Handling Your Own Worst Critic: How to Deal with Self-Doubt

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Have you ever wondered “what is self doubt and how do I get past it?” You’re not alone. The vast majority of people struggle with insecurities at some point in their lives. In fact, countless people struggle with this lack of confidence currently.

If you’re in the ranks of those who are looking for how to get rid of self-doubt, you’re in the right place. Like any thought pattern, a negative self-perspective can be changed with the right tools and guidance.

In this article, we’ll give you the tips and tricks you can practice to amend those damaging thoughts and replace them with loving and constructive ones.

What is self-doubt?

Self-doubt is feeling uncertain in your own abilities or actions. Having a self-doubt definition is important, too, because it helps us to understand what we’re aiming for. 

Self-doubt can stem from a lack of faith in our talents, conversational skills, experience, education, appearance and relational abilities. Regardless of where self-doubt comes from, it’s a negative feeling that takes its toll on other areas of life.

Being plagued by self-doubt can lead to other insecurities, a depressed mood, poor work or social performance and so much more.

Self-doubt has plenty of downsides, but overall the fear that accompanies it can be crippling, preventing us from embracing our true selves. 

According to the American Psychological Association, a positive self-perception is indicative of higher self-acceptance and self-esteem, which has trickle effects into other areas of life. Feeling inadequate harms us and it has the potential to keep us from living full lives, creating relationships with others, finding our passion and making positive change in the world.

How to stop self-doubt

Learning how to overcome self-doubt is easier said than done, but it is possible. Put in the work and try out these concrete tips for how to get rid of self-doubt. 

Name your insecurities

Our insecurities can be so powerful that we fear to name them. Take back the control and start to name the areas where you lack confidence and want to grow. Maybe you are anxious about your work performance or feel that you don’t have as many friends as most people do.

Take the time to vocalize or write down the areas you feel like you are lacking. The more specific, the easier your insecurities will be to address.

Change harmful thoughts

It’s likely that the insecurities you listed are all damaging to your confidence. Even if there is a grain of truth to them (we all have flaws), the way you talk to yourself (commonly called self-talk) is probably more harmful than helpful.

Self-talk can be a critical piece in figuring out how to deal with self-doubt. As often as we’re awake we’re reflecting on our own performance and behavior, so making the effort to ensure our self-talk is positive is well worth the time.

Changing thought patterns is a complicated process that typically works best with the aid of a mental health professional. In the context of psychotherapy this is called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and it focuses on addressing thoughts in an effort to change behavior.

You can also work on changing harmful thoughts at home though, and the key is to substitute the negative thought with a healthy one. Repeat this replacement thought several times as often as you think the negative one.

Find clarity

One of the reasons we struggle with how to overcome self-doubt is because we don’t know what we want or what we should reasonably expect from ourselves. The world (through social media) offers an infinite number of unattainable standards, and if we don’t set our own, we’ll easily fall victim to many unrealistic expectations.

To kill self-doubt, you’ll need to find clarity in what you can and should expect from yourself and what you need to do to get there. Journaling, setting goals or talking through your standards with a loved one can help you in this stage. 

Find peace

Self-acceptance is the surest antidote to self-doubt. It comes with time as you have patience with yourself and learn to accept flaws while still aiming high. Finding peace with yourself, your abilities, your talents and how you look will change the way you live your life.

If you’re wondering how to stop self-doubt in its tracks, there’s no reason you have to start from scratch. You deserve to work with a professional who can guide you through the process, offering tips along the way and sharing a career’s worth of experience. Moreover, a mental health professional can give you valuable affirmation that will start to turn the wheel in the opposite direction. Get help as you define self-doubt in your life, and then destroy it. Schedule your appointment or call (610) 644-6464 to get started today.