• 5 Ways to Overcome Self-Doubt

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    What to do when self-doubt clouds your confidence and blocks your motivation.

    Do you find yourself questioning your beliefs or your point of view? Maybe you often wonder if you’ve made the right decision and second-guess yourself, replaying the various options in your mind on repeat. If so, you may be experiencing self-doubt.

    Self-doubt is questioning yourself about the truth about who you are and what you’re capable of. It could be focused on your thoughts, beliefs, emotions, opinions, decisions, self-views, or any point of view you hold about yourself. You might feel uneasy and question your self-competence or capacity to do what you want.

    Many of my clients who struggle with self-doubt fluctuate between judging and doubting their abilities and feeling confident in their capacity to meet their goals. Sometimes, you might be skeptical, and at other times, you may feel optimistic.

    Do you experience self-doubt?

    Here are some research-backed questions to help you determine if you’re experiencing self-doubt:

    • Do you feel unsure about your life?
    • Do you lack confidence that you’ll accomplish your goals?
    • Are you uncertain about your level of competence or capacity to be successful?

    How do you know if it’s self-doubt?

    Because self-doubt feels multidimensional – critical, judgmental, pessimistic, and so unpleasant that it’s often dealt with unconsciously—some can be helpful and others unhelpful. Here are a few of the ways self-doubt manifests:


    Self-handicapping is a defensive strategy that attempts to soften the harsh reality of failure with reasons for your mistakes that aren’t your fault. Stress eating, procrastination, and drinking are a few ways that enable you to blame your struggles on something other than yourself. But, this strategy often worsens self-doubt and leaves you feeling like a failure.


    Overachievement is a way of overcompensating that helps prevent mistakes and failures. Self-doubt often leads to the belief that the more regular effort you put in or the more competence you have, the more you need to succeed. Unfortunately, this is often a mismatch of what’s required to stop struggling with self-doubt.

    Imposter syndrome

    Imposter syndrome is when you feel like the success you experience is not an accurate reflection of your abilities and your success is a result of “just getting lucky.” There are many reasons why this happens, and one of them is that you’re afraid you won’t be able to keep up with your success. You might tell yourself your success is due to luck, timing, or contacts.

    5 Ways to Overcome Self-Doubt

    1. Unconditional self-worth

    Unconditional is the key – it’s not dependent on a particular result- it simply is. It doesn’t matter how others treat you because your self-worth depends only on how you value yourself as a human being.

    2. Unconditional love

    Love yourself “warts and all,” as they say. No matter your mistakes or the heights of your success, like unconditional self-worth above, you love your whole being.

    3. Growth

    Be in a state of evolution where you continue to be a lifelong learner and build on your strengths.

    4. Use positive self-talk

    Say things to yourself that are kind, positive, or supportive. Expect that you’ll make mistakes, and you’ll learn and grow in the process as you support yourself with positive self-talk.

    5. Affirm yourself

    The beliefs we have about ourselves sometimes need a reminder. Affirmations are a way to do that, as well as a way to keep goals in mind. Moving toward what you want is more accessible than pushing against what you don’t and hoping you’ll receive what you want.

    Here are three powerful affirmations:

    • I am strong and capable
    • I am doing my best, and that is enough
    • I am capable of anything I put my mind to

    Finally, here are two questions that can help you to focus as well:

    • How can I be confident even when I make mistakes or experience failure?
    • How can I be confident even when others doubt my abilities or withhold love, encouragement, or criticism?

    Developing a growth mindset helps to maintain your self-worth and can support you to believe in yourself even when times are challenging, which helps to prevent self-doubt from taking over.


    Self-doubt is an uncomfortable thought process and it’s a solvable problem. Fortunately, there are ways to overcome self-doubt and keep your momentum moving forward confidently with unconditional self-worth, love, growth, positive self-talk, and affirmations.

  • How to Break Up with Imposter Syndrome for Good

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    What is imposter syndrome and how do you fix it?

