Psychologist advises: how to deal with self-doubt?

Self-doubt is the presence of doubts in one’s skills, choices, strengths and the execution of one’s plans, on the basis of which fear arises, and in critical cases even a refusal to take active actions. The feeling of self-doubt is closely related to the feeling of wrongness of oneself or the idea that some aspect of life is defective.

A similar sense of self is born in childhood, when a system of self-perception is formed based on the response of others. And if in emotional and active contact with the world there is no clarity in determining which actions and statements should be praised, and which should be punished or rejected, then in the future there will be no elements for building personal ideas about the negative and acceptable, everything is the same and hostile. It is the priority of external assessment of one’s own existence left over from childhood (people’s words, priorities proclaimed in culture) that leads to an increase in uncertainty.

The problem of self-doubt is due to the impossibility of different people reacting in the same way to one event, which means that the idea of ​​​​the constancy of self-perception through other people's assessments is absurd and only leads to increased anxious uncertainty and exhaustion.

What is self-doubt?

First of all, it is the inability to adequately assess oneself and one’s strengths. Unconfident people may have a lot of knowledge and valuable information, but will be afraid to present it, believing that their skills and experience are not enough. Self-doubt can also be expressed in mild shyness or serious fears. For example, a person may experience panic attacks or even suffer from social anxiety.

According to many experts, the roots of any insecurity go deep into childhood. If a child received little praise and heard only criticism, the likelihood of developing self-doubt and, as a consequence, an inferiority complex is very high.

— Manifestations of complexes


Each psychologist has his own way of thinking about the emergence of self-doubt. Someone argues that it can arise in infancy due to the parents’ overly suppressive behavior or, alternatively, the baby unconsciously copies the people around him, perhaps just as insecure.

But over the years, this opinion of oneself as an insecure comrade is reinforced by repeated failures. In childhood, much depends on the reaction and behavior of others to the child’s failed attempts.

The whole reason turns out to be that an insecure person lacks results. But there is no result due to his low self-esteem, lack of activity, and negative opinions from other people.

Self-doubt begins when the formation of personality and character formation take place. Some obediently obey and give in to others, while others stubbornly resist. And the latter have a chance to combat uncertainty more successfully in the future.

Each newborn is already endowed with its own mental and physical characteristics. But how they develop depends on their upbringing in infancy. Some things can complicate the perception of the world around us, while others, on the contrary, will facilitate socialization.


Why is self-doubt dangerous?

We can absolutely say that excessive shyness and complexities prevent people from living a full life. If, for example, you cannot present yourself in a favorable light in an interview, you are unlikely to be hired even if you have the necessary qualifications. And, of course, in personal life, self-doubt can play a cruel joke on a person. You may simply not dare to confess your feelings to your partner, and discord will occur in the relationship (you will find 6 reasons why you cannot build a relationship here).


An inferiority complex that is not corrected in time ultimately worsens and leads to the development of persistent mental abnormalities and disorders. The most common complication of an inferiority complex is the development of neurosis and neurotic conditions. Another dangerous complication is the development of subdepressive and even depressive disorders of the patient’s psycho-emotional sphere. Severe depression can lead to the development of suicidal tendencies in the patient.

How to help yourself if you encounter such a problem?

The first and most important rule: stop comparing yourself to anyone. Remember that there are more than 7.7 billion people in the world, and each person is unique in their own way. You should not compare yourself with those who, in your opinion, look more beautiful or are more successful at work. Such comparisons will only lead to envy and further development of complexes. Of course, you can strive to become successful in some area like someone else. But should he imitate or copy his style?

The best strategy for dealing with self-doubt is to compare your present self with your past self. This analysis will help you see your personal growth and progress in the area you have been working on.

Don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and always look for new opportunities. The comfort zone is a path to degradation, and a successful person needs constant growth. If you have a desire to become more confident in yourself, then it’s time to start fighting your fears. This doesn't mean you should immediately jump with a parachute if you are afraid of heights. You can start by walking through high-rise buildings, gradually rising higher. Also, you don’t have to rush to sign up for pick-up artist courses: you should start carefully getting acquainted with people of the opposite sex. For example, online dating will help if you are overcome by embarrassment.

