Day 3: Self Doubt is a Coping Mechanism to Prevent Potential Pain and Disappointment

Self-doubt is a common issue discussed by those who battle their inner critic regularly. The nagging belief that you’re not good enough or that you can’t succeed is incredibly pervasive. It can become internalized and hold you back from many of your most desired goals. It’s a self-defeating belief that can even be used as a coping mechanism to keep you from trying the things that scare you. Read on to learn more about self-doubt and what you can do to overcome it.

About Self-Doubt

Self-doubt is a self-sabotaging and nagging voice inside your head that is repetitive and negative. While you may not hear actual words playing over and over again in your mind, you likely experience emotions related to the internal messages you are giving yourself. It’s possible, also, that others may have stoked your self-doubt. This can be a parent, spouse, teacher, or other close personal associate. When people send us signals, either out loud or through their actions, it’s easy to start to believe those messages. And it’s incredibly difficult to overcome the effects they have on you once you’ve internalized them.

How It Feeds Your Inner Critic

Your inner critic doesn’t want you to succeed. It doesn’t even want you to try. Self-doubt is one of the most effective ways to convince you not to even try to achieve your goals. Self-doubt erodes your self-confidence and convinces you to give up before you even begin. It keeps you from tuning into healthier and more positive messages you may prefer to give yourself. When you give into self-doubt, you’ll notice that damaging habits like procrastination and remaining within your comfort zone can set in. Self-doubt can easily fuel anxiety and stress. Neither of these states are healthy for fueling progress. Self-doubt sets you up to fail.

Ways to Overcome Self-Doubt

There are lots of ways to recognize self-doubt and kick it to the curb. First, notice when you find yourself making excuses for why you can’t do something or don’t want to pursue an opportunity. Ask yourself if there is a legitimate reason that’s holding you back or if it may be self-doubt trying to sabotage you. Look for patterns in the messages you’re telling yourself. If you see a recurring thing such as belief you’re not good enough or that you’re an imposter, chances are you simply need to push self-doubt aside and take on the challenge that faces you. Look for these repetitive messages or other things that may trigger your self-doubt. When you can see these obstacles, you can overcome them. Finally, cut yourself some slack. This is especially important if you’re a perfectionist. The attempts you make don’t have to be perfect. What matters is that you try and that you take steps toward your goals. Be easy on yourself and be your own cheerleader. You can also recruit trusted friends to support you. Often, others believe in us more than we believe in ourselves.

Use these tips to overcome self-doubt. That inner critic will be gone in no time once you start taking proactive measures such as these to measure it.