13 Effective Strategies to Overcome Self-Doubt (So You Can Finally Move Ahead in Life)

“Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft may achieve, by hesitating to attempt.”

William Shakespeare

Self-doubt may be a disturbing and compelling voice that keeps you back.

It holds you back from grasping your opportunity.

It makes getting started or completing something tougher than they need to be.

Certainly, it may occasionally be advantageous as it enables you to soberly understand your existing limits or simply identify a half-baked or terrible concept. But primarily, those negative beliefs hold you back in life and from many of the beautiful things and pleasant experiences in it.

But how can you get around it, how can you overcome those periods of self-doubt so that you can go on once again?

In this essay I’ll cover 13 ideas and practices that have helped me to lessen that harmful inner voice.

1. Say stop.

First, when your inner misgivings come up, be swift.

Don’t allow them spin out of control or expand from a whisper to a torrent of discouraging statements that make you question your own talents and twist tiny failures into major ones. Instead, speak back to that skeptical part of yourself.

In your head, yell or exclaim something like: No, no, no, we are not going down that path again.

By doing so you may break the mental cycle and stop the inner critic from taking control.

2. Gaze to the past and immerse yourself in the recollections.

Be genuine with yourself and ask yourself this vital question:

How many times when I questioned myself or worried something would happen did that bad event come into reality after I still took action?

The answer for me – and perhaps for you too – is not very frequently at all.

Self-doubts are most frequently merely monsters in your brain that your mind may employ to deter you from making changes and to keep you inside the comfort zone.

If you go at your prior experiences and realize how well things have gone many times despite those self-doubts then it gets easier to let go of them or to ignore them, to lessen fear of failure and to focus on the more probable positive result and to take action.

3. Speak to someone about it.

When you hold your ideas on the inside they might become skewed, inflated and not very much in sync with reality or realistic expectations.

This is very much true when it comes to thoughts and sentiments of self-doubt.

So let them out into the light. Speak to someone close to you like a good friend about your self-doubts.

Simply letting them out and voicing them out loud may often enable you to hear how overblown these ideas have become.

And by talking about those doubts with someone who is supportive you might receive a shift of perspective.

4. Don’t get locked in the comparison trap.

If you compare yourself to other people all too frequently, to their triumphs and particularly to the high-light reels that friends, family members or celebrities publish on social media then self doubt – especially in the form of impostor syndrome – may easily sneak in.

The greatest way to approach to go about things is instead to compare yourself to yourself. To see how far you have come. To see what you’ve conquered.

And to see how you’ve continued going, succeeded and matured as a human being.

5. Start maintaining a diary.

Maintaining a diary may be a valuable practice for many reasons. When it comes to self-doubts it may benefit you to:

Maintain a realistic record of your life.

And enable you to recall the good things, the triumphs you have had and how you have conquered hurdles if you are prone to remembering things with a negative slant and to concentrating too much on previous mistakes.

Acquire clarity more effortlessly.

It is frequently simpler to ease anxieties and uncertainties and to achieve clarity if you have a problem spelled out on paper or in a computer document rather than if you attempt to go through it all in your thoughts.

By developing lists of pros and drawbacks, going through your thoughts and feelings and comparable situations from the past and by writing down alternative viewpoints on the problem it becomes easier to discover answers and to perceive your difficulty in a clearer and more level-headed manner.

6. Remember: people don't care that much about what you do or say.

When you worry about and have a hard time with what others may think or say if you do anything then your degree of self-doubt may rapidly develop and you become locked in inactivity and in dread.

When that occurs then a good approach is to remind yourself that the fact is that others don't actually care that much about what you do or not do.

They have their hands full with thinking about themselves, their kids and pets, employment and impending sports contests and with worrying about what others may think of them.

7. What someone said or did could not be about you (or about what you believe it is) (or about what you think it is).

When someone criticizes you then it’s simple to start questioning yourself.

When someone rejects you and you don’t get a second date after that first one that you believe went really well then it’s not that uncommon to become down on yourself.

But what if what he or she said or did isn’t truly about you at all?

Maybe your co-worker who verbally lashed out at you is having a difficult day, month or marriage.

And you may not have received that second date because the other person’s mom became ill and he had to concentrate on that or because he reunited with his ex-girlfriend and wanted to give their relationship another chance.

You don’t know everything that’s going on in another person’s life. And the world doesn’t revolve around you.

Therefore be cautious so you don’t misread and generate guilt and distrust inside without any basis.

8. Receive a burst of positivity.

Let someone else's excitement, energy and constructive optimism pour over to you.

Spend 20 minutes with an an audio book, a podcast or a book that provides you that. Tim Ferriss' podcast has helped me with this lately and I've throughout the years frequently listened to audio books by Brian Tracy to get this lift.

This fast 20 minute session will substantially assist you to convert your unhealthy self-doubt into optimism, into more positive self-talk and into thinking constructively about your difficulty.

9. Regard a setback as transient.

When you experience a setback then you may start to perceive things through a negative and gloomy lens. You could regard your present setback as something that will just be your new normal.

This method of looking at things might trap you in believing that there's no purpose in continuing to take action and harm your mental health.

So instead:

Remember: You are not a failure simply because you failed.

Setbacks come to all successful persons and to everyone who take risks. That is just a part of living life completely.

Sometimes things go well and sometimes they don't. So don't turn a failure into this gigantic thing or become your identity.

Ask yourself: what is one thing I can learn from this setback?

Utilize the error or failure to your advantage and to go on once more in wiser manner.

10. Improve your talents.

If you, for instance, regularly feel self-doubt and a lack of confidence before a presentation at school or at work then strengthen your presenting abilities.

Read a few books on it and practice at home in front of a mirror or in front of a buddy. Or join Toastmasters to obtain the experience or expertise you need.

So you'll feel more confident, knowledgeable and calm in such stressful circumstances.

11. Don't beat yourself up over it.

A typical method to address self-doubt is to become furious with yourself and your lack of activity. To attempt to beat oneself up as a tactic to push yourself to go ahead.

It does not – in my experience – help that much (it typically simply reinforces poor self-esteem) (it usually just strengthens low self-esteem).

I have discovered that being compassionate and constructive while experiencing self-doubt is a better decision. Thus I use gentle and compassionate words towards myself but I also question myself:

What is one very tiny action I can take to go ahead in this situation?

Then I take that very modest step and start to step by step advance towards where I want to go.

12. Appreciate that modest stride and win.

When you’ve made one modest step ahead – for example put up your own website or gone for the first 5 minute run in months or years – and you’re done with it then you have a victory.

That may be a tiny one but it’s still a triumph. So celebrate it.

Enjoy a good snack or your favorite cuisine for supper, spend some time on your favorite pastime or purchase yourself something you’ve desired for some time now.

This will replenish and refuel your drive and make taking action seem more thrilling and engaging. And it will push self-doubts away so that you can keep advancing and gain more modest and greater triumphs.

13. Remember: You may course-correct along the way.

Attempting to plan every step you will make on a path towards a goal or desire may become taxing and lead to quite a deal of self-doubt.

And yet it typically don't work that well anyhow as the best planned plans frequently start to break apart a little or require some alteration when they are faced with reality and the current moment.

So do a little of preliminary planning and then start your adventure.

And remember that you may always course-correct along the way towards what you desire. Empowered by the fresh information, experience and feedback you will gain as you keep continuing on that route.