When in doubt, act! – 6 ways to stop doubting yourself

wes York

Wes York


Everyone is guilty of doubting themselves.


A little bit of self-doubt is normal and healthy – it can ground us and prevent us from becoming too self-confident or cocky.


But too much self-doubt is detrimental. It can hold us back, prevent us from progressing, and make us second-guess ourselves.


It’s important to make sure that you stop doubting yourself, because self-doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will, and keeping in this mindset will stop you from ever moving forward.


Here are six ways to stop doubting yourself:


1          When in doubt, act!

“When in doubt, act. Just do something, anything. You can only sit, reflect, make lists for so long.” – Secrets of Six-Figure Women


Often when you begin to doubt yourself, you will feel stuck. Stuck in a rut, with invisible quicksand dragging you down. If ever you feel this way, remember the quote, ‘when in doubt – act.’


If you feel stuck, doubtful of yourself, or you’re feeling blue, take some action. Move, or do something. What you do doesn’t need to be a ‘big’ something – any move you take is a step in the right direction.


Eventually, action should be taken in the direction of your long-term goals, making small adjustments will benefit you, as well as giving time for those adjustments stick.


If you need to change, assess your level of discomfort, find your motivation and create a process – everything begins with action!


2          Beat the procrastination

“A year from now you may wish you had started today.” – Karen Lamb


Self-doubt can lead to procrastination. People who procrastinate often become frustrated and generally accomplish nothing. To change this negative behaviour, you must identify the things that cause you to procrastinate in the first place, and take steps to improve your self-esteem.


Rewarding yourself as you reach certain milestones and goals will make it easier to stay motivated and encourage you to make other positive changes in your life. Procrastination is a habitual behaviour but you can break the cycle of self-doubt if you make the decision to do so.

Think back to step one – making sure that you act when you’re in doubt. This applies here too – if you take action and make an effort to change, procrastination will not control your life.


Beat the procrastination and change your self-image, improve your self-esteem and embrace your motivation.


3          Don’t waste time overthinking

“The more you overthink, the less you will understand.” – Habeeb Akande


One of the habits that goes hand-in-hand with self-doubt, is overthinking.


Overthinking can make any problem a bigger problem, and will prolong the problem until you stop thinking about it. It can heighten feelings of anger, resentment and indecision, make you second guess yourself, and even fabricate more problems. In fact, overthinking a situation will make everything worse in direct proportion to the time and energy you spend overthinking it.


The good thing is that most of the time we know when we’re overthinking things, the hardest part is stopping.


Next time you catch yourself overanalysing, try to realise that you could be attending to a larger task, and try to move on. Focus on things in the present that are deserving of your time and attention, and recognise when you’re investing too much time on a trivial thing.


4          Trust your gut

“I always trust my gut reaction; it’s always right.” – Kiana Tom


‘Trust your gut’ is age old advice, but it can be a great aid in the decision-making process.


When you go with your gut instinct, you’re leaning on years of experience in an instant. You’re also making a decision, based on a feeling that you have and trusting in yourself. When you trust your instincts, and the decision turns out to be the right one, you’ll feel amazing.


Stop the negative thinking in your brain and stop being afraid of what others may do or say. Fight for what you believe in to get anything accomplished. Sometimes the toughest battles are the most rewarding.


Believe in yourself, and trust yourself, and soon you will stop doubting yourself.


5          You’re your own worst critic

“You’ve been criticising yourself for yours and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.” – Louise L. Hay


A lot of the time we make the mistake of being too hard on ourselves. We have a tendency to worry about being judged or viewed negatively by others.


The truth is, no one really cares – at least, not as much as you think they do. Everyone is focused on their own obligations, therefore do not put that much effort towards concerning themselves with what you’re doing.


Doubting yourself already damages your self-esteem, and stressing over what others think will just increase the magnitude of your worries. Additionally, being too hard on yourself often leads to negative thoughts and feelings of self-blame, self-criticism and self-judgement.


It’s important to remember that you’re only human, and sometimes you need a break yourself. There is no point in worrying about pleasing others if you’re not pleasing yourself in the process.


Set realistic expectations of yourself, work on embracing yourself and realise that mistakes help you learn and grow. Channel positive thoughts, build your self-esteem, and rather than focusing on what you did wrong, focus on what you did right and how you can improve.


6          Stay inspired and confident!

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” – Nelson Mandela


One of the biggest steps in overcoming self-doubt is staying inspired. Take time to remind yourself of your goals, track your progress, and reward yourself every time you succeed in a milestone.


Don’t overdo it though – give yourself breaks and don’t be too hard on yourself. You need to trust yourself if you want to stay on the right track.


One of the best ways to stay inspired and build your confidence is to surround yourself with people that will cheer you on and encourage you.


When the time calls for it, compose yourself, and act self-assured, those around you will perceive you as someone who has faith in their potential. Soon, you’ll start to believe it yourself.




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