Self doubt is defined as the lack of faith or confidence in oneself, as per thefreedictionary.com, it should say, crusher of dreams. Doubt can stop us from anything and everything we want to do or say. I am not suggesting we always leap before we look, however doubt can be paralyzing and can keep us from moving forward in our relationships, dreams, work and our lives.
Everyone experiences self doubt at one point or another in their lives. It could be around a new relationship, job, or decision making. Some people are riddled with self doubt and struggle their whole lives with this villain. Self doubt has the tendency to creep up in situations where we are out of our comfort zone, doing something for the first time, or making an important decision. Many of us fall into the clutches of self doubt and find ourselves crippled by fear and doubt.
Imagine how much easier life would be if we banished self doubt and replaced it with self confidence and we believed in ourselves all of the time. Instead of looking at things and saying "I am not good enough" or "I could never do that" try thinking "How can I improve or better the situation?" When we experience self doubt, we often forget that we can do most things, within reason. I am not suggesting we attempt to perform surgery when we do not have surgical or medical training. We need to be honest with ourselves and our skill sets. Just because we think something negative about ourselves, does not make it a fact.
We do not have to believe the voice of self doubt. We can instead choose to believe in ourselves. This is difficult to do when we are riddled with self doubt, but we can choose to work through it. We can choose to try, even if we fail, we still must try. When we fail, it is easy to believe the voice of self doubt, but that does not make it a reality. We need to brush ourselves off, grieve the loss and the failure and try again. Learn from the failure, and continue to pursue your dream, job, relationship or whatever the situation may be. Self doubt eats away at our happiness as well as our belief in us. If you constantly doubt, it is difficult to be happy.
Trusting and believing in ourselves in the face of self doubt, will help overcome it. If we trust ourselves it is much easier to make decisions, feel confident when starting something new and conquer self doubt or any negative self talk that creeps into our thought process. Sometimes self doubt can be good, it may help us take a step back and analyze things, after the analysis an action plan should be put into place and then act. If you find that after analysis you are listening to self doubt, reevaluate by starting with all of your accomplishments. Make a list of everything good about you and your skill set. Try to regain self confidence and trust in yourself.
People, who are self confident and believe in themselves, tend to be happier at work, in relationships and in life. The next time the crusher of dreams stops by, hear the doubt, feel it and remember all of your wonderful qualities and believe in yourself.
Disclaimer: This blog is for informational purposes only and is not meant to replace therapy or treatment.
Dr. Deb is a successful Psychologist who practices in New York City. She is an Anxiety Specialist who works with adolescents and adults providing both individual and couples counseling.