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Jude's avatar

Do you ever struggle with self-doubt? If so, how do you push your way through it?

Asked by Jude (32112points) June 19th, 2010

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32 Answers

Coloma's avatar


It is through the stillness of mind that your higher self hooks into the conduit of truth.

As long as you are stuck in your head, using mind to debate an issue, decision, you will get nowhere.

That small still voice that whispers needs a silent mind to be heard.

nikipedia's avatar

Constantly. When it gets really bad I turn to my friends for encouragement. <3

Repo_the_Genetic_Opera's avatar

It helps to ask loved ones for encouragement.
I struggle really bad with it too.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Sure. Whenever I get too comfortable then there’s a chance I won’t be at my best and so I need to re evaluate. I’m a realist for the most part so I have to weigh my ego against outside feedback so I guess that’s where the self doubt can creep in. I’ve got a great group of core friends, some of more than 20yrs so when I need back up and finding my ground, they tell me like it is. If it’s something to do with my job then I have resourceful people there who will give me sound advice or reassurance, whatever I need.

ItsAHabit's avatar

I think that everyone (or at least most normal people) experience self-doubt. Nikipedia has a good suggestion.

Draconess25's avatar

I just remind myself that I was the fastest swimmer out of my dad’s sperm.

HoneyBee's avatar

I think everyone has experienced this at some point in their lives.
I try to think about the positive things about whatever it is I am doubting myself about than just go for it. The worst you can hear is no and that’s not so bad.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I push through it by talking to a few very trusted friends about whatever situation is causing me so much concern. I also try meditation, but hearing the voice of a close friend is really much better for me.

majorrich's avatar

Self doubt and insecurity are my interchangeable middle names. Usually your first instinct is the way to go and developing the discipline not to get into a thinking loop. (often called ‘paralysis of analysis’) and go with it. .

spiritual's avatar

I think remembering times when you were successful or did something good helps with that. It’s not easy to get yourself out when you have a slump but friends and thinking positive thoughts helps me.
I am training in my job and it involves sitting one on one with an instructor who analyses your performance every day. You encounter a lot of critism and it will be the same for another year or so. I’d better get used to critism!

tinyfaery's avatar

I always doubt myself; it’s an everyday occurrence. How do I deal with it? I just take the pain and frustration that goes along with it. Eventually it fades, but it always resurfaces.

john65pennington's avatar

I retired from my department in 1988. i decided i wanted to go back to my police department, but since i had been gone so long, i would have to go through the whole police academy a second time. boy, was this a tough decision for a 58 year old guy that was out of shape. after many hours of silent deliberation and soul-searching, i decided to make my own destiny. i passed the physicals, i passed the agility courses, i passed the psychological evalucation, i passed the traffic and criminal background checks, i passed the credit score, i passed it all. now, the hard part…..the police academy. i was the oldest officer in history to ever go through my police academy twice. i was the oldest officer there. i knew the generation gap of the younger recruits, would be challenging. i brought my psychi down to their level and the fun began. i was treated with respect and vice versa. i graduated with my class, again in 2002.

The whole thought, behind my long answer, was not to shine the spotlight on me, but rather to give you an example of what self-doubt can or cannot do to a person. i had self-doubt, a bucket full of self-doubt that i would complete my police academy a second time. its was more than tough, it was a killer. but, i did it because i had faith in myself and guardian angels surrounding me and pushing me all the way. my families prayers did not hurt, either.

Coloma's avatar


Very inspirational! :-)

Yes..what’s the saying..that courage doesn’t mean a lack of fear, it means being afraid and doing it anyway!

Cheers to your strength and resolve!

mollypop51797's avatar

I do yoga. I re evaluate myself, and find my center. Yoga is good for the mind and body. It helps me focus on the things most important to me. It helps me to never lose sight of who I am.

LuckyGuy's avatar

You just do it.

Seaofclouds's avatar

Whenever I have self-doubt I think about what I’ve done in the past and visualize the end point of whatever I am doubting. If that doesn’t work, I talk to my husband about it. He always seems to know what to say to help get me passed any issues I have.

BoBo1946's avatar

@john65pennington bottomline, you love a challenge! Makes you feel alive to overcome your doubt!

