self doubt

How self doubt keeps you stuck

Who struggles with self doubt?

We all struggle with feelings of self doubt from time to time, often when we are faced with new or challenging situations. However, when it becomes debilitating for us, that’s when we may need more tools to overcome self-doubt. Self doubt keeps you stuck and unable to keep moving forward in life.

Self-doubt is often when you don’t trust your own judgement about things and may have feelings of uncertainty regarding one or more aspects of the self; confidence, likeablity, your true identity. You find yourself questioning yourself about things and needing validation from other people.

Copy of overwhelm

How does it present itself?

When self doubt becomes a regular state of mind, it can cause people to become quite insular and feel lonely. They may be overly pleasing, feel resentful at times, have passive aggressive tendencies, harbour grudges, feel shame and hurt. They may often take things more personally and have many limiting self beliefs and negative circling thoughts which can be exhausting, both mentally and physically. It is rare that they would share these with others as they  feel guilty for feeling and being like this.

You may not have self doubt in all areas of your life but just certain, for instance you may function perfectly well in all your relationships but really doubt yourself at work about your performance.

Here are some of the Tell Tale Signs :

  • An overall feeling of ‘contraction’
  • Procrastination
  • Lack of motivation
  • Hesitation
  • Imposter syndrome
  • Perfectionist behaviour
  • Lack of clarity
  • Lack of motivation
  • Worry about what others think

Screenshot at

Where does it come from?
Nature or nurture?

It may be that you have a sensitive personality (nature). You take things personally and feel hurt and anxious about saying or doing the wrong thing.  People who are overly empathic sometimes experience more self doubt.

Quite often the environment, (nurture) you grew up in may have had a negative impact on your personality. Having for instance someone in your family with an over-powering presence who undermined you or shut you down or ridiculed you, would have caused you to not only doubt yourself but also be very cautious about sharing your thoughts and feelings openly.

Friends, teachers, work colleagues, bosses also may play a big part in causing you to doubt yourself. Sometimes parents may just be passing on their own insecurities on to you (learned behaviour) as they themselves suffered self doubt and you picked up those same behavioural patterns.

How does self doubt stop people being who they really are?
  • They abandon their own needs and put others’ needs first
  • They don’t step forward and show off their unique gifts and talents
  • They remain shy and unassuming
  • They have low expectations of themselves
  • They feel inferior to others around them
Watch out for the unconscious payoffs!

There are certain unconscious ‘payoffs’ (self rewards) to keep you staying in self doubt.

  • People don’t feel threatened by you and befriend you more easily
  • Others tell you their secrets and share their problems more comfortably with you
  • You are often offered advice and support (people love like fixing people who seem uncertain)
  • You feel cared for and get attention while others are offering you help and advice

We become used to and comfortable with these little payoffs and feel safe in this place. When we choose to step up and change, these may still creep in from time to time and sabotage our  efforts to change. It is good to be aware of this and as the new habits become more established these will disappear too.

self doubt

Who would you be without your self doubt?

You would be :

  • Confident
  • Successful
  • Popular
  • Richer
  • Have your dreams fulfilled
  • Feel happier
  • More fulfilled
  • Be the person you are meant to be and reach your full potential

Even though your inner critic may pop up and say….”Who do you think you are?” from time to time, you will be able to reassure that wounded part of yourself more easily and keep moving forward on your new path.


By committing to work on YOURSELF……..

Here are 5 simple mindfulness tips to get you started :

  1. Notice when it arises and take yourself away to work through it
  2. Sit quietly with yourself in a meditative space (it’s good to make this a daily habit)
  3. Try and identify the feelings/emotions you are experiencing right now (refer to the primary emotions chart below)
  4. Notice your thoughts and write them down without judgement
  5. FEEL the bodily sensations you are having right now (tightness in the chest or in your abdomen, headache, any tension in the neck and shoulders) and try and just be with these sensations as they move through you AND they will! Slowly and gently also let go of the thoughts associated with them as you keep the focus on your sensations in the body.

This gentle mindfulness practice will become easier as you learn to keep practising them and the transition from Self Doubt to Self Belief will happen.

primary emotions wheel

What does Self Belief look like for you?

Visualise an image of yourself of who you really want to be (or like someone you admire)

Use a Vision board to get clear on the person you know you can be once you have ditched the self doubt in you.

‘Fake it until you make it’ has some power to it. You notice how people around you treat you and soon you begin to build your confidence in yourself as you experience the positive responses. You no longer feel like an imposter in your own skin.


Ooze confidence in everything you do, dress up the way you want and like and challenge the critics around you and in your head.

Do more of what you love each day regardless of what what others say. Stop asking for others’ opinions and find the answers inside you, begin to nurture your intuition and above all trust it. It has been a long time since you were connected to it.

Journalling your thoughts and emotions helps to get rid of them more quickly and easily from your head.

Winter Solstice journal

Know what you want and keep focused on the list and choose in favour of them. The Passion Test process will help with this.

Say No when you really need to and get more and more assertive about asking for what you need. Others will have greater respect for you and you will believe more in yourself and trust your choices and decisions.

Give yourself time alone to reflect and be with yourself more (get closer to the NEW you)

Reward and validate yourself

Focus on yourself more and more

Give yourself praise where praise is due

In time the NEW YOU will emerge and BECOME more of who you really are.

Be proactive and seek professional counselling or coaching help and support along the way. It will be one of the best investments you can make in your entire life.

Once you are in a higher place towards self belief and you keep ditching the self doubt, monitor it. Keep a simple score on yourself to monitor and gauge your progress. From 1-10 how did you deal with a certain problematic ‘trigger’ situation? It may be 4/10 when you started (10 being fully in self belief) and it may now have shifted to a 8/10.

Look back at where you were a month, 3 months, a year ago and NOTICE how far you have come.

If you would like to find out more about how I can help you to reach a much happier and more content place in yourself, eliminating the self doubt and helping you to find more of who you are underneath it, please get in touch with me and BOOK  A FREE COMPLIMENTARY ZOOM CHAT.

Screenshot at

Scroll to Top