We all have moments of self-doubt.
Whether you’re giving a presentation at work or moving to a foreign country, it’s impossible to escape the little voice in your head that questions your decisions. Not all self-doubt is bad though. Self-doubt can help identify areas that we need to improve. The problem arises when you live in constant state of self-loathing.
In this article, we offer 5 strategies for overcoming self-doubt.
Observe your self-doubt through meditation
Understanding self-doubt requires an ability to observe our own internal monologue and behaviors. The objective of self-analysis is to look inwards in a constructive way, without being too hard on ourselves.
Meditation is a helpful practice for learning to observe your thoughts without judgment. Set aside just 5 minutes everyday to watch the ebb and flow of your thoughts. The trick is to learn how to detach from your thoughts instead of constantly identifying with them.
The more you practice meditation, the easier this process of detachment will become.
Check out the Headspace app if you are looking for an easy way to get started with meditation.
Take action and learn by doing
The Dutch painter Vincent Van Gogh once said:
“If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.”
Sometimes our thoughts of self-doubt can cripple us from taking action. When in doubt we suggest to take action! You might stumble, but that’s better than doing nothing.
Each mistake is a learning opportunity and each mini-milestone builds confidence. So next time you catch yourself mired in self- doubt, ask yourself “What actions am I avoiding to take right now?” and then take them.
Identify and overcome limiting beliefs
Limiting beliefs are those entrenched modes of thinking that prevent us from getting what we want. Because they run deep into our psyches, and are often formed in early childhood, limiting beliefs can be hard to identify.
A good example of a limiting belief is “People like me never end up rich.” Journaling is a great way to start to identify your limiting beliefs. Try writing for 10 minutes in a journal every day and start to observe the themes that emerge. Once you begin to identify your most common self-limiting beliefs, write them into a list.
Now, write a new list of positive statements to replace the negative ones. For example, “I believe in my abilities, and can make good money doing what I do.”
Be kind to yourself
Kindness and compassion are great antidotes to insecurity and self-doubt. Talk to yourself in the same way that you would talk to a close friend.
Be honest, compassionate, and encouraging.
Avoid self-judgment and focus on empathy instead. Try writing yourself a positive and encouraging message on a post-it note. Stick it somewhere you will see it every day and refresh the message every week with positive self-affirmations to keep you inspired.
Nourish your body and mind
Numerous studies have demonstrated a link between mental health and a well-balanced diet.
Make sure to get plenty of fruits and vegetables, as well as whole grains, legumes, seafood, nuts and plant-based fats. If you are experiencing a low and stressful moment, you could also consider adding adaptogenic herbs like Ashwagandha or a supplement like L-Tyrosine.
Some studies suggest that Ashwagandha helps ease anxiety and L-tyrosine has been shown to improve concentration and attention during stressful periods.
The bottom line
Self-doubt should be seen as a normal and necessary part of self-improvement. However, it needs to be thoughtfully managed. As you begin to develop the right tools and understanding on how to beat self-doubt, you’ll have more confidence to take on life’s obstacles with a feeling of excitement rather than anxiety.