@jjmah everyone deals with this occasionally. Personally, always remember what my coach said so many time, “when the going get tough, the tough get going!” Tough times build character….i’ve had my share of tough times and self doubt and I “hitched up my pants,” and got with the program. Life is easy when things are going your way….but, when they go against you, then you find out who you are in the scheme of things!

Jeruba's avatar

Sure, but it’s just a feeling. I acknowledge it. There’s no rule that says I have to be comfortable all the time. It’s like the chronic pain in my shoulder and lower back or the cast that’s been on my foot for 5 months. Yes, it’s there, it’s real, but so what? It isn’t going to stop me from going someplace.

Coloma's avatar

Excellent point @Jeruba !

The root of all suffering is the IDEA that we ‘should’ always be happy, healthy, whatever…who say’s?

Everything is a dichotomy! haha

lifeflame's avatar

Sure. I think over the years it’s not like i get less scared, but I’ve learnt (much as Jeruba has), to live with it.

The most terrifying experience i had was directing my first play for public performance in my own community. But in that half a year, I died so many times, that I learnt that it is possible to be that scared and live through it.

I think the thing that sees me through is acknowledge that this fear arises because I care about something. And then thing that keeps me going is an abiding love for what I am doing. In essence, the why. And so I’m learning to live with, and work with my fear; to keep myself open, sensitive and functional despite fear; hello! It’s you again. =)

CaptainHarley's avatar

Force yourself to set and reach several goals, starting small and gradually increasing the difficulty. As you achieve each one, reward yourself with something you like, but normally wouldn’t treat yourself to.

YARNLADY's avatar

I give my self a good talking to. I try to take both sides or look at the issue from several different possibilities and think each of them over for awhile. I usually do this during a long, hot shower or bath with Epsom salts.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

Every day, several times usually. I have my list of goals set, I look at this list and see that I’m making concrete progress on each item. I try not to put things on my “goals” list that involve things I’m really weak at (usually people skills).

Sometimes I get to thinking that the world would be a better place if I’d never been born. It usually leads to a though experiment along the lines of the old film “It’s a Wonderful Life”. When I get to the part about what the latter half of Meghan’s live would have been like if I hadn’t been there, the thought process stops, often in tears.

shpadoinkle_sue's avatar

I try and pin it on my brain trying to conspire against me. I think about what a wonderful person I actually am and it works most of the time. Sometimes I’m just to far gone.

Cruiser's avatar

As you go through life you will be asked to do things outside your comfort zone and it is either just do it or take a pass. The more times you just do it you find that succeed or fail the experience was more than likely worth the effort. So building on those experiences you gain confidence to just do it when opportunity knocks no matter how crazy, uncomfortable or difficult the challenge may be. As I tell my kids it only hurts for a little while….pain does go away and the thrill of just doing it lasts a lifetime!

wundayatta's avatar

I have never experienced a moment of self-doubt in my life!

or have I?

Oh God—how am I going to get through this?

Hey! I know! I’ll just keep on going and see what happens!

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I tell myself ‘I’ve felt this way before, yet did something amazing regardless’ over and over because life has shown me that I don’t need to doubt myself.

Coloma's avatar

I’m far too impulsive to doubt for long. haha

anartist's avatar

I pretend I am somebody else.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

You need to learn to substitute positive self-statements for self-defeating negative self statements. Cognitive behavioural therapy is an excellent way to learn to get control of self-defeating thoughts that keep you from trusting your own skills, abilities and judgment.

anartist's avatar

@Dr_Lawrence “positive thinking” only works if you can believe that the positive self-statements are true. If you can’t, and many can’t, it doesn’t work.

However, the behavioral aspects are very helpful. Working with a therapist to take small action steps in a constructive direction builds, and the reinforcement gained by successful endeavors gives confidence to go further.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

Cognitive Behaviour therapy helps people evaluate the truthfulness of the negative self-statements are substitutes reasonable, well supported alternate self-statements, not irrational, positive self-statements.


Negative self-statement: “I can’t do anything right.” [Irrational]
Glib positive self-statement: “I can do well at anything I try.” [Irrational]
Appropriate self-statement: “I can succeed at things if I make good choices and work at it until I succeed” [Reasonable and appropriate]

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