    Do you worry that the eternal “they” will discover that you are not exactly who or what they think you are? It could be imposter syndrome getting in the way of your confidence. It usually happens something like this:

    You have accomplished a goal and achieved success, but some of you cannot accept the success you have strived to achieve. Your inner voice tells you it was just luck and tried to convince you that you are not qualified, so watch out because “they” will find out! You might even doubt your skills and intelligence, even though you worked hard to get where you are. If you have ever experienced something like this, you have likely experienced imposter syndrome.

    Research on imposter syndrome in high-achieving women found that even when people have much evidence of their achievements, they can still convince themselves that they have not earned the success they have. Put another way, their self-assessment of their success needs to be more consistent with the objective reality of their accomplishments.

    Imposter syndrome describes when an individual doubts their accomplishments and fears that others will discover the “truth” that they are an imposter. The research also found that almost 70% of people experience some imposter syndrome during their lifetime.

    When people experience imposter syndrome, they typically credit their achievement to luck, good timing, or connections. They also dismiss their hard work and take ownership of learning the skills needed to achieve their success. Another factor is that people who struggle with imposter syndrome find it difficult to accept positive feedback or praise, making it much more challenging to break free from the belief that they are an imposter.

    Causes of Imposter Syndrome

    Like most things in life, there are many variables that contribute to life’s challenges. Here are a few:

    Life Transitions

    Imposter syndrome is common when starting something new, such as a new employment position after graduation. Other transitions like a promotion, creating a new business, and becoming a parent are major life events that can lead to low confidence and doubts about your ability to do the job successfully. Even high-performing professionals with a history of achievement still determine that their ability to perform is due to factors outside of themselves.


    Harsh judgment often leads to imposter syndrome. Early research found that children harshly judged by their families or perceived as less intelligent than other family members increased the chance of imposter syndrome. On the other hand, researchers also found that imposter syndrome can develop among children when families judge their children to be highly intelligent and competent. One thought is that the child feels pressured to please their families rather than believe in their abilities when their skills are challenged.


    We all have different aspects of our identities, such as gender, age, culture, or something else. When a person experiences part of their identity being criticized and belittled more than others, it can lead to imposter syndrome. Stereotypes that label an individual as less intelligent and competent can lead to an internalized narrative that accepts the belief as accurate. It happens when circumstances prove the stereotype is wrong, yet the individual believes it more than their reality.

    Low self-confidence

    Imposter syndrome overlaps with the other characteristics of self-confidence. Imposter syndrome is linked to self-doubt, often leading to failure. People who are both introverted and anxious are more likely to experience it. Generally, harsh criticism also increases the likelihood of imposter syndrome.

    3 Ways to Overcome Imposter Syndrome

    1. Emotional Awareness:

    Accept your emotional experiences. Remember that feelings are a response to an experience and are not a replay of reality. Writing your feelings down by hand and then looking at them from a few different points of view is often a helpful way to accept the positive aspects of yourself.

    2. Acknowledge your strengths and weaknesses:

    We all have positive and negative aspects of ourselves and are good at something, but no one is good at everything. When you accept that you possess skills and reflect on your abilities, it is easier to acknowledge your accomplishments confidently.

    3. Cancel perfectionism:

    Perfectionist habits often plague those struggling with imposter syndrome and need to stop! Everyone, and probably everything, is a work in progress. The goal is to keep learning and growing. Here are a few ways to practice more self-compassion. Take regular breaks and days off, and use relaxation techniques to calm stress and anxiety. Remember, mistakes are a natural and inevitable part of life, and you must keep learning and growing to your full potential.


    Sometimes, the voice of imposter syndrome takes over your confidence, tries to downplay your accomplishments, and leaves you doubting yourself. When that happens, it is a signal to take a moment, acknowledge your strengths, and take ownership of your power to move your life toward your full potential. Imposter syndrome does not have a chance to keep you down!