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  • Brooke Aymes

How To Overcome Self Doubt

Self-doubt has the capacity to handicap our lives. We might experience self doubt if we struggle with anxiety and/or self esteem. We might also experience self doubt if we have been diagnosed with any mental health disorders or experienced unhealthy relationships in the past where we were constantly told that we are not good enough or inherently flawed.

Self doubt will have us constantly questioning ourselves and our decision making. This comes up a lot with anxiety because we might always be looking for the best way to do things and then questioning ourselves afterwards, asking if that was actually the best way. 

For example, we might be looking to purchase a dining room table and we might search for hours looking for the perfect table for the perfect price. When it comes to purchasing the one that we have decided, we might question if it is actually the right one and then continue with those indecisive thoughts following the purchase. We might even experience buyers remorse or regret afterwards as a result of these thoughts.

When we experience low self-esteem we have difficulty feeling secure and confident in our decision making. We might feel that our thoughts, opinions and desires are the wrong ones and we choose not to voice them. This can bleed into our relationships because we might not feel that our needs are worthy of being met and we may come off as avoidant or distant. On the other hand, we might constantly seek to have our needs met, constantly seek reassurance in the relationship and come off as needy due to having low self esteem.

Self doubt can prevent us from feeling confident in ourselves, in our decision making and cause us to have difficulty advocating for ourselves. This affects every area of our lives in our personal relationships and into our professional careers. Self doubt might be preventing us from using our voice to say how we feel with our partner and causing distance in our most precious relationships or it might be preventing us from using our voice and asking for a raise at work. Self doubt prevents us from being able to achieve our goals and negatively impacts our quality of life.

If we are unsure if self doubt is impacting our lives, we can look for these signs in our daily lives-

  • We have difficulty accepting compliments

  • We feel not good enough

  • We have low self esteem

  • We are constantly seeking reassurance in our relationships

These are some things that we can implement to begin to increase our self confidence and decrease our self doubt—

Make Ourselves a Priority Each Day

This sounds cheesy, but it works. The more we make ourselves a priority, the more we feel like a priority. Engaging in self care activities is so important in building our self esteem and self confidence because are illustrating to ourselves in our behaviors that we are important. Taking the time to grab our favorite coffee in the morning, listening to our favorite music, reading a book, taking a day to rest, scheduling a day of vacation or ordering our favorite meal are all different forms of self care.

Fuel our Bodies

Our bodies need water and nutrients to function properly. When we are not consuming the appropriate calories and/or water intake we are not going to feel our best and function at our best as a direct result of that. Making sure that we fuel our bodies properly is one of the best things that we can do for ourselves and is a form of self.

Move our Bodies

Moving our bodies is also a form of self care. Exercise is one of those rare activities that offers instant gratification because we always feel good afterwards. Making time to take care of bodies throughout our busy day will improve our self esteem and self confidence regardless of how it changes our body.

Journal about Thoughts and Feelings

Our society is busy. The structure our lives is not built for us to be spending time reflecting and processing our feelings at the end of the day. It is our responsibility to create that time for ourselves to gain clarity and awareness into ourselves and to find patterns in our thoughts and feelings. Most times, when we start to engage in journaling we find that the way that we are speaking to ourselves in our own thoughts is verbally abusive and that we are swallowing any uncomfortable feelings that come up rather than coping with them.

Stop Comparing to Others

This speaks for itself. We might increase our self doubt by comparing ourselves to others and think that they have better than us. Social media is a breeding ground for this and in order to practice not comparing to others, we may need to set some boundaries with our social media accounts.

Challenge our Thoughts with Evidence

When we are questioning our decision making and ourselves we can seek the evidence. The evidence will help us gain clarity and will help us challenge anxious and insecure thoughts that may come up. An example of this may come up in our relationships- The thought is ‘My partner has not hugged me in three days maybe they do not like me anymore.’ When we look for evidence of them not liking us anymore we start to see that they have done other things that show affection and maybe have stressful life circumstances happening that would cause distance.

Seek Professional Help

Therapy can be helpful because it offers an objective point of view to sort through self doubt thoughts, change negative thinking patterns, build self confidence and implement helpful coping mechanisms on a regular basis.


Nj Addiction therapist Brooke Aymes climbing Mt. Tammany at the Delaware Water Gap as a form of self care

Hey, I'm Brooke --I'm a licensed anxiety and addiction therapist serving individuals, adolescents and couples in the states of New Jersey, Delaware and Florida. My experience brings both a personal and professional perspective to the work that I do with my clients. If you are interested in learning more about the therapy process and would like to schedule a free consultation, I would love to chat with you!

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