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8 Powerful Tips to Manage Self-Doubt and Go after What You Want

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Self-doubt is the enemy of Personal branding. You must be certain about yourself, your abilities, and the capacities to inspire, bring values, solve problems, and help other people. When you doubt yourself, how would you be able to achieve your goals? 

Back in high school, my teacher told me that I wouldn’t go far in life and achieve great things. It made a big fat negative impact since I was adolescence and sensitive to most everything (a snowflake). I created a narrative that puts me down and belittles my self-esteem. I played safe and never felt enough.  Life turned into a bubble. It felt good to live in a comfort zone.

I compared myself with others and listened to that inner narrative painting the impossible. All I see was a failure, felt like a beginner, embarrassed, and that I should never rock that boat. It is better not to bring out criticism. What a clueless modern world.

Self-doubt ruined my life.

What exactly is self-doubt anyway?

Self-doubt is a lack of faith in oneself: a feeling of doubt or uncertainty about one’s abilities, actions, etc.

By Merriam-Webster
“The inner speech, your thoughts, can cause you to be rich or poor, loved or unloved, happy or unhappy, attractive or unattractive, powerful or weak.” — Ralph Charell
Photo by Bruno Marc

Why do we doubt ourselves so much?

The modern world we live in intends to focus on success stories. We compare ourselves with other peers, colleagues, or strangers and feel pity thinking we are not as good. The mass media portraits perfections, impeccable bodies, rich and beautiful: these sell well and turn into stereotypes and prejudice. 

Women should not do anything that rocks the boat or causes criticism. Men are obligated to be strong and it is a sign of weakness to cry in front of others. You need the expertise to contribute. The education systems emphasize colleges. Getting a master’s degree, Ph.D., etc. grant us respect and prosperous life.

We develop our limitations and the inner critic that holds us back from doing what we want. It is the voice in our head saying that we can’t. We don’t feel good enough. Goals return to be dreams. We refuse to take action and postpone our chances to go where we want to be.

How do we manage self-doubt to achieve great things and overcome challenges?

Last year, I quit my cabin crew job and moved to Portugal. I was not as happy as the job did not fulfill my intellect. But I decided to burst the bubble. I did different things, took a barber course, even went back to Uni for a short semester. All of those experiments somehow paved the way. I am self-directed.

I found that the best way to go in life is to create, to bring values, and to share all you got to others. Lately, I found my passion and worked non-stop on my plan. I am no longer a victim of self-doubt. Anytime that monster shows up, I will say stop and shift myself out of it. I channel to another positive energy instead.

Here are the 8 powerful tips to manage and overcome self-doubt to achieve great things and become your best version.

1) Be more loyal to your goals than your fears.

A lot of times we don’t feel confident or comfortable sharing our voice or ideas, we aren’t going for what we really want. We feel stuck. We choose to play small to avoid risks. All we see is negativities, obstacles, and failures. 

Protip: Turn them into challenges. It is time to go after what you want. Focus on educating yourself. Apply tactics and strategies. Remember goals without plans are just dreams. And only taking actions will prevent you from fears. Face them instead. 

2) Say stop and shift yourself out of it

We all have a safety instinct inside that tries to avoid dangers, threats, any possible risks. We feel like a beginner, feel clueless or embarrassed, and choose to stay in the comfort zone.

Protip: Whenever that inner voice says that you can’t. Walk away from it. You can control your attitude, mind, and thoughts. Say stop and switch to another positive source of energy. Think about the last time you achieved something. How did it feel? Recall that emotion.

3) Do not wait until you’re confident. Fight that inner critic

Our inner voice creates a lot of narratives, telling us that we are not an expert in this whatsoever thing. We see others doing better and start feeling small. We shut down and let them overshine.

Protip: Do not wait until you have enough time, money, degrees, qualifications, etc. There will be no perfect timing. Just do it. Even if you fail, stand up and keep going. Be a fighter and learn from mistakes along the way. You get stronger after all.

4) Listen to feedbacks, not your inner critics

If you listen to that inner voice, it will say that you can’t. The purpose of this negative narrative is to put you down and keep you safe in the zone. You need honest opinions instead.

Protip: Ask for constructive feedback from reliable individuals and sources. Avoid major mistakes. Sharpen your skills, knowledge, and stay diligent and consistent with your goals and plans.

5) Contribute even if you’re not an expertise

Our culture tends to put emphasis on expertise. It reinforces the educational system that you have to have all the information, a degree, be an expert so you are “good enough” to contribute. Values can be offered in various ways, not just formal training. 

Protip: People who are survivors have different insights, sensibility, can contribute in terms of sharing a message, inspiring people, and improving service, or even innovation. Share what you have, find the right audience.

6) No one cares about what you do or say, it’s not about you

When someone judges or criticizes us, we start doubting ourselves. Our boss, our beloved ones, our friends, strangers on social media, our colleagues, etc. Remember: They might care for a few minutes then everyone is going to be very busy with their own life. People don’t have time. 

“The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.”—Confucius
Photo by Ian Stauffer

Protip: It is essential that you should not take things personally. Sometimes you don’t know what is really going on in others’ lives. They might not mean anything or do it just because they can. Don’t be a mind reader. Ask instead or walk away.

7) Stop comparing yourself with others 

We all know things on social media and Instagram are not they really are. We tend to publish filtered pictures, polished life, positivity, happiness, that we have a great time and better than others. Everyone looks and “feels” their best. 

Protip: Don’t compare yourself with others. Focus on your unique traits, strengths, and beauty. You have your own path, walk it your way, not their way. We all have different timings.

8) Change your environment, filter and seek optimism

People say you are the average of five people you spend the most time with. It sounds like a cliché but it makes sense. An eagle will grow up thinking that he is a chicken if he is surrounded by a flock of hens. 

Protip: Stay close to those who respect, love and want the best for you. Channel the right energy. Be true to yourself to attract the right people.

The bottom line

We are all human. It is normal to doubt ourselves. However, do not let it become your worst enemy. Learn how to notice your fear, name it, and get rid of it. Too much self-doubt will drain the energy, prevent you from becoming what you want, and paralyze your process of getting results. 

Working on yourself instead. 

Have plans: daily plans, weekly plans, monthly plans, annual plans, 5-year plans, etc. Sometimes things happen out of control (Coronavirus pandemic for instance). You can’t even stick to those plans. But just remembers, who fails to plan, plans to fail.

Keep moving forward towards your journey, not aim for just destinations. If you don’t give up on your destiny, no one would be able to control it. Only when you allow them to.

Be proud, be unique, walk it your way.

3 References

This article was created by combining personal experience and sourcing from different published books, related articles, eBooks, and digital libraries.

267: Managing Self-Doubt to Tackle Bigger Challenges with Tara Mohr. (2019, June 27). Retrieved March 30, 2020, from

Edberg, H. (2020, February 3). 13 Powerful Ways to Overcome Self-Doubt (So You Can Finally Move Forward in Life). Retrieved March 30, 2020, from

Young, A. K. (2017, October 26). 14 Confidence Quotes to Help You Beat Self-Doubt and Achieve Your Goals. Retrieved March 30, 2020, from

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