Feeling unsure of your abilities is simply what self doubt is.
Experiencing self doubt can be quite an unpleasant feeling. It occurs when someone is unsure of their abilities or their level of competence.
Self doubt is connected to low self esteem, this is because it is only when you have a low self esteem that you begin to doubt yourself . You question yourself all the time. Questions like “what if I am wrong?” “will I make the right decision?” “what if I don’t succeed?” This kind of questions will continue to tear down your defenses and continually cause self doubt.
You sometimes even feel like your successes are not due to your own abilities but pure luck or good timing, this behaviour is also known as Imposter Syndrome.
But I am not here to write about Imposter syndrome. I want to make you understand several ways to over come self doubt
Positive Self Talk
As much as this sounds cliché, it is a very effective way to overcome self doubt.
According to Tod, Hardy and Oliver 2011; “positive self talk is generally thought to be good for mental health and has even been shown to improve performance”.
When talking to yourself, you speak positively, you speak words of support, encouragement, and kindness to yourself.
Let’s say you’re going to write an examination and you’re beginning to feel doubt creeping into your head, look at your reflection, and instead of the regular “I can do it”, say specifically: “I have studied for this examination and I am confident in my abilities, I believe I am going to pass exceedingly”. Notice how this statement boosts your self confidence and casts your doubts away.
Often times, we compare ourselves to other people. People we feel are better than us. Don’t forget that these persons only show you what they want you to see, you do not see the full picture.
You do not know what they struggle with daily. Know that these people you compare yourself to, also compare themselves to one person or the other too. So rather than comparing yourself to them; there by putting yourself under unnecessary pressure; just admire what they do and focus on your own journey.
Do not allow your mind trick you into believing you’re the worse or some things are beyond you. They’re not.
Embrace Your Strength
In church last week, we were told that everyone has a unique gift. That the Holy spirit has blessed everyone with one thing or the other.
Some of us haven’t recognised ours, while some have and are making good use of it.
After you read this; I want you to take a pen and paper and write those things about your self that you love or admire.
You can even ask your friends to write and send to you. You can never know how much people admire about you.
It could be your ability to stay calm in difficult times, it could be your “vibe”:the way you relate with people, the way you speak; it could be how wonderful you cook, how neat and organised you are. It could be a whole lot of things that you do not even pay attention to.
So instead of solely focusing on your weaknesses, mistakes and failures. Look inwards and identify your strengths and qualities and embrace them.
You should also understand that overcoming self doubt doesn’t happen over night. You have to put in the work. Focus on progress rather than perfection because no one is perfect. Focus on fully accepting yourself “now”.
Thank you for reading!