Leaving your comfort zone does not mean taking extreme measures spontaneously and thoughtlessly. Such a step can only provoke additional stress, and this will definitely not be good for you. Start changing with small actions that are atypical for you. For example, walk instead of taking the bus, or plan out all your activities for the day if you haven't kept a diary before.

Also take up sports or dancing. Typically, athletes and people who carefully monitor their physical fitness are more confident. When playing sports, endorphin is released - a hormone that lifts your mood (a fitness trainer talks about the most common mistakes in fitness after 30 years here). A person becomes dependent on this hormone, wants to receive more of it, and physical activity easily becomes a habit. And as soon as a person sees the first results and changes in his body for the better, he always feels more confident. It is very important to recognize yourself, so even training at home will be important. In addition, when playing sports, endurance develops, immunity increases, and it’s just fun - in a good mood, all problems are solved faster and easier.

Be sure to remember that only those who do nothing make no mistakes. There are no ideal and flawless people! There is even a Latin proverb about this: “Errare humanum est”, which translated means: “To err is human.” You need to learn to perceive your mistakes not as mistakes, but as invaluable experience. Even from the most unpleasant event you can learn a useful lesson. It is important to learn to analyze your actions in order to know how to act next time. Read the biographies of successful and famous people - even they made mistakes on the way to their goals.

Love yourself! No advice will work until you love yourself. And the first step on this path is accepting yourself. You need to accept both your strengths and your shortcomings. Make a list of your positive sides and negative points and every morning or before going to bed, re-read the list of advantages to yourself, and during the day, consider one disadvantage and think about how you can correct it. Any disadvantage can be turned into an advantage if you carefully work on it. Self-love is also taking care of your physical and psychological well-being. Proper nutrition, regular physical activity, skin care - all these are the first and important steps towards self-acceptance. Sometimes it can be extremely difficult to believe in yourself and your strengths, but as soon as a person begins to try to change, he becomes more confident in himself. Such a person can move mountains on the way to his goal.

— How to overcome shyness: advice from a psychologist


It is quite difficult to give any precise recommendations, because each situation of uncertainty is individual and it must be solved based on the individuality of the situation. And self-doubt as a character trait, as a property that returns to our lives regularly, of course, “cannot be tamed” in absentia and quickly. This requires quite painstaking and thorough work.

However, I can offer you some ways and tools to help you cope with anxiety and even the feeling of your own “worthlessness” that arise situationally, for example, during an interview, exam or communication with someone important to you.

1) Look to the past.

Surely you have previously had situations when you managed to cope with anxiety. What were these situations? How did you manage to cope with yourself? Who helped you then? If you only remember situations of failure, think about how you survived them. Are they really as scary as you thought then?

2) Connect with your body.

In the very situation of anxiety, turn to your own body. Feel yourself standing on the ground, on the floor. Feel the heaviness of your body. Even if at this moment you are dissatisfied with yourself, you are you, tell yourself that you will deal with dissatisfaction with yourself later, and now you are just where you are. Feel your breath. If it gets confused, try to normalize it. Look around (in a situation of excitement, your horizons can become very narrow). Look around while still feeling.

3) Treat yourself with humor.

Challenge yourself to break all your anxiety records today—to feel more excited today than ever before. Remind yourself that it is time for you to blush (turn pale, bite your nails). Just take your time, but on the contrary, try to observe as much as possible what is happening to you and around you. Leave grading yourself for “wrong behavior” for later.

4) Slow down.

If you are being rushed to make a decision and you have not yet found your bearings, slow down. Allow yourself to think at your own pace. Having made some important decision quickly under the pressure of the situation, you may make a decision that is not yours and again feel dissatisfied with yourself.

Read the article “How to increase self-esteem.”

5) Look to the future.

Adequately assess what will happen if you still fail to cope with the situation. Is it as terrible as you think? It is impossible not to make mistakes and to be perfect. It is mistakes that sometimes best teach us something so important to us!

6) Who needs it?

Think about it – for whom exactly is it so important for you to be successful and confident today? Does this person need it as much as you think? And trying to justify someone's trust - aren't you losing yourself? Aren't you important in yourself - regardless of whether you cope with the task facing you or not?

