How to combat self-doubt – a simple 4-step process

Self Doubt Feature Image

When I was thinking of how I’d write this blog, I couldn’t seem to get ‘Video killed the radio star’ out of my head. You know the song, right?

I kept changing the lyrics to that song to ‘Self-doubt killed your success’!

And it’s so true.

Think back to a time when you were full of passion and motivation. So excited to be doing what you’re doing.

But then something creeps its way into your mind. A road block that halts you right in your path.

It disrupts your journey, demotivates you and sucks away your passion.

You know what you want to be doing, but you don’t feel like you can.

That’s self-doubt.

The nasty emotion that holds you back.

Self-doubt is the destroyer of dreams. And it has the ability to murder your success.

In this blog we’ll discover how you can overcome self-doubt. How you can get back on the path of passion and motivation whilst truly believing in yourself.

Are you ready ramp-up your self-belief and put your success back on track?

Stop doubting and start believing with this simple 4 -step process to combating your self-doubt…

What is success?

First off, let’s look at what success is.

Success is subjective. You will see success differently to how I see success.

Here’s a quick exercise to determine what success is to you…

Grab a pen and paper right now… I’ll wait for you

Now think about where you want to be in 1 year, 2 years, 3 years and 5 years. Write it down.

This can be about anything – career, personal life, relationship, family. Whatever you feel you want to grow in and become successful at.

Once you’ve got down where you want to be, take a step back and look at what you’ve written. At each stage (1 year, 2 years etc.) you’ve written down landmarks of success.

It’s a goal that you want to achieve within that certain timeframe. If you achieve that goal, you’ve been successful.

You can’t be successful without goals. Remember that.

If you haven’t set goals for each area of your life, you’re setting yourself up to fail. Benjamin Franklin once said “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.”

self-doubt success image

The importance of planning

The simple act of planning can sometimes be sufficient to hold self-doubt at bay. Because if you set realistic, measurable and achievable goals you’re more likely to feel successful. Feeling successful builds self-belief and therefore banishes self-doubt.

It’s when we begin to feel like we’re failing that self-doubt starts to creep into our lives.

Failed business, failed relationships, failed weight loss. These are all things that can start us down the road of self-doubt.

If you’ve tried to lose weight multiple times and each time you’ve been unsuccessful, it’s likely you’ll stop believing you can ever lose that weight.

The same applies to careers, relationships and any other areas of your life.

So plan your way to success first.

self-doubt planning image

The importance of support

Successful people often have a strong team behind them. I’m sure you’ve heard celebrities, millionaires and successful entrepreneurs talk about how they couldn’t have got to where they are without the support of … a partner, a family member etc.

Having someone that supports you and believes in you will help you to believe in yourself.

If you don’t have anybody in your life that can support you and believe in you, get out there and find them. I promise you they are there, you’ve just gotta look.

How to combat self-doubt

Now let’s take a look at how you can begin to combat self-doubt yourself.

My personal favourite is meditation and mindfulness.

First you have to identify the thoughts that are causing your self-doubt. Some examples of these thoughts could be:

  • I’m no good at this.
  • This will never work.
  • I don’t know how to do it.
  • I’m wasting my time, this isn’t working.


When you allow these thoughts to take hold, doubt can prevent you from moving forward because there’s a part of you that isn’t convinced of what you’re doing. This is how doubt is born. It plants its roots within your mind and begins to take over.

When doubt’s roots take a strong hold of your mind, it’ll undermine your confidence and your motivation.


Here are some ideas on how you can work through the doubt, find your motivation and regain your confidence:

  1. Recognise when it strikes

This can be different for everyone. You might wake up feeling doubt. You could be watching television and, oh, there’s that darn doubt again. But, don’t ignore it. Don’t sweep it under the carpet. Recognise that you are having doubtful thoughts and then…


  1. Don’t believe it, label it

Simply noticing when doubt arises and acknowledging these doubting thoughts means you’re able to make a decision – will you believe the doubtful thoughts? Or, will you label them?

Believing the doubt makes it stronger. So, you can’t do this.

Instead, label the thought as a doubtful thought.

When your mind says ‘You can’t do that, you’re not good enough’, just stop for a moment. Acknowledge the thought and say to yourself ‘that’s doubt’.

Sounds easy enough right?

By labelling the doubting thoughts as such, you’re more able to recognise that every successful person in the world had doubtful thoughts at one time or another. Acknowledging that you’re doubting yourself is a step in the right direction to accomplishing your success.


  1. Put your doubt into perspective

What does this mean?

Let me explain it to you…

When you truly realise that other successful people have had similar doubts at some point in their journey, you’re able to put your doubt into perspective. It enables you to change the way you look at your doubt.

You can begin to understand that doubt isn’t personal failure. It’s in our nature as humans to question our ability to do something.

When you look at your doubt as a ‘question of your ability’ instead of a negative feeling of failure, you can consider the answer to the question. Can you do it? Do you have the ability?

If you don’t feel you have the ability after identifying and acknowledging your doubtful thoughts, you may need to find a way to improve your skills and ability.

For example, if your doubt is that you can’t lose weight because you don’t have the motivation to work out, then you need to find something or someone that motivates you.

Once you identify the problem, find the solution.

Doubt that is based on a genuine inability to perform a certain task is the easiest form of doubt to overcome. Increase your knowledge, practice and get better. Through careful planning and regular practice your ability to perform that task will improve and your doubt will start to diminish.

But there’s often more to self-doubt…


  1. Identify the feelings behind your doubt

‘Feelings’ is the important word in this final step.

What emotion is driving your doubt?

Is it fear?

Is it distrust?

Or is there another emotion lurking back there?

Identify the emotion at the root of your doubt and face it.

Understand that without addressing this underlying emotion, you’re unlikely to overcome your doubts.

self-doubt thought catalog

How can mindfulness help?

I find the best way to do step 4 is through regular mediations.

If you don’t like the sound of ‘meditation’ then sitting quietly and considering each step in this process is the same thing.

You have to give yourself the time to take care of yourself by pulling yourself away from your busy life. It could be just 5 minutes a day in a quiet room, away from everything. Somewhere that you can silently address the doubts and emotions you are feeling.

By following this 4-step process regularly, you’ll be on the road to achieving your goals and finding success.

Good luck!


Did you find this article on how to combat self-doubt helpful? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. And don’t forget to share on facebook, Instagram, twitter or whatever social platform you’re on.

About the author:
Bob Taylor is a copywriter with particular interests in health and wellness. He also has over 10 years of experience working in insurance. He loves the diversity of researching and learning about new products and industries. When Bob studied writing he became fascinated by sales psychology and this led to a love for persuasive copywriting. If you’ve got something to sell, Bob can sell it with words!

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