How Can I Transform My Self-Doubt? 6 Tips to Become More Sure of Yourself

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How Can I Transform My Self-Doubt? 6 Tips to Become More Sure of Yourself

Adapted from Monica and Michael Berg’s Spiritually Hungry podcast. Listen and subscribe here.
January 23, 2023
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It is a common misconception that self-doubt afflicts only people who suffer from low self-esteem, lack confidence, or are just starting out in whatever field they are pursuing. The reality is that we all have moments when we question our abilities or second-guess our decisions. Even the great giants of science, art, and politics have self-doubt at times, though it may not be obvious by looking at them.

Although it can seem like self-doubt is something we are meant to eradicate from our lives, it is actually a useful and necessary part of our experience. There is no emotion that we experience that doesn’t have a positive purpose – the question is how we use it.

Here are 6 tips to transform self-doubt into something positive:

1. Evaluate if your doubt is pushing you forward or holding you back.

There are two types of self-doubt. The first intensifies our stress levels, makes us feel undervalued in our accomplishments, and prevents us from pursuing the things we really want. The other fuels us for greatness by forcing us to analyze our abilities, thoroughly think through solutions, and challenge our assumptions.

Doubt asks us the question, “Are you really sure?” That question can either paralyze us with uncertainty, or it can help us clarify and improve the path we are on. One way to make sure your self-doubt is manifesting the right way is to ask, “Is it pushing me forward or holding me back?” No great achievement comes without overcoming opposition, and self-doubt can provide the opposition we need to push us towards our greater potential.

2. Challenge self-doubt by asking, “What if the opposite was true?”

It’s easy to spiral down into a negative line of questions, like, “What if I’m not good enough? What if I’m making a mistake? What if I fail?” Of course, it’s important to pause and think through your decisions from multiple angles, but instead of focusing on the fear of what could go wrong, focus on the possibility of what could go right and put your energy there.

3. Focus less on how you will be perceived by others.

Self-doubt often comes from fear of how others will see us. Will they think we are incapable, inexperienced, or dumb? Will they find out we are not as skilled as we led them to believe?

None of us are meant to be perfect. We are supposed to strive to become better and better all the time, regardless of what others think of us. Focus on your own journey of self-improvement. If you are putting in the consistent effort to better yourself, it doesn’t matter what others say or think of you.

4. Work on balancing doubt and confidence – they are both necessary.

We often view self-doubt as a hindrance to our success, but over-confidence can be just as harmful. Things often go wrong because people are so sure they know what is best that it makes them short-sighted or careless. Doubt helps us pause, think things through, and avoid harmful assumptions.

The right path is one that integrates doubt with confidence. Self-doubt is there to push you to become the best version of yourself, so you can manifest your goals. Embrace self-doubt as a force that you can befriend rather than an enemy you need to conquer.

5. Focus less on the result and more on the process.

Many times we start to have self-doubt when we don’t see results from our hard work or when the results aren’t what we hoped for. The truth is that energy is never wasted. The effort you put in creates positive effects somewhere else that you might not be able to see. We can only control our efforts and our consciousness; the results are not up to us. If your intention is in the right place, the result doesn’t really matter.

Practice separating your actions and consciousness from what the ultimate outcome is going to become. Remember that you are not the ultimate arbiter of whether or not something is going to manifest the way you planned. Accept that and know you can only control your part of the work. This is no easy task! But the more you practice, the easier it becomes.

6. Practice self-compassion.

When we talk about spirituality and change and growth, it’s easy to start looking at all of the things about yourself that need to change and feel overwhelmed by the monumental task. It can make us feel bad about ourselves. A key ingredient to transform self-doubt into something useful is having self-compassion. If we don’t have compassion for ourselves, we can easily fall into self-judgment.

When you see things that you need to change, remind yourself that no one is perfect and that seeing areas where you could improve is a good thing! Empower yourself to see this as an opportunity to become a better, stronger, wiser person – even if it will take a lifetime to achieve.

People often see self-doubt as insecurity, weakness, or lack of confidence, but that’s not the case. Self-doubt can be a positive part of our development when used properly. It is not something to be disregarded or disappointed with but rather a necessary part of our growth as long as we are not paralyzed by it. Embrace self-doubt as part of the human existence that is here to challenge you to level up and reveal more of your greatness.

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