7) Seek help and support.

Remember in your surroundings a person who believes in you (without expecting any unrealistic miracles) and who will not be scared by your doubts. Talk to him, perhaps he will find exactly those words of support that you so lack.

8) Think about yourself.

Compare yourself not with others, but with yourself in a past situation. Not “everyone is successful” and “no one worries, but I...”. First of all, this is not true. Secondly, what do you care about the assessments of others? It is much more important if this time you were able to do something that you couldn’t even imagine the last time or the time before (for example, at an interview). Rejoice in this small, but such an important victory over yourself!

9) “This too shall pass.”

Remind yourself that this situation that is causing you anxiety will sooner or later end. And in any case, one way or another, you will go through it, and your life will continue regardless of the result. And you will have other occasions to cope with what is so important to you...

You might be interested in reading about how to become a confident woman.


What rules can help when communicating with people?

If, even after raising your self-esteem, you still feel unsure when communicating with other people, try the following method. Start meeting more often with your closest friend, and then move on to communicating with less familiar people. Try to always be sincere and friendly, learn to clearly formulate your thoughts and voice them in the first person.

Also important is such a skill as the ability to politely refuse an interlocutor. At the same time, try to offer him alternative solutions to the issue. Analyze your speech and try to remove filler words. Learn to speak calmly and confidently, avoiding raised tones and displays of strong emotions.

When meeting strangers for the first time, choose a familiar place. Ask your interlocutor about his interests and review literature on this topic to make it easier to maintain a conversation. Also determine for yourself in which positions you are most comfortable communicating and learn to adopt them when communicating with your interlocutor.

And when speaking in front of a large audience, rehearse your speech and ask a friend to watch your performance and let him make his comments. Think about how you can correct the shortcomings. While speaking in front of an audience, look for the listener who is most attentive and sympathetic to you and express your thoughts as if only to him.

And always remember that you are a unique individual!

How to recognize an insecure woman?

How to recognize a woman who does not know her worth? She often looks to other people as saviors who can give her confidence and love. It is important for her to be told: “You can handle it.” She has a habit of shifting responsibility to other people. Or, on the contrary, she takes on too much of it, including someone else’s (to gain confidence, in her opinion).

She, as a rule, is in two extremes: either she is afraid to take some bold steps, or she takes them desperately, reaches heights, but this does not increase her confidence. She does not have an understanding of her inner value that does not require confirmation and allows her to think: “I know that I am valuable. I know that I am loved.”

She will need to perform some actions again and again in order to win the next reward from this world - confirmation of her worth. But it is very important not to confuse confidence with self-worth. Self-worth is an unconditional right to life: a person is initially loved, accepted, cared for not because of his achievements, but simply because he exists.

Transform incorrect attitudes towards other people

This interesting and effective recommendation for how to overcome self-doubt is to change your views on the world. Those suffering from low self-esteem should remember one important truth: a person owes nothing to anyone. A person lives by his own rules and moral beliefs; she is not able to always and in everything meet the requirements of society. Forgetting about this, a person dooms himself to interpersonal conflict, indulging everyone. It is impossible to please everyone around you all the time. Even the most confident people, who are famous for their boundless love for themselves, sometimes encounter ill-wishers. Other people are dissatisfied with the appearance or behavior of confident interlocutors. But this does not stop them, because they always remember this simple truth.

Positive Traits of Insecurity

But psychologists say that being timid is not such a bad thing. There is also a positive side to this trait, because it is what protects a person from unpleasant collisions with the environment.

A little later, timidity can turn into a high level of anxiety, and will build an excellent barrier where the individual will feel protected.

How to get rid of fear and uncertainty using hypnosis?

In the unconscious of a person, not only the causes of his problems are hidden, but also the solutions to his problems. Hypnosis will help you activate your internal resources to develop confidence. Hypnotherapy allows you to:

  • eliminate negative experiences from childhood;
  • change negative attitudes to positive ones;
  • form a positive reflex to situations that cause fear;
  • model a more optimistic perception of the future.

