This week, I’ve been doing a lot of research and reflection about self-doubt, what it looks like and the mental health challenges it creates. Even though it’s been helpful to understand more about doubt and the role it plays in our mental health, managing or overcoming self-doubt is more than just being aware of it. Here are five tips that I hope will be helpful to you on your journey to better manage your self-doubt.
Five Tips for Managing Self-Doubt
Remember that everyone experiences self-doubt.
Before I even think about how to manage my self-doubt, I have to remind myself that I’m not alone in dealing with this. One of the biggest myths about mental health challenges is that we’re alone in our experience, and that no one else has been where we are. I know that not everyone experiences the same sorts of doubts I do, but it’s comforting to know that they experience them in their own way. We’re all on our own journeys, and there’s always a part of the journey where you start to doubt or wonder about where you’re going. It happens to all of us – and you’re part of that, too.
Talk with people who believe in you.
This is something that I wish I did more because it’s so effective. Challenges with confidence and self-esteem can go hand-in-hand with mental health issues, and it can often lead to people thinking very little of themselves or not believing in what they’re doing. When I can’t change what I’m telling myself, I talk with other people in my life who a) know that I act this way and b) give me the encouragement I can’t give myself. You don’t always need to hear some magic words – oftentimes, it’s just helpful to be seen.
Think about what you’ve accomplished before.
When I’m going through major bouts of anxiety, it’s hard to think about the good things I’ve done in life, but it’s what saves me from spiraling further. Self-doubt can plant the seed that you’re a failure, or that you’ve never accomplished anything in your life – and that’s simply not true. Regardless of where you are in life, you’ve achieved so much and accomplished a ton just by being you and sharing your experience and existence with us. Failing at one thing doesn’t take away from all you’ve achieved, and fighting that instinct to ignore past accomplishments is what allows that self-doubt to grow.
Give yourself validation.
This is probably more of a long-term tip, but self-validation goes such a long way when it comes to overcoming doubt. Validation from others is very helpful, but I know how easy it can be to dismiss that validation because you don’t believe it yourself. There are so many times when I’ve sought validation from others for choices I want to make, but what I really needed was to validate that choice myself. Learning from others is good, but that should be a tool we use to grow and not our only form of validation.
Stop comparing yourself to others.
I know, I know – this is a million times easier said than done. But I’ve learned that even in the attempt to stop comparing myself to others, I’ve found growth. There’s an often-used quote that “comparison is the thief of joy,” and I’ve thought a lot about that lately with the way I’ve treated my accomplishments and victories in life. We all deserve to feel happy and joyful, and that starts with knowing ourselves more than other people.
These are just a few of the many ways that we can try to manage our self-doubt and grow more in confidence within ourselves. Now I want to hear from you! In your experience, what have you learned about managing self-doubt? Let me know in the comments!