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How to Overcome Self-Doubt & Imposter Syndrome

How to Overcome Self-Doubt & Imposter Syndrome

Do you often criticize yourself or lack self-confidence? Do you doubt your own abilities to be successful or reach your goals?

 Self-doubt impacts how we think, how we feel, and how we act. It affects us all from time to time.

Self-criticism, second-guessing, and negative thoughts can leave you feelings overwhelmed about your goals and life in general.

“If you don’t have confidence, you’ll always find a way not to win.” 
—Carl Lewis 

The Effects of Self-Doubt

If it’s not something you’re paying attention to, self-doubt could be quietly and systematically affecting your whole identify in a negative way.

It could be affecting the way you think, distorting your thinking, and damaging your mental health.

  • Causes you to have a negative mental attitude
  • Makes you feel insecure about how to face or respond to a situation;
  • Causes self-criticism, second-guessing, and negative thoughts;
  • Causes you to take the blame for things, even when you know you’ve done nothing wrong; 
  • Leads to anxiety
  • Leads to over the top emotional reactions
  • You may miss out on opportunities to advance in your career or life goals from doubting your own abilities

Where is all this doubt coming from?

Self-doubt can originate from past life experiences and social interactions, past rejections, mistakes or failures, and how you were raised.

  • Being bullied and teased
  • Not making the team, or auditioning for a play and not getting the part
  • Not being invited to parties or social gatherings
  • Getting poor grades
  • Past trauma
  • Financial struggles
  • Being rejected – could be romantically, or by an employer, etc

Imposter Syndrome

Even people who are successful and confident can feel self-doubt. Sometimes we deal with what’s known as imposter syndrome.

Impostor syndrome—the idea that you’ve only succeeded due to luck, and not because of your talent or qualifications.\

Self-doubt could make someone whose highly successful and considered an expert in their career field feel that they don’t actually belong or like they’re a fraud.

How to Overcome Self-Doubt

How to over-come Self-Doubt

First of all – not every thought that pops into your head is a statement of truth.

Typically, feelings of self-doubt are biased thoughts that reflect your own insecurity. They may or may not hold any fact.

Learning to think critically and seeing the facts can help combat self-doubt. Write down your thoughts and analyze them. Then reframe those thoughts by writing down reasonable, fact-based information about the situation – rather than emotion-based.

Instead of assuming the worst possible outcome, you can consider the realistic possibilities. Instead of making broad, sweeping,negative conclusions about yourself, you can put the event into perspective and move forward with your life.

Conquering Doubt with Confidence

When you’re able to think realistically, and positively – it’s easier to be confident. Developing self-confidence is the ultimate way to conquer your self-doubt.

Being confident allows your to:

  • Do the things that are important to you, even if it’s scary
  • Make and achieve realistic goals
  • Go places alone without feelings anxious
  • Say no to others without feeling guilty
  • Try new things
  • Problem solve
  • Move on from mistakes, failures, or rejections without them dragging you down

Confidence is your reward for overcoming your fears.

The more you do the things listed above – the easier they become. You’ll help yourself develop confidence by continuing to re-frame those self-doubt thoughts and pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone.

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