Try listening to an audio recording with hypnotic suggestions:

There are no pills to give you confidence. Therefore, get ready for serious and interesting work on yourself under the guidance of a psychologist or hypnologist.

Be friendly

Modern psychology has a considerable arsenal of ways to combat low self-esteem. How to overcome self-doubt when all methods have already been tried? Another approach you can take is to be friendly. It will not be suitable for every situation, but in some cases, goodwill towards a person is irreplaceable. For example, if there is a feeling of uncertainty in the presence of an important person - a leader or a formidable relative.

When a person is friendly and behaves politely and well-mannered, the truth remains on his side in any case - even if he has practically no control over the situation as a whole. If the interlocutor begins to take advantage of the ignorance of an insecure person, trying to rise at his expense, this only indicates his own complexes. Psychological correctness always remains with the person who makes efforts to maintain harmony.

Know yourself

Often the feeling of self-doubt is a consequence of a person’s ignorance of himself. This leads to the fact that his self-identification is completely based on praise or censure from others. If other people like the behavior, the feeling of self-confidence increases; if not, a feeling of worthlessness comes.

It is necessary to sensibly assess your own strengths and weaknesses. To do this, it is useful to write down your advantages on a separate piece of paper and sometimes re-read them. This will allow you to know yourself and not depend on external assessments.

I offer 5 simple and effective exercises

Many great figures use them.

  1. Every day, celebrate and write down at least 10 of your achievements, even small ones. The important thing here is not to compare yourself with others, but to be happy for your work. It will be difficult at first, but then you will get used to it.
  2. Don't blame yourself for your weaknesses and failures. It’s better to tell yourself: “This time it didn’t work out, but I learned that...”, “Okay, but I tried” (an attempt, by the way, can be entered as an achievement). Such phrases strengthen confidence in your abilities, and soon you will begin to take on work that you were afraid to think about until recently.
  3. Don't focus on negative thoughts. Pay attention to what you want to achieve (what result). Learn to throw out of your head disturbing thoughts and situations that do not catastrophically change your life. Just draw conclusions from what you have learned and move on with your life. There is a great exercise: imagine putting a picture of an unpleasant situation, feelings and emotions into a black box. Close it and mentally throw it in the trash.
  4. When you feel unsure, take a deep breath and think: “What was I thinking just now? What am I afraid of? Look fear in the eyes. Is everything really as it seems? What are the alternatives? What's the worst that can happen? Imagine that the worst has already happened. And this has already happened. What are your actions in this situation? It is clear that at first horror, horror, horror. And then? Pull yourself together. Coming out of your shell and moving forward? The answers to these questions will help you calm down and understand what needs to be done at the moment, right now.
  5. Don't be afraid to offend another person. Do you observe and respect other people's boundaries? So learn to observe and respect the boundaries of your Self. Of course, you should not become an aggressive impudent person, just remember: You are a Personality with your own interests and desires.

I also recommend reading an excerpt from the article “Psychological Aikido: 10 techniques against uncertainty”

Why is it useful to follow the example of others?

Taking a closer look at the behavior of such individuals will not hurt anyone who is wondering how to overcome isolation and uncertainty. Even if such a person “sits in a puddle” in front of other people or commits some funny act, this will not reduce his self-esteem. He will never think badly of himself - and the opinions of others, to put it mildly, are of little interest to him.

Knowing how to use this rule correctly, a person will begin to value himself, his needs and interests, put himself first and react less to criticism. This is a direct path to gaining inner freedom, understanding others and, undoubtedly, to success.

Become Aware

One of the best ways to overcome self-doubt at work. In other words, we can call awareness knowledge, a high level of professionalism. A person suffering from uncertainty may deliberately increase knowledge in his work area. This will make him feel truly valuable and significant when communicating with work colleagues or clients.

This method is also effective in cases where a person cannot get a job for a long time due to low self-esteem. When a person is new to his business, it is quite normal to feel insecure. But this can be a stumbling block to a successful interview. Therefore, before going for an interview, it is necessary to hone your existing knowledge and skills as much as possible.

( 2 ratings, average 4.5 out of 5 )
Did you like the article? Share with friends:
For any suggestions regarding the site: [email protected]
Для любых предложений по сайту: [email protected]