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7 Ways to Beat Self-Doubt

7. Stop trying to make everyone else happy.

Jose AS Reyes/Shutterstock
Source: Jose AS Reyes/Shutterstock

Self-doubt can be a debilitating thought pattern that sabotages our chances for success. We all struggle with self-doubt at some point, but learning to overcome it frees us from negative thinking and allows us to live to our fullest potential.

Here are 7 techniques to help you live with confidence:

1. Find a mentor or someone who you can go to for advice (or venting).

Your thoughts are racing. You want to let some of them go, but you don’t know who to talk to. Who do you seek out? Find that person who really listens to you, understands you, and helps to place your feet back on the ground, whether it be a therapist, parent figure, sibling, or trusted friend. They can help identify and challenge your unhealthy beliefs without passing judgment.

2. Surround yourself with real friends.

You find yourself surrounded by a toxic group of friends. The environment is negative, competitive, and fake. They constantly try to bring you down to the level of their insecurities, and you are left with nothing but self-doubt. Sometimes it takes having a group of bad friends to truly recognize the ones who are good. Identify those friends who support you, advise you, and encourage you; the friends who think you are a star. Those friends are worth your time.

3. Forgive yourself.

Forgiving yourself is often harder than forgiving others. We constantly dwell on the times we failed or caused someone harm. We may play the victim and hold ourselves back from a life of betterment. Find that strength to overcome these shortcomings. Transfer the energy spent feeling guilt and self-criticism into the positive aspects of your life and move forward, because self-compassion is allowed.

4. Set reachable goals that you can accomplish.

Your goals should be ever evolving and changing. Give yourself permission to try new things, but don’t be unrealistic. You need that feeling of purpose and accomplishment, and it often takes baby-steps to get there. Your long-term success and health will be dependent on setting manageable, immediate goals. And always remember to reward yourself even for the small things.

5. Find your breath when you're feeling overwhelmed.

Seriously: Deep inhale, hard exhale. Life can become extremely overwhelming, and it is your job to mitigate the obstacles it throws your way. Deep breathing is an excellent daily habit to help reduce stress and self-doubt.

6. Write it down.

Write it all down. The therapeutic act of writing your thoughts—both positive and negative—will shed some light on what is really running through your mind. Take some time throughout the day to document everything from stress to accomplishment. If your negatives are overshadowing your greater positives, your journal will expose this. Be creative about how you document, but always speak the truth. A journal is an often-utilized therapeutic tool, but it can also be a good friend.

7. Stop trying to make everyone else happy.

You are caring, kind, and selfless, yet you are struggling to find your own happiness and esteem. Why? Because you are wasting too much time making everyone else happy, and you have none left for yourself. Your happiness is placed in the hands of everyone else, and let’s face it: People are hard to please. The result: You feel extreme self-doubt. Respect yourself first, and you will be surprised at the results.

Authored by Dr. Gregory Jantz, founder of The Center • A Place of HOPE and author of 29 books. Pioneering whole-person care nearly 30 years ago, Dr. Jantz has dedicated his life’s work to creating possibilities for others, and helping people change their lives for good. The Center • A Place of HOPE, located on the Puget Sound in Edmonds, Washington, creates individualized programs to treat behavioral and mental health issues, including eating disorders, addiction, depression, anxiety and others.

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