Is self-doubt holding you back from starting your own business? Are you constantly second-guessing your entrepreneurial abilities?
We all want to be perceived by others as smart, capable, competent, and accomplished individuals. But when it comes to our own capabilities, it’s easy to fall into believing that we are not good enough. As a result, some of us get overwhelmed with feelings of inadequacy, insecurity, and fear.
If you often feel like this, moving forward can be a real struggle. But you’re not alone.
In fact, over 85% of the global population feel the same way as you in one way or another. You’d be surprised – it’s rarer to find people who are genuinely confident with who they are and what they can actually do!
But here’s the thing: self-doubt is a crippling force. It’s a killer of dreams, keeping us from doing what we can do.
The truth is, no one else will ever know what you’re capable of until you do. The only way to overcome this feeling of self-doubt is to take action. You have to start taking steps towards achieving your goals and dreams. If you don’t believe in yourself, how will anyone else?
My Personal Experience with Self-Doubt
To tell you the truth, I was once held hostage by my own self-doubt.
As you may or may not know, I came from a toxic and abusive relationship. During those times, I was often told that I wasn’t good enough and never would be… and I believed every word of it.
As a result, I doubted myself in every way possible… and it trickled down to everything I did. I felt insecure, fearful, and filled with self-doubt. And yes, I was terrified of putting myself out there. So, I kept my head down, kept my mouth shut, and hid in the corner. Why go through all the trouble when I don’t have what it takes to succeed?
But you know what? I was wrong.
The truth is, I can be as good as I want to be, and I can do anything I set my mind to.
Because only when I started to believe in myself did I see the true potential of my own abilities. And because of that, opportunities began to open up like never before. I even began to hit my goals one after another. It was all surreal!
Then, it came to me: I can actually do everything I thought I couldn’t. And no, I don’t need other people’s approval or validation to prove it.
And here’s the good news:
If I can do it, I know you can!
If you’ve been experiencing the same thing I used to, don’t keep yourself in the dark for too long.
Why? Because you have so much more potential than you realize. To succeed, you need to learn to face your self-doubt and defeat it.
Yes, you can regain your confidence and start believing in yourself again (just like I did), and that’s what this blog post is all about. In this blog post, I will also share with you the following:
– What self-doubt looks like
– What causes self-doubt
– Signs that self-doubt is sabotaging your success
So you know what it takes to get rid of self-doubt once and for all.
If you’re ready to make self-doubt a thing of the past, keep reading!
Top 3 Signs You’re Experiencing Self-Doubt
Self-doubt comes from a feeling of not being good enough – and it causes you to constantly question your abilities and worth. But that’s not all. Here are some of the most common signs that you are experiencing self-doubt:
1. You have trouble making decisions.
Are you terrified of making decisions on your own?
Do you often put off making decisions just because you’re scared of making the wrong choice?
Do you often refer to other people when you’re about to choose?
If you answered yes to the questions above, your self-doubt is likely the driving force behind your decision-making.
You feel like you’re stuck in a rut, unable to make choices — out of fear of making a mistake. Even if you do come up with a decision, you often seek other people’s approval and validation so you can be more confident with it.
2. You procrastinate – a lot.
Doubting yourself and your abilities could lead to procrastination. And truth be told, procrastination is something you can’t just shake off, especially if its leading cause is self-doubt.
If you constantly put off doing something just because you feel that you don’t have the skills and experience to do it right, you’re most likely experiencing self-doubt.
3. You constantly feel you’re not in control of any situation.
Do you constantly feel like you’re always in the backseat while someone else makes all the decisions?
If so, you might want to look at the deeper reason why you’re not taking the reins and finally taking charge of your life.
It could be that you’re afraid of failing. Or maybe you’re scared of getting hurt by making mistakes. Whatever the case may be, it’s also possible that the underlying cause of your constant feelings of insecurity (even anxiety and depression) is self-doubt itself.
Why do people experience self-doubt?
There are many reasons why people experience self-doubt, but some of the most common denominators include:
1. Past negative experiences
Negative experiences can make or break a person because the truth is, we’re all creatures of habit. We learn from our experiences – no matter how small and trivial they actually are.
In my case, the toxic, abusive relationship I used to be in and constantly being told that I wasn’t good enough distorted my reality. I didn’t realize that I was internalizing that feeling of inadequacy and began to take it as truth when in reality, it wasn’t.
