Taking Yourself On: Ditching Self-Doubt For Good

Last Updated: 25 Jul 2019
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Self-doubt prevents us from building self-confidence. Stopping this self-doubt will help us feel more confident in our words, actions and decisions.

Self-doubt undermines our self-confidence because it perpetuates doubt. Stopping this self-doubt will help us feel more confident in our words, actions and decisions.

Self-doubt is an automatic, ingrained behavior that doesn’t keep us from making mistakes––it actually keeps us from having confidence in ourselves. What I have learned is that we are better off not doubting ourselves at all. It helps us to build confidence and also to not perpetuate “what if” thinking that only creates doubt in ourselves. And self doubt also feeds into other behaviors like insecurity, nervousness, anxiety that hurt our self-esteem.

As I mentioned in previous blog posts, it really takes self-awareness to address our behaviors. It is hard to gain the objectivity that we need to help ourselves. Only you can make positive change to you.

Making positive change is not easy––it takes focus, awareness, objectivity, honesty, commitment and determination. To be honest, I lived many years deep in the darkness of depression, anxiety and bipolar and what helped me is exactly what I am sharing––changing myself for my happiness and quality of life.

When I was able to make positive changes to myself, it helped me in my interactions with my loved ones. Through changing behaviors of self, it also changes how I treat others. For me, I sought to stop perpetuating unnecessary doubt of others. Instead of doubting everyone, I now extend the benefit of doubt to all. When you view self-doubt as a behavior, it is easier to see where it shows up in your life so you can transform it.

Paying attention to our thoughts and behaviors is tedious ––which is why it takes acute awareness, persistence and commitment to make positive change. I once saw a funny Bob Newhart clip from an old SNL episode. It was called “Stop it” and Bob Newhart played a therapist whose advice to everything was to “Stop It!”. There is some truth in this, but it is not that easy to stop ingrained behaviors. We cannot snap our fingers, make a conscious decision, and stop it with no effort. Every single time the behavior shows up we have to replace it for good. It helps to recognize that doubting ourselves is an obstacle blocking us from feeling good about our efforts. And it doesn’t help us grow and learn.

Self-doubt is not an objective assessment of self, it is a critical one. It is something we have to keep shaking off until it is gone. It’s a waste of time and mental energy, just like worry. It serves no purpose, but just gives the mind something to do. But it can undermine our confidence, self-esteem and happiness. When we make a firm decision to take ourselves on, what’s not working, what we acknowledge is wrong in our behaviors, it gives us something to focus on that is going to help us in our highest good. And when we focus all our efforts there, we can make positive change.

A lot of people believe to love ourselves we have to accept ourselves, flaws and all. But to love ourselves is actually healing our flaws so we are free of them. Our flaws are directly in the way of our happiness and self-love so it takes loving ourselves so much that we are willing to “find your flaws and fix them fast,” as Napoleon Hill wisely said.

About the author
Debbie Jacobs is an advocate, writer and healing specialist living in Alexandria, Virginia. She lived most of her adult life with a diagnosis of depression, anxiety and bipolar and speaks out on how self-improvement is life improvement and believes we all can live happy lives just by making positive change to ourselves. Her influences are Louise Hay, Napoleon Hill, Les Brown and Tony Robbins. She does positivity life coaching and is in the process of writing her first book on her healing process of accomplishing positive thinking, positive effective coping skills and healthy self-esteem, what she calls “freedom and happiness.” She shares her work to motivate, inspire and help others make positive change to themselves for their freedom and happiness too.
1 Comment
  1. This is the first post I have ever made on these things. I have never heard anything more true then this just the way you wrote it hit me. There are alot of things we all need to work on it’s hard to know where to start. I never really thought of it being an action before and an action that we have control over and can change. On a side note I wish when you went in to see a counselor or therapist they would help you and show you tools like this instead of just validating feelings. All that does for me is say everyone feels like this and it’s fine. Well I dont want to feel like this, this cant possiblity be the norm it feels like I have nothing to fight for when they do this. And I leave feeling more discouraged then when I went in. Mental health in central Illinois is so over worked and under staffed it takes months to see someone for 30 mins and then they give you some meds to fix all your problems but it barely helps. It’s hard when no one will listen to your concerns and such.

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