Self Improvement

Mandy Kloppers

5 ways to overcome self doubt


There are times in life when we feel unsure of ourselves and our abilities but there are ways to alleviate the stress associated with self doubt:

  1. Focus on your strengths and achievements

When we are experiencing self doubt, we tend to obsess on what we can’t do. It’s always a good idea to remind ourselves of how far we have come and of the things we know we can do well. Regularly congratulate yourself for success in your life, no matter how small.

2. Have a positive attitude to failure

How do you see failure? For me, failure is about giving up altogether – it’s not about trying something and not succeeding as I can still learn from that experience and grow from it.

3. Don’t compare yourself to others

Comparing ourselves to others is always a faulty way to try figure out whether we are doing well or not. Usually we end up comparing only one aspect of ourselves/our lives and this can lead to an inaccurate comparison. We also tend to compare the areas where we feel inadequate or ‘less than’. Follow your own path, it is different to others – focus on your own progress, not someone else’s.

4. Engage in positive self talk

What do you say to yourself on a regular basis? Do you call yourself names and criticise yourself? Learn to identify negative self talk and replace it with something kinder. Treat yourself as you would a best friend. Be kind to yourself. Instead of saying “I am useless”, try saying something like “I may make mistakes at times but I am human and everyone makes mistakes.”

5. Don’t retreat into your comfort zone

It’s tempting to run for cover when we feel self doubt creeping in. It leaves us feeling vulnerable. Where possible, try to keep yourself out of your comfort zone and keep facing your fears. It may feel awful and very uncomfortable but becoming accustomed to that uneasy feeling will allow you to eventually feel comfortable, and ultimately conquer you fears. Keep at it and know that the situation is often never as bad as you think it is.

Self doubt can tip the balance and leave us feeling stressed and out of sorts – accept this as a normal part of life. Never associated what you do with your worth and value as a person as they are completely separate. Keep trying and keep failing – it’s what will eventually bring you confidence and a ‘thicker skin’!

Mandy X


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