So, those experiences, particularly the negative ones, play a massive role in your perception of who you are. Unfortunately, those feelings of doubt about yourself kind of tie with your unpleasant memories, such as: having your work taken down, being told you’re not capable of anything, attracting negative attention, and so on.
2. Societal pressures
Society places an enormous amount of pressure on us to succeed. It’s almost impossible to escape this type of pressure. Even if you try to ignore it, you’ll still get bombarded with messages every day telling you what you should and shouldn’t do.
And if you fail? Well, society will punish you for it… or so you might think.
Even if you succeed at something, there’s still a chance that you won’t live up to societal expectations.
As a result, you feel like you’re never going to measure up, which leads to more self-doubt.
To tell you the truth: I’m no stranger to this kind of feeling.
Coming from a family of high achievers, I constantly felt I needed to achieve more than everyone else. So, even though I have been working hard to succeed, I felt compelled to keep proving myself over and over again.
4 Ways on How to Overcome Self-Doubt
Now, let me tell you: there is nothing wrong with wanting to prove yourself. In fact, it’s not entirely unhealthy.
However, if you constantly dwell on your failures and shortcomings, far too much, far too long, you must make an effort to address self-doubt head-on. Because if you won’t, it will consume you and eventually destroy your confidence.
Here are some ways how to overcome self-doubt:
1. Change your social circle.
If you surround yourself with positive, supportive people, you’ll feel better about yourself. You’ll begin to believe that you deserve success just as much as anyone else.
That being said, you might want to consider changing your friends, the people you hang out with, and everybody else that could be detrimental to your progress.
The reason behind this is simple. If you continue to associate with people who only bring out your worst traits, you’ll start believing them instead of yourself.
There are a few ways you can go about this. First, you can change the people you hang out with. Second, you could enlist a therapist or a coach to be a “part of your social circle.”
However, one thing to remember is that your new social circle should be aligned with your values and what’s important to you. That way, they’ll help you become the best version of yourself.
2. Seek help from professionals and other people who had been through similar situations before.
Self-doubt and validation-seeking habits are not easy to address, especially if you’re going to do it all on your own. You need external help to break free from these patterns.
That’s why I strongly advise that you seek professional help from a therapist, a mentor, or a coach who could help you transition into a healthier mindset. A good therapist or coach can help you identify where your fears come from and teach you how to deal with them.
You could also ask for help from others who’ve gone through similar situations. They could give you insights into how they overcame their doubts and fears.
I, myself, hired a therapist and even a coach for a full year to help me get rid of my negative thinking and validate my successes. It was life-changing and I’m so grateful that I did it.
3. Track your feelings.
You must learn how to process your feelings because that’s the only way to teach yourself that all those self-limiting beliefs you have are false – and that you can reprogram them.
And it all starts with tracking what you’re feeling at the moment and knowing the root of it all. This can be very helpful because when a feeling begins to pop up, you become much more mindful – and that it allows you to see things differently.
So when a particular feeling emerges, try to identify what’s causing it. Ask yourself, where is it coming from? What’s your earliest memory of feeling that way? Why is your self-limiting belief tied to that thought?
Once you’ve identified those things, you need to assess them even further to understand why you still believe in them. Once you know why you’re thinking that way, you can then work on changing it.
4. Allow your social circle to encourage and motivate you to take action.
This is where your social circle takes an active role in your transformation. The people in your social circle are supposed to motivate you, encourage you to make changes, and provide you with positive reinforcement.
But that’s not all. They should be encouraging you to take action, too.
But for them to do all these things for you, you need to let go of any inhibitions and allow them to support you.
That’s why it’s very important that you carefully select the people who will be a part of your new social circle. You need a safe space to transition so you won’t fall back into old habits.
I hope you found this explanation of how to overcome self-doubt valuable.
I know that dealing with feelings of self-doubt can be a challenging experience, but it doesn’t have to be. With the right mindset, some helpful tips, and some help from your trusted social circle, you can be on your way to overcoming self-doubt and defeating the enemy within.
And if you’re interested in transitioning towards entrepreneurship (even when you’re addressing self-doubt), then I highly recommend that you take my Entrepreneur Mindset Quiz. This quick 8-question quiz will help you determine how confident you are as an entrepreneur. And even if you’re still not there yet, this free resource will give you the things you need so you can become one step closer to achieving your goals!
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