Can we talk about the elephant in the room… you know the big elephant that is in every single room… SELF DOUBT!  No matter where we are in life, there comes a time when we reflect and second guess that we can accomplish what we are setting out to do.

That feeling of doubt is real!  It can be paralyzing and prevent us from making the first step or continuing our journey as we are afraid that we don’t have what it takes to get there.  We are afraid aren’t worthy enough to even try.

According to Brene Brown, author of Rising Strong. People who believe they are worthy have a sense of courage, compassion connection and vulnerability:

  • Courage to be imperfect
  • Compassion to be kind to themselves and to others
  • Connection because of authenticity. Willing to let go of who they think they should be to be who they were.

Vulnerability is necessary but not comfortable.  The willingness to do something where there are no guarantees, willingness to breathe, invest in yourself and in others is hard.  This fear of self- doubt is powerful and can make or break us from getting what we want out of life.  Let’s break down 5 things to right now to move past self-doubt.

Don’t Hide

The first step is to not numb or ignore the feelings you have.  They are real, they are present and they mean something.  This isn’t a competition to see who is the most stressed or who is the worthiest.  If you are feeling something, don’t ignore it.  Talk about it.  Talk to your support system, your friends, your family, our group. 

Sitting on the couch and pretending you aren’t upset isn’t going to help you shift and move your self- doubt.  Be open with where you are and your feelings. It’s OK… we’ve all been there.

Thinking about your strengths, which of them can you use to push you out of hiding?

  • Are you a relationship builder and can find your support system and reach out to them and let them know how you are feeling.
  • What about executing? Can you put your ideas into action in another way? Can you make it a goal or a task to be more open about your doubts?
  • What about influencing? Can you take charge of your fears and reach out to your network and talk about them?
  • Strategic Thinking: can you think about not being open about your doubts as a problem to solve and find the best solution to come out of hiding?

Stop the comparison game

Now, I want you to think… where did this doubt come from?

Is this something you heard, saw, experienced?  Did someone say something to you or did you see it on social media?  Often, we doubt ourselves because we see someone else who seems to be doing better, happier, more efficiently.  Well, let me let you in on a little secret. People control the content they show online.

So today, I’m going to ask you to stop comparing yourself to other people’s controlled content on social media or what you think you see when you hang out with your friends.  You never know what is going on!

Understand that it’s OK to be wrong

If your doubt comes from a previous mistake… I am going to let you in on another little secret….we all make mistakes. 

Just because you made a few mistakes doesn’t mean you can’t do it.  Don’t glorify your mistakes and embrace and try to learn from them.

In the moment, it sucks, right? It feels like crap to know that we’ve made a mistake and then we start doubting what we know what we are doing, 

But I want you to try to shift your mindset on this a little bit and ask yourself this question…

What happened after I made the mistake?

Literally, what happened?   Don’t make it worse than it is.. If you’ve made a mistake before that is holding you back… what happened after the mistake was made? 

Have to re-do something?  Get written up at work? Did you lose money?  A hurt sense a pride?  Feel like you lost time?

What exactly happened after you made the mistake?

Although fixing the mistake may have been work, potentially a lot of work… we are going to talk through getting over it and not using it as a barrier to take your next step.

Mistakes don’t define us.  They happen, we acknowledge them, but at some point we need to move on.

Be Open to Not Knowing Everything

Just because you don’t know everything doesn’t mean you don’t know A LOT!   If you’re thinking about your mistake and penalizing yourself for not knowing something, try not to!  It’s hard but really try!

We can’t know everything and anything that is out there.  There are resources for a reason (people, online, books, videos).  We aren’t meant to know everything about everything.  Be open and honest with yourself about what you do know and what you need help with.

Who or what can you work with to help you add the missing pieces to your puzzle when you need them? Don’t penalize yourself for not knowing it all. It’s not possible to know everything!

Embrace Joy

For many of us, we don’t doubt ourselves each day. It’s in the most moments when we’ve made a mistake, don’t know the answers, or just something isn’t going as we planned.

But let’s shift gears to the moments that bring us joy!  Those moments when we feel like we can accomplish anything or at least make progress and move forward.

Those very moments when you are feeling joy and believe in yourself, lean into it.  Honor it and remember those feelings!  Use that to push you forward in the moment.  When we have those times where we feel like we can conquer the world, don’t ignore them, get up and embrace them.

When I’m feeling motivated, excited and in the zone, I use this time to work harder on my to-do list and push forward on my goals.

Remember, self-doubt is normal but we can’t let it control our lives and prevent us from moving forward and taking action.  We are in this together and WE GOT THIS!

What have you done to overcome feeling of self-doubt?

Alissa Carpenter

Alissa Carpenter

Professional Trainer, Speaker and Career Coach at Everything's Not OK and That's OK
Alissa Carpenter offers professional development and career exploration to companies, alumni groups, student advising units, and individuals across the country. She works to enhance team communication, teamwork and interpersonal skills with an upbeat personality and true passion for working with others to set and achieve goals.Alissa has an MEd in Social and Comparative Analysis in Education, is a Gallup-Certified Clifton Strengths Coach and is certified in the Strong Interest inventory.
Alissa Carpenter

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