That little voice in your head that says things like, “are you sure?” or “hmmm… I don’t think you’re good enough to do that.” THAT is self doubt. What you may not realize is the crazy ways that the little voice of self doubt is sabotaging you in major ways. Don’t worry; once you get clear on these patterns, you can take the steps to work through them.
Over the last two months, I’ve been doing some incredible research around self doubt. I’ve interviewed about two dozen women from all over the world on their self doubt and how it may be holding them back from chasing their dreams.
The women I interviewed consider themselves ambitious and big thinkers, but for some reason, the fear is keeping them from leaving their boring relationship, starting their passion business, or leaving to travel the world. So, we worked together to dive into the patterns keeping them stuck.
These patterns I’m sharing today are pulled straight from the data. I’m confident you’ll find a self doubt pattern you relate to.
How Self Doubt is Self-Sabotaging
You’re probably aware of self doubt being a bit of a challenge in your life, but it’s sometimes hard to see just how much of an impact it has. These are five major ways that self doubt is holding you back and causing serious self sabotage.
Not Putting Yourself Out There
When self doubt is activated in your thoughts, you tend to keep yourself from getting out there. In a work context, this may look like not sharing ideas, not speaking up, not serving as well as you could, etc. Ultimately, we are playing small in our careers.
I also see this coming up in social settings and dating. This triggers thoughts, such as, “Do they like me? Will I fit in?”
There is fear that it will all be too painful. If the dating relationship ends or a new potential friend judges you, it feels too intense. To avoid that pain, you might avoid putting yourself out there all together, which can be more painful when you find yourself stuck in loneliness.
Self Sabotaging with Others’ Opinions
As a human on planet earth at this time, you’re probably pretty familiar with the expectations other people have on you. In order to nor disappoint people or further alienate yourself, you work hard to fulfill their expectations of you (instead of figuring out your own).
Worrying about what other people will say about you that will lead to anxiety and depression. It also limits you from being your true self, from embracing who you are, and taking off the masks that you’re wearing for self protection.
Following what society expects of you ultimately puts you in a cage which will feel smaller and smaller the longer you ignore who you truly are.
Self Doubt of Never Feeling Good Enough
Even the women who claimed to be “pretty confident” confessed that they also struggle with a pressure to always be doing more. Or, on occasion, a voice in their head questions, “Are you sure you’re as good as you think you are?”
Even with high confidence, it can lead to struggles of not ever being enough. Knowing how capable you truly are can lead high standards of yourself and it can feel like you’re never reaching those expectations placed on your shoulders. You don’t allow yourself to be human and it shows up in perfectionism.
I also found that women were afraid of confidence, thinking they would become egotistical or self serving if they worked on their self belief. This is an old way of thinking that needs to be shifted in order to stop self sabotaging.
Analyzing Instead of Taking Action
This is my biggest self doubt struggle and the one I’ve had to really work on – so I get it. As an intelligent or analytical person, we can get caught up in thinking everything out instead of actually doing something. Overthinking causes inaction.
Funnily enough, thinking through things can feel like action. It feels like you’re being really productive with planning and sorting out all the steps you need to take… but usually, that can leave you overwhelmed from actually taking any of those steps.
This came up for about 75% of the women I interviewed, who had big dreams, but beat themselves up for “being lazy” or struggling with the consistency needed to get after them. It’s not because of a lazy character flaw – it’s caused by overthinking and overwhelm.
Avoiding Financial Freedom
Y’all – this one I wasn’t expecting. Okay, I thought a number of women would be struggling with this self doubt, but I didn’t expect 95% of them to be here! Everyone craves a sense of financial freedom, but we discredit our desire to the combination of building abundance while simultaneously doing what we love.
Becoming an entrepreneur, or even just a badass babe with a side hustle, takes a lot of courage. So, of course, self doubt will be the biggest sabotaging factor here.
This is really a combination of all the categories. Starting your own money-making venture forces you to put yourself out there, release the opinion of others, feel more than capable, and take some action. It takes some serious self belief to bring your business dreams to life.
However, once you figure this one out, the amazing feeling you receive from it propels you into a fierce self belief with evidence that you are capable of ignoring fear and stepping into the upleveled version of yourself – as a rebel who makes her own path.
How to Make Shifts Toward Fierce Self Belief Instead of Self Doubt
So, are you ready to shift out of these self doubt patterns? While these changes take time and practice, I know you’re capable of figuring it out.
Here are seven steps to get you started:
1. Let go of your made up timeline and “shoulds.”
When we are holding onto societal norms, we create a constant list of all the things we “should” be doing and a lot of them aren’t even true to your desires. Watch this training on how to clear out these shoulds and replace the thoughts.
2. Get to Know Yourself.
The opposite of self doubt is self belief, but you can’t believe in something until you know what/who it is at a deep level. Check out these ideas on how to get to know yourself better.
3. Stop consuming info and start taking baby steps.
I know it feels wonderful to consume all this motivational content, but don’t get stuck in that feel good loop. Allow yourself time to stop learning in order to start implementing all you’re learning with baby steps. Give yourself tiny steps you can take to get the momentum going.
4. Get feedback from those you trust.
If you are caught in the questions about being good enough or lacking confidence, this can be really helpful. It’s important to only select people you trust and then ask them – what can I improve on? What do you think I’m great at? You get to decide if it’s true for you or not but it’s a powerful lesson in building thicker skin and learning more about your strengths and weaknesses.
5. Rewrite the story or change the thought.
When caught in self doubt, we tend to use one or two negative experiences/stories to indicate why aren’t good enough, but it’s never true. Shift your perspective by finding the evidence of the contrary. Be aware of what or you brain is telling you, quiet down the negative thoughts and consciously change your perspective.
6. Make commitments to yourself.
Your brain likes to see proof and evidence to back up your new beliefs. Making a commitment to invest time or money into yourself, or your dreams, is a way to remind yourself that you are worthy. It’s evidence of self belief.
7. Slow down and tune inwards.
Ultimately, it’s about giving yourself permission to slow down. This allows you to get familiar with your thoughts and beliefs. Create space for you to explore with mindfulness practices, journaling, or yoga.
Ultimately, it’s about being patient with yourself and remembering that you’re human. There are always going to be struggles and limitations, but that doesn’t make you less capable or equipped to get after what you want. If anything, it makes you more equipped.
Want my full video breakdown of these concepts? Join the Remote Yogis Worldwide FB group for this and other powerful trainings.
If you’re looking to make these powerful shifts with some support and a quicker timeline – that’s what I’m here for! I coach women to create fierce, rebellious levels of self belief in order to get after the freedom lifestyle their craving. Does this sound like something you’re looking for? Book your free discovery call with me here.
I’m curious – what step are you excited to take first?
You’ve got this!