5 Ways to Silence Self-Doubt

5 Ways to Silence Self-Doubt

November 30, 2022
Shari Steinbach
Business Skills

By Shari Steinbach, MS RDN, RDBA Contributing Editor

Have you ever heard the saying, “just get out of your head?” This often refers to the negative thoughts of self-doubt that can drag us down and prevent us from making productive decisions. Yet while none of us are immune to self-doubt, we all have the ability to keep it from directing our choices, and shaping our lives. Here are 5 ways you can do just that.

  1. Understand that doubt is part of being human. Self-doubt does serve a purpose in our lives. It actually is working to protect us from failure and humiliation. It is actually good to befriend your inner critic and acknowledge that it is just trying to keep you safe. Understanding that self-doubt is natural and part of the human experience can help you to release the hold it has over you. Yes, you will have doubt and yes, you will make mistakes. It is what you choose to do after you hear internal doubt that matters.
  2. Address your inner critic. Self-doubt is not based on the truth so feel free to call out that inner critic who is telling you to avoid taking risks. The next time you are full of self-doubt, ask your critical self “What if the opposite were true?” “What if I am ready for that promotion?” “What if my comments are extremely important?” Call your inner critic by name and let “Doubting Debbie” know she is no longer in charge.
  3. Focus on faith in yourself over fear. Take time to reflect on all of your wonderful accomplishments and the accolades you have received from colleagues. Reread notes of encouragement and those that praised your work, especially during times of self-doubt. Use some quiet time to remember what your mission is and what you are willing to be brave for. Let your faith in yourself be stronger than your fear.
  4. Surround yourself with believers. Mastering your life is not a solo adventure. Surround yourself with people who bring out the best in you and make you feel empowered. These people should fuel your confidence not your self-doubt. You will know who these people are by the way you feel when you are with them and when you leave them – encouraged and inspired!
  5. Practice bits of bravery. Building more confidence happens in small increments. Taking “bite-sized” actions of bravery can create positive, dramatic shifts in your thinking that can last. Your courage is like a muscle, the more you use it, the braver you will become. When daily opportunities arise, ask yourself what you would do if you felt brave. Then picture your success, take deep breath, and just do it. Taking small brave actions will slowly disempower your doubts and grow your confidence.

I did the thing I feared the most.
Excuse me while I cheer.
And now I stand a stronger soul,
and all I lost is fear.