keep my reply level-headed and kind. I may add a question or two to get more specific feedback that is helpful. And if they don’t reply or send another nasty message, then it is time to delete it and let that situation go.

9. Let It Out, Let It Go

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Sometimes some criticism can hurt you even if you use the steps above.

Two things that have helped me with that challenge are: Let it out. Just talking it over with someone close can be very helpful to see it for what it is. Helping you find a healthier perspective on the situation.

Let it go. I have found over the years that the ability to let things go has helped me greatly. Some people never change; they will continue to hurt you and cause you stress. The solution, spend less time with them

10. Start your day in a positive way

How you start your day usually sets the tone. I once heard it said that the first hour is the rudder of the day.

So be careful about how you spend your mornings. If you get going at full speed, lost in future troubles of the day, then stress, and negative thoughts will ramp up quickly.

If you, on the other hand, start your day slowly, spending some time reading or listening to inspiring articles or podcasts, then that will make a big difference to how you approach your problems and difficulties.

11. Mindfully move through your day

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When you spend your time in the present moment, then it becomes so much easier to access positive emotions.

When you get lost in the past or future, like so many of us, then worries become bigger. And failures and mistakes from the past can replay over and over in your mind dragging you into negativity.

A simple way to connect with the present moment is to take a walk-in nature, listen to the sounds of the world around you.

Another way to reconnect with the present moment is to pray and focus on each word. It might sound like a small and insignificant thing to do. But this reconnection with the present moment can have a very positive effect on the rest of your day.

Thanks for reading. Wishing you an amazing week.

Killed By A Bus: When Knowing Your Future Doesn’t Help You

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Once upon a time, a man went to a fortune teller, curious to know what she would say about his future.

The fortune teller looked into her crystal ball, and her facial expression said it all. She advised him that it would be better if he did not know but he insisted she told him.

She went on to tell him that he would die in a bus accident, and it would happen within the next two or three months. “Why? When? How?

“That I can not say,” she replied.

On the journey home, he was depressed and worried, telling himself how he had never really believed in fortune tellers.

After two months, the thought started to play on his mind every day. He became very anxious and wanted to make sure he avoided the prediction. So hired someone to run his business for a couple of months, as he decided a good plan would be to lock himself in his house where he wouldn’t come close to any buses.

Another three weeks past.

He got up one morning put the coffee on and went to feed his dog outside as usual. On the step his little son had left some of his toys, as he went to step over them he stepped on a little toy bus, fell and hit his head and died instantly.

This is a fictional story to illustrate an important message; sometimes we can be too careful, thinking that we can avoid the thing that we fear. We fear to be adventurous; we fear to do anything new; we fear to take a risk.

Most people think they’re not destined to do anything amazing, so they sit back in mediocrity. Tortured in later years with regret.

We all have a unique gift that we can use to enrich other peoples lives. Don’t let fear hold you back from fulfilling your destiny.

Live every day to the fullest. God rewards action, God rewards faith and often the biggest risk that you can take is to play it safe and not go after what you want.

So this week get out there, create your destiny, show God that there is no fear in your heart and watch the favour that flows into your life.

Thanks for reading. Like share comment to spread the message onto someone that maybe in the need of some encouragement.