How to Overcome Self-Doubt

January 9, 2014

The night my husband sat me down and said, “you’ve got to see Anchorman!” was a day I think he now regrets. With well-meaning intention, he wanted me to experience the cult-like infatuation with Ron Burgundy and join in on the hype for the sequel. How did I miss out on this tongue-in-cheek comedy until now?! His regret? I now know the source of many of his amusing little phrases that got my belly laughing or my eyes batting.

There is this particular scene where Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell) is wrapping up his news segment and signing off. The scene cuts to the teleprompter, showing a typo in the final sentence, I’m Ron Burgundy? As Ron notoriously reads anything written on the teleprompter, he says the final line as a question. As in, he is questioning whether he is really even himself. His hysterical delivery gets good laughs. But, the snippet really got me thinking.

How many of us doubt ourselves? Maybe to the point where we don’t even have confidence in who we really are anymore?

Self-doubt has been a huge obstacle in my life since my late teens. I fondly reminisce a time when I was content in myself, confident in my abilities and all-around happy with who I was. I was a young teenager with the world at my feet and nothing to fear.

Things started to change around my 17th birthday when my eating disorder snuck in. Along with my preoccupations with food and body image, I began to entertain highly judgemental and anxious thoughts about myself. These thoughts led to a lack of confidence and faith in myself. Self-doubt.

I began to question the things I was good at. I started to doubt my ability to succeed. I lived in fear of failure. Failure just fuelled my self-doubt. Actually, the fear itself fuelled my self-doubt. I felt like I wasn’t good enough or wasn’t able to prove my worthiness.

Through my recovery I’ve learned to challenge the negative thoughts that lead to self-doubt. I’ve reached a place of inner confidence and self-love.

Yet, there are times when that familiar foe, self-doubt, sneaks back into my life. When I feel a lack of confidence or irrational fear, I take an inventory of myself. What is going on in my present life that might be causing additional worry? Have I experienced a change lately? Am I hungry? Tired? Overworked? Usually, I can pinpoint what is going on that is contributing to my self-doubt.

But, just because I identify the source, doesn’t mean the self-doubt magically disappears. I must take some active steps towards lessening the anxiety and boosting my confidence!

Here are 3 simple steps that can break you free from the trap of self-doubt:

  1. Pinpoint past victory

    A great way to negate self-doubt is making a list of your past successes or achievements. These don’t have to be tangible, as in I got the promotion or I received the award. But, they can be. Some of my biggest accomplishments were in my relationships and abilities to rise above pain and obstacles, stronger and with a deeper faith. Identifying times when you overcame a trial or achieved one of your goals is powerful. Focus on the positive times. Write out a list. Carry this list with you. Read this list often. Believe that the same God that helped you then will help you now, will help you today and tomorrow.

  2. Find a mantra

    There is a power in positive thinking. Taking that a step further, find a positive saying that you can repeat to yourself over and over until you actually believe it! When we are caught in the trap of self-doubt, it is hard to believe good things about ourselves. But, it’s like they say, fake it til you make itFind your mantra, write it on your bathroom mirror or keep it in your wallet. I program a positive message to pop up on my phone’s alarm each morning. Use inspirational phrases such as, I am capable of achieving my dreams. I am beautiful. Today I choose to love myself. Or simply I can do it, I can do it, I can do it! Or personalize scriptures such as, Hoping in the Lord will renew my strength. I will soar on wing like eagles {Isaiah 40:31} and The Lord my God goes with me; he will never leave me nor forsake me. {Deuteronomy 31:6} Watch this sweet clip for some endearing inspiration. 

  3. Visualize future success

    What are your hopes? Your desires? Your dreams? Many times I was scared to even discover or verbalize my dreams out of fear that I wouldn’t accomplish them. The thought of not accomplishing my goals led me to feeling let-down or a sense of failure. Wow, how much life and potential can we miss out on due to our fear?! Stop living in the fear of not being good enough or not fulfilling your dreams. When we embrace our hopes and dreams for the future we can become unstoppable. Awareness is the first step towards change. If you want to accomplish something in your future, visualize your dreams as a reality.

No, self-doubt is not a true representation of your true self. And yes, there is hope to rise above and find freedom.

Go into the future with confidence knowing that you are worthy! You are loved. By God. By those around you. Sometimes we don’t feel the love. But it is there. Feel the love. Receive the love. Share the love.

Feel the love. Receive the love. Share the love.

Feel the love. Receive the love. Share the love.

Lots of love,

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6 thoughts on “How to Overcome Self-